Have you just adopted a new kitten?
Here are some tips to make the little furball’s arrival a safe and happy one for them and for you.
1. What to buy before new kitten’s arrival
Don’t forget to stock up on kitten food and cat litter. You will also need a litter tray, pet carrier, cat bed, scratching post, some toys, water bowl, climbing frame… Yes, it’s just like bringing a new baby home. Everything must be thought of in advance, though you don’t have to buy it all at once. Only the basics such as food, bowls, litter and tray for just before the new arrival.
2. Don’t forget to kitten-proof your home.
You don’t want your new kitty to have any accidents so before it arrives check around the home for potential cat hazards. First of all you must hide all cables (use cord managers and covers) and make sure there are no cables hanging where kitty could easily grab and pull with those little inquisitive paws. Front and back doors, as well as windows, should remain shut because until your kitten is neutered you must keep it indoors. Also, remember to close washing machine, dish washer, oven, fridge-freezer and tumble dryer doors, and always check before use (in case kitty has snuggled in there for a nap). Other things to hide are rubber bands, bits of string, plastic bags, balloons, Christmas decorations and any poisonous plants.
You can find more advice on cat-proofing your home here
3. Bring kitty home!
The time has finally arrived. Time to bring your new member of the family home. How exciting! Don’t forget, you’ll need a carrier in which to bring home your new kitten. Something like this. Once the kitten is in it, make sure you pick it up and carry it gently as your kitten will not only be nervous but very light indeed and the poor thing will be rolling about in that carrier, meowing, and probably squeaking too. How cute!
4. Quiet room
Most kittens will prefer a quiet room to adjust. You should leave him there for the first 24 hours and give him food and water, and keep the litter tray in there as well. Keep an eye on him. But don’t let children or other pets into the room as the kitten will need space to get used to his new surroundings. Any first meetings with young children and pets should be supervised.
5. Curious kitty
Keep watch over your new kitten at all times at first. He will be ever so curious that he will be up to all sorts of mischief in no time. Once he gets used to being in new surroundings, he will be fascinated by everything in sight, so always keep an eye out for any potential dangers he could easily come into contact with.
6.First night nerves
On the first night of the kitten’s arrival, I would suggest keeping your kitten in the same room with you. That’s what I did. My kitten slept at the foot of my bed and seemed to really like it. Then she crawled all over me looking for a feed, but that’s another story (and one I wrote about in my memoir The Cat Years: How my cat soulmates saved me. I was still waiting for the arrival of her bed (see pic) so she also slept on my pillow. Don’t worry if the kitten isn’t sleeping the whole night through. He needs time to get used to his new home and everything will appear scary to him at first. Make sure you are there for him. You are now a cat parent. Enjoy!
7. Introducing children and other pets to your kitten
Tell children and other family members to wait until the kitten approaches them instead of everyone rushing to pick him up. And always remember to make sure the children do not crowd the kitten. As for other pets, best to wait a day before introducing them to the kitten. Hold the kitten in your arms and carefully control these early meetings. It’s a good idea to use some treats for good behaviour.
8. Kittens just wanna have fun
Yes, they do, and you are in for some great antics for sure! Have fun watching the adorable one stalk, ambush and pounce. Laugh out loud (and don’t worry) as he climbs the stairs, tries to jump up on shelves and dangles himself from your curtains.
9. Litter tray training
Once the kitten gets used to the tray you must take the tray out of the room and place it in a more permanent location. Somewhere quiet is best. Never place it near a cat’s bed or food as cats really don’t like it. Come to think of it, would you?
10. Play safe with your kitten
Never allow your kitten to play with string or any sharp instrument. Make sure you never leave him alone with any paper either. Check any toy you buy him for anything that’s likely to come off during play; such as toy mice eyes, stickers, bits of string, fake tails, feathers and whiskers, etc. Again, use common sense. If it looks dangerous for a human baby then it’s dangerous for a kitten too. Some toys are really cheaply made. Look for quality. I like to remove anything likely to be bitten off and chewed up by my cat before letting her play with it.
|photo credit: Tambako the Jaguar via photopin cc|
So there you have it. Some tips to get you started.
More advice can be found here: