Now that you’ve prepared your home for your kitten and you’ve brought your little one home, the next crucial step for you is to be there for your kitten and help them adjust to their new house as soon as possible. In short, this is how you can make them feel at home!
Here’s what the first month or so is going to be like:
- The first week is going to be very important. This is the period during which your kitten will be most stressed because of the new environment, new people and new routines. Be patient, give into your kitten’s needs for this week.
- Take some time off from work and other commitments, if possible. To fully understand your kitten and their needs, you’ll need to keep a constant eye on them. This will ensure you identify their patterns, behaviours, personality and any potential problems you might face in the future.
- Set up the litter box in a place you prefer but remember to choose a spot where your kitten will also feel comfortable. So somewhere with not too much movement/traffic and activity would be best.
- Slowly start to train your kitten to use the litter box. Accidents will occur in the first few days/weeks. Clean up any instances and make sure to properly mask the smell. Move the material you used to clean the area to the litter box so your kitten understands where they are supposed to go. Do not use any harsh correction measures, they don’t work and will only make your kitten fearful/aggressive towards you.
- Do not force your kitten to do things, if they want to sleep, let them sleep. If they choose to eat, let them eat, if they want to play, by all means, do play with them!
- Your kitten’s diet. For now, stick to whatever it is your kitten was eating in their previous place. If that was their mother’s milk then opt for kitten cerelac for a while and then move on to a kitten starter diet if your kitten is below 3 months of age.
- No major food changes for a week. After a week or 10 days, slowly transition to the food you want your kitten to eat. Slowly increase the quantity of the new food and reduce the amount of the old one.
- Set up a sleeping spot for your kitty. Whether it’s the very crate you got them in or a brand new bed. You should get them used to either of them. This will save you the trouble of trying to get them used to it later which will only result in you buying multiple expensive products. And what will your kitten end up choosing? Their absolute favorite cardboard box!
- If you have other pets make sure to only allow them to smell the kitten while you are holding them. Stick to supervised interactions. You don’t want any unnecessary accidents happening from an overzealous kitten and an unsuspecting pet. Over time, slowly allow the interactions to become a little freer till you notice your pet accepting your new kitten and playing along with them.
- Once the first week has passed and if your kitten has settled in well, eating well, passing good motions, head on over to the vet for their first vaccination/deworming if they are above 2 months old. Or else get their first deworming done in case it is due and not already done. You can consult a vet for the same.
- For the above, their crate training will be very useful. It will ensure your kitten feels safe in their crate and will willingly go in when needed. Make sure to line your crate with a soft blanket and maybe a toy or two.
- Get a collar for your kitty. This will help you gain a little more control of them in case they’re headed towards danger. You don’t want them to be put into the habit of being lifted constantly. Also, they look pretty darn adorable and some even come with a little bell so it will help you keep track of your kitty when you can’t see them.
- As your kitten becomes more confident, they will start scratching, jumping and climbing. Make sure to get appropriate toys and accessories like a cat tree and a scratching pad/post. A timely scratching pad purchase will save your furniture from turning into your kitty’s artboard.
- Finally, Make sure the other members of your family follow the same instructions for your kitten as you do. Different treatments will confuse your kitten and can potentially lead to the development of bad habits.
- Onboarding your other family members - This is especially important for children and infants who may not have been exposed to a pet animal before. Make them understand the things your new kitten will be going through and respect your kitten's space at an early stage. This will make sure your kitten and child get along much better with neither of them getting accidentally injured in the process.
- A safe room rather than a complete house - In case you are not able to completely kitten-proof your house, start with a smaller room. Completely kitten-proof it using the above recommendations and set it up with the above supplies so your kitten has easy access to everything they need. Once your kitten is acclimated to the room then you can move onto the rest of your house. This also gives you some time to understand your kitten better and accordingly prepare the rest of your house to be safe for their access.
- With children and toddlers especially, make sure the initial interactions are supervised and you teach and train your toddler how to safely and securely hold your new kitten without causing any pain or discomfort. One simple rule is one hand below the chest and the other supporting the butt (rear end).
Simply follow the above steps and in no time you’ll have yourself the best little kitty you can ever imagine which will bring you and your family nothing but joy and happiness.