When bringing home a kitten it is really important to keep your new kitten stress free as lets face it moving home will be the most stressful part of your kittens life so far! With some forward planning you can make bring home a new kitten a wonderful experience for yourself and family and most importantly your new kitten!
Bringing Home a Kitten
Bringing home a kitten is an exciting time but can also be very stressful for your new arrival. Here we give you some tips for ways to ease your kitten into your home with the minimal amount of stress caused.
When you visit your kitten at the breeder’s house take a blanket which has been in your home with you. There are 2 reasons for this firstly it has the smell of your home on it and secondly that smell will be replaced with the smell of the breeder’s home. This will get the kitten used to your smell and then it will have the smell of its family as well when it moves to your house. Some breeders provide blankets in their kitten packs but take one along with you just in case.
It is important to keep the kitten eating the same food he/she was used to at the breeders. Make sure you have some at home before the kitten arrives. A sudden change in diet can easily upset the kitten’s tummy. You should be given a diet sheet by your breeder.
3. Litter Tray.
Kittens will automatically go to a corner to toilet and likewise they will not eat from bowls which are too close to the litter tray. When preparing for your kittens arrival think about where you will put the food and water also the litter tray and the kittens bed. These all need to be in a quiet area of the house where the kitten can have some privacy.
5. Peace and Quiet.
Try not to have visitors straight away your kitten will be frightened and too many people may scare him/her. If you have children make sure they know not to run up to the kitten or be too noisy. The kitten must have some space where it cannot be disturbed. For example it is not to be touched if it is in bed.
6. Access to the house.
When settling your kitten in for the first few days you may find it useful to restrict access to the house to just a couple of ground floor rooms. This can be useful as your kitten has less chance of being ‘caught short’ while trying to remember where you have hidden the litter tray. It is also useful to know exactly where your kitten is. Imagine your kitten decides to go to sleep under your sofa but forgets to tell you that they are going for a snooze. Can you imagine searching the whole house looking for your kitten? Or would you be wondering if somebody has let your kitten outside by mistake? Much easier to find a missing kitten when you can narrow the search area down to a couple of rooms and are not in full panic mode!
7. Introducing existing pets.
Sometimes an existing pet will feel somewhat “put out” by a new arrival. Here are a few ways you can help to introduce them slowly. Please remember that it will take time and patience for them to become friends.
- Let them get used to each other’s smell using blankets or your own clothes.
- Put their food bowls either side of a closed door and feed them both at the same time.
- Give the existing pet lots of extra attention and cuddles.
- Introduce them under supervision making sure dogs are under control and the kitten has an escape route if needed.
- Feed them in the same room gradually moving them closer together.
- Make sure both cats have their own litter trays at first.
- Don’t intervene unless they are seriously in danger of hurting one another.
Your kitten may not feel like eating. You could try warming the food up slightly in the microwave but always check the temperature before giving in to your kitten.
There are stress relieving products on the market in the form of sprays and plug ins. Ask your veterinarian for more details and recommendations.
10. Let them come to you.
Your kitten will take time to build up a bond with you. If they hide just sit quietly and let them come to you. Encourage them with treats and toys but never force the situation just be patient and understanding.