Bringing home your new kitten is a fun and exciting time but there needs to be a lot of preparation done before hand. This is to help your kitten to settle in, feel comfortable, feel relaxed and also to prevent them from getting injured or hurt. When they come through the doors for the first time it is only natural for the family to want to spoil the kitten with love and attention, however, you are better off letting the kitten have time and space to explore their new surroundings. It will not take them long to discover the location of their, bed, cat food and water, and litter tray.
A new kitten may feel a bit lonely and overwhelmed their first few days in their new home. You can help them settle in quicker by providing them with a cosy bed and a blanket wrapped hot water bottle; this warmth will remind them of their family. Make sure that the bed is located somewhere dry and warm.
Before you bring your new kitten home you should ‘kitten-proof’ your house. Start off by walking around your house and removing any potential hazards from shelves, counter tops etc. Kittens like to chew so if you have any exposed electrical cables be sure to hide them. Cover up and close the following: windows, doors, cupboards, drawers, trash cans, toilets, washing machine, clothes dryer and fireplaces. Curtains and window blind chords should be tied back in such a way to prevent climbing. Most importantly make sure that any potentially harmful chemicals, plants etc. are removed.
Within the first week of your kitten’s arrival you should bring them to your local vet for a number of reasons. Kittens need to be vaccinated at about 8 weeks and at about 12 weeks of age; the necessary vaccinations may differ depending on where you live. Your vet should also advise you on a time to return for your kitten to be spayed or neutered, this is not only done to control cat populations but also to protect them from a range of health issues. The vet should also advise you on worming and flea medications. I would also encourage you to consider micro-chipping your kitten; this can help your pet to be returned to you if they are lost or stolen.
Before you bring your kitten home for the first time you should have all the necessary supplies bought. These should include the following:
- Cat Box: You should always use a cat box when transporting your pet. You can out some bedding in the bottom of it to make it more comfortable.
- Cat Litter: A litter tray should be put somewhere in the house accessible for the cat but away from where they eat.
- Bedding: Cat beds vary in price and quality to fit the needs of any cat owner. You can add blankets to the bed to make it more comfortable if necessary.
- Bowls: Food and water bowls are inexpensive and easily available. They should be of an appropriate size for your kitten and also easy to clean.
- Cat Food: You should avoid buying the cheaper food brands and instead feed your cat high quality premium brands. The premium brands will provide your kitten with all the necessary nutrients that they require.
- Scratching Post & Toys: A scratching post will provide your cat with a surface to scratch on and reduce furniture and carpet scratching. Some cat toys will keep your new kitten entertained as they settle in to their new home.
If you have any questions regarding the well-being of your kitten you should always contact your local veterinarian or pet care professional.