Welcome home – settling in your new kitten

4th April 2013

Getting to know their new surroundings, family and perhaps other animals is a daunting and important first step for your kitten. This process needs to be gradual and as stress-free as possible to help them settle in.

It is a good idea to already have all the creature comforts your kitten needs for its wellbeing and yours. Try to make a few adjustments and allowances to your home, so the kitten feels safe and secure on arrival. Be gentle, and try not to raise your voice, or pass the kitten round from hand to hand too much at the beginning.

Environment

Dangers in the Home

Kittens have a tendency to make themselves comfortable in cupboards, drawers, laundry baskets, under furniture or even in the drums of washing machines. If you can identify the future hiding places of your kitten, you will minimise the risk of accidents happening. Also always look out for your kitten when shutting doors, so they don’t get trapped in anywhere.

Precautions around the home

  • Conceal Electric wires
  • Block sockets
  • Pack away plastic bags
  • Put away pesticides, weed-killers and any toxic substances
  • Put away medicines
  • Close the lid on bins and toilet seats
  • Clear away small objects that may be swallowed, or played with (like elastic bands, drawing pins and needles)

House Plants

Your vet should be able to give you a full list of harmful plants for cats, but below is a list of the main potentially poisonous plants:

  • Cyclamen
  • Lillies
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Wisteria
  • Azelea
  • Phododendron
  • Poinsettia
  • Ivy
  • Aucuba
  • Sweet Pea
  • Weeping Fig

Essential Equipment

Cat Carrier

A cat carrier is essential to getting your kitten home safely, as well as for future car journeys. Travel can be stressful for your kitten and dangerous if they are walking about freely in the car. So perhaps place a blanket in the bottom of the carrier to make it more of a comfortable experience, and some paper towels for any accidents that may happen!

Bed

Have a comfortable bed ready for your kitten, although it may choose the sleep elsewhere! At least they will have a warm, safe area to go to.

Litter Tray

A tray and scoop need to be ready and waiting, so your kitten knows where to go to use the toilet. You may find a covered box is better so it limits the spread and any unpleasant smells. Remember to change the litter frequently, to keep it nice and clean.

Two Bowls

One for kibble – remember to check the feeding guidelines on their food, so you don’t encourage over-feeding.

Two for fresh water – it is recommended that water bowls are not placed near food, to prevent food from contaminating the water. Cats will often not drink from water near their food for this reason.

Toys

You may find a scratching toy useful – to spare your furniture! Toys will also prevent loneliness and boredom and help develop their physical capacities.

Cat Flap

Once your kitten is fully vaccinated and ready to visit the outside world; you will need a cat flap, so you don’t have to be there to let them in and out. The first outings in the garden will need to be closely supervised bit by bit.

Collar

Although microchipping maybe the preference, a collar is also an excellent and fast way to identify your kitten.


Category: Blog