When we see a kitten, we can’t help but melt with adoration. As a result, kittens have become a total craze worldwide, growing a steady following that’s akin to the number of dog-lovers who hashtag #mustlovedogs.
However, when thinking about bringing home a kitten, there are a few steps you will need to take to ensure that you have covered all areas of being the best feline parent.
So to help ensure an easy transition for both you and your new kitten, we have collated our Top 10 Things To Know When Bringing Home A Kitten!
Build A Sanctuary
Before bringing home your new addition, it’s important to create a safe space for your kitten. Although it may sound silly, we suggest getting on all fours and look around your home from a kitten’s point of view.
Your house has thousands and thousands of “things” that a kitten will want to play with or explore. By creating a mini space that is both quiet and safe, allows the kitten to have time to adjust to its surroundings; at its own pace. Most call this a starter room. A starter room should have a secure door and ceiling, otherwise get creative to ensure your little one doesn’t try to climb out.
What Is Cat Proofing?
You’ve heard of babyproofing your kitchen, your living room, and pretty much every room you have in the house, well your kitten can get into some havoc if left alone to their own devices. The aim is to prepare for the worst and ensure that their surroundings are cat-proofed. Some things to be aware of are:
- Remove objects that look like a hazard, and you know the ones- those that will break if you look at it wrong.
- Secure all toys with strings out of reach when not supervised.
- Keep the garbage covered so your cat won’t get into it.
- Educate yourself on what plants you are allowed to have in your home; some of the most common houseplants can be lethal to your kitten.
- Shorten all electrical wires and other hazards. These should be tidied and put out of reach.
- Move anything that could drop or break should your kitten explore shelving, tables, or countertops.
- Secure window blinds and their drawl strings so that your kitten doesn’t get tangled in them.
- Close any door, block any entrances, or secure any areas you don’t want your kitten to explore.
- One that many don’t think of is always being aware of where your kitten is. Although most kittens like to lay underneath the foot of your recliner, be sure to check whether your kitten is in harm’s way if you were to adjust your seat.
Hiding Is Normal
Your new kitten is more than likely going to find a place to hide, especially when they are new to your home and or shy. Please provide them with a few options for safety and security. This will not only give them immediate comfort but will give you a better idea of where they may be if and when you need to find them quickly.
Don’t underestimate the power of scent. While your kitten is in their sanctuary, be sure to put some pieces of your clothing in the area so that they start to get familiar with your scent.
There are three things a haven must have:
- Nutritious Cat Food
- Clean Water
- Litter Box
When choosing their location in your kitty’s safe space, place their water and food on one side of the room and the litter box on the other. No one likes to eat where they use the restroom.
Cleanliness Is Key
Cats, regardless of their age, are meticulous cleaners. They like clean spaces to rest, clean litter boxes, clean food bowls, and freshwater. We can’t stress enough how important it is to keep their area tidy – daily.
Decorate The Area
By adorning the sanctuary with a scratching post and toys that your kitten can play with, you are already setting up your kitten for success.
Scratching posts and cat trees are important and provide enrichment for cats. They also help cats remove old material from their claws, and when scratching, they mark territory with scent glands in their paws.
One of the best rules of thumb when providing any toy, tree, hammock, etc., for your cat is to be sure that they are new. Other cat smells can be distracting and can cause anxiety.
Get Them Comfortable
Sometimes your kitten is adjusting slower, they don’t eat well, and they aren’t playing or socializing. They are still fretting whenever you are near, and they aren’t adjusting the way you believe they should be. If they are not eating, try giving them something tastier like salmon or tuna; otherwise, consult your veterinarian. If they are eating, and yet they seem ridden with anxiety, sprays you can use that consist of cat pheromones that will help with their anxiety.
Less Is More
Don’t get right in your new kitten’s face. It’s tempting to coddle them because they are so darn cute; however, visiting them frequently for shorter periods of time is more beneficial to securing a blossoming relationship. These visits don’t always have to be playing with your cat; it may mean talking on the phone, reading, spending time working near your kitten just so they get used to your presence.
Your cat has been in its sanctuary for a little while – we suggest a week or two is a good adjustment period, you have established a trustworthy relationship, and it is time to showcase the rest of the house. Naturally, your kitten will want to explore; however, make sure that they are only exploring one room at a time not to overwhelm them.
Trust In The Process
Please don’t rush the process; it is important that you give your new kitten space when they need it and not push them too soon. They will explore when they are ready. The process can be as little as two days to two weeks. This really does depend on your cat’s personality.
If you are thinking of making a new addition to your family, we offer new pet consultations to guide you through the process. Hence, you never have to feel overwhelmed or uncertain of the steps needed to integrate your new addition. So let us help you by booking a consultation with us today.
Nicole founded Miami Pet Concierge in May 2007 with a mission to provide Miami, Florida’s pet parents with personalized pet care plans based on their pets’ species, age, breed, health, and lifestyle – All while keeping their pets “happy at home.” In addition, offering pet care education to all pet owners to help them become great pet parents.