There’s no doubt that bringing a kitten home is an exciting and magical time. Kittens are just so darn cute and fluffy, but as adorable as they look, they need a lot of care, attention and patience.
Imagine being taken from your family and transported to a brand new place with strange people you don’t know. Felines are very territorial, and form tight bonds with their mom and littermates, which makes the change of scenery even more daunting. They often take a little while to settle in, and need their new owners to be patient and understanding.
Before getting a kitten, you should carefully consider whether you have the time to care for them, and think about whether your house and location is suitable for a cat. Although cats are easier to look after than dogs, taking on a new kitten is still a big commitment. Just make sure you and your family are ready.
The first few days, and even weeks are very overwhelming for little kitties, and it’s your job to make things as pleasant as possible for them. If you are new to cat ownership, and haven’t raised a kitten before, don’t fret, we’ve got it covered. Here’s some top tips and handy advice for settling a new bundle of fluff into your home.
Give them time
It’s so tempting to scoop up your new kitten in your arms and fuss over them for hours on end. However, this is certainly not what they need in the early stages of settling into their new home. You need to give your new kitty space to explore on their own terms, and introduce them to things gradually. Don’t bring the entire family into one room to meet them straight away, slowly introduce family members one by one as they become more at ease.
Perhaps keep them in one room to start with, so they can get used to their surroundings, and then step by step, let them uncover additional parts of the house. Never force them to do anything they don’t want to, and wait for them to come to you for some attention, rather than cornering them or picking them up straight away. You need to build up trust and strengthen your bond. Some more confident cats might jump into your arms right away, but many will need more time to feel at ease.
Make sure everyone in your household understands that your new family member will need time to settle. Explain that the house needs to be fairly quiet, especially for the first couple of days. Kittens can be very delicate, so if there are kids in the home, you should teach them how to handle them properly and explain that they need to be gentle.
It’s advisable to take some time off work when you get a new kitten, so that you can be there for them as they get used to their new home. Just make sure someone is always around initially to keep an eye on them, for the first 24 to 48 hours at least.
Kitten proof your home
Cats are escape artists, and they also have a habit of ending up in the strangest of hiding places. They can easily get stuck whilst trying to hide away somewhere in your house, so you need to kitten proof your home before they get there. Here’s how to kitten proof your pad –
- Keep windows closed to stop your kitten from pouncing out into the unknown.
- Consider places your kitten could fall from and keep them out of bounds or find ways to make them safe.
- Check your home for any potential safety hazards such as cables and sharp objects, or plants that are poisonous to pets.
- Keep your toilet seat down, as cheeky cats will often climb inside and get stuck.
- Think about potential escape routes in and around your home, the last thing you want your new kitten to do is find a way outside and get lost or hurt.
- Remove anything they could try to eat, chew, scratch or swallow including objects and hazardous household chemicals.
Stock up on supplies
Your kitten will also need a lots of supplies to keep them happy. It’s best to purchase these bits before they arrive, so they have everything they need to settle in comfortable. A cosy bed and some super fun toys can make all the difference. Your kitty will also need a litter tray, litter, food and water bowls, a scratching post and some healthy kitten food.
We’ve got a huge selection of special products for kittens, including all the bits and bobs you need to help them settle. Take a look at the Time for Paws website and browse through our cat and kitten section. Got any questions about kitten supplies? We’re here to help, contact us and we can point you in the right direction!
A safe haven
Your new kitten will also need a room to stay in with a few places where they can hide away if they want to. Place their bed in here, and their water and food should be separate from their litter tray. Once your cat is happy in this room, you can start showing them around other rooms in the house.
On their first night in their new home, and for a few nights afterwards, your kitten might cry. Don’t worry this is normal, they just need more time to get used to their surroundings and settle into their bedtime routine.
Visit your vet
In the first couple of days you might want to take your kitten to register with your local vet ad have a health check. This can put your mind at rest and highlight any potential issues. Your vet can also advise you on vaccinations. Click here for more info on health and vaccinations.
So that’s all the basics covered, now you can think about bringing your new family member home. Good luck and enjoy the wonders of having a cat in your life!