Bringing your kitten home
Whether your kitten is your first or an addition to your current pet family, your kitten will rely on you to ease the transition from their mum and littermates to your household. Keeping your kitten safe and comfortable takes planning and patience from everyone in the family. It is always a good idea to keep a collection of the basics before your new kitten arrives. But before thinking of buying any new supplies make sure your house is secure and safe.
Inside the house
Indeed, cats are curious by nature, and to keep them out of trouble hide away any electrical wires or power cords and even consider restricting access to particular areas of the house. Store away any household chemicals (including cleaning products) and even ensure that the lids to the toilets are down. Put away any small objects that could be swallowed or pose a choking hazard. Safety first!
First steps at home
When your kitten first arrives home let them explore the house. It takes time to adjust to the new sights, smells and sounds of their new home environment. Vocalisation is normal as your kitten explores their new environment. Some kittens benefit from being restricted to one room initially and gradually permitted access to other areas of the house as they get more settled. Set up a litter tray in the same room to help facilitate litter training.
Introducing your kitten to the rest of the family
Make sure children are supervised at all times. Teach your children how to handle the new kitten with care and respect. The best way to pick your kitten up is to slide an open hand under their tummy as your other hand supports their rear end. It is best that children don’t pick them up by themselves unless shown properly. Time to play? When it comes to play time, encourage your children to use toys, this keeps the activity enjoyable for everyone.
Introducing your kitten to other pets
When introducing your kitten to other pets in the house, keep your dog calm and on a lead. Cats are territorial so they may take some time to adjust to your new kitten. Ensure they all have safe areas to escape and hide when they need to.
Choosing the right food
ROYAL CANIN® recommends feeding a kitten food that suits the developmental stage of your kitten. Kitten food needs to provide plenty of energy for the highly active, growing kitten as well as providing nutrients that support their immune system.
Other essential items:
Water bowl: Make sure you have fresh, clean water available for your kitten at all times. Some cats will have a preference to bowl size and type (eg stainless steel or ceramic). Start by offering both options and see which your kitten prefers.
Kitten Toys: Only use toys that are specifically designed for kittens. Avoid toys with small attachments or parts that could be swallowed. Stay away from balls of string or wool.
Bedding: Sleep is very important for your kitten’s development. Comfortable bedding is essential and some kittens will prefer an igloo or covered bed to hide in. Interesting tip: Most cats enjoy high positions so providing a second bed option at a safe height for your kitten may be of benefit.
Scratching post: If you want to keep your furniture safe, an indoor cat tree is essential. You can even spray it with catnip or synthetic pheromones to encourage them using it.
Litter box: Is your litter box the right size for your kitten? Make sure they can use it without making a mess. Also remember to buy a scoop. Remove any waste at the start and the end of every day and replace the litter every 1 -2 days. Interesting tip: provide your kitten with both a covered and non-covered option at first so they can choose what they prefer.