Bringing a kitten into your home is sure to be the start of an exciting adventure – for you and your new feline friend. Preparing your home for the snuggles, love and laughter your curious kitty will help make the transition easier for everyone.
Your kitty will likely be 8-10 weeks old when you bring her home. Kittens need to be weaned before they can leave their mom and litter-mates. Although some kittens wean earlier, the benefits of remaining with mom are vast. Separating kitty from mom too soon can cause unnecessary stress on the cat and make her fearful of people.
Ready to bring kitty home? Here are a few things you need to know.
Having the necessary supplies in your home and ready for kitty’s arrival will make the transition easier for everyone. These are the basic supplies you should have on hand before bring kitty home.
- Cat carrier
- Bowls or dishes for her food and water
- Food (be sure it is for kittens and adult cats)
- Litter box – complete with litter and a scoop
- Collar or tag
- Toys and/or scratching post
- Grooming supplies
- Toiletries including ear cleaner and a dental kit.
You want to get your newest family member safely. The best way to do so is in a secure cat carrier. If you are planning on using a used carrier, be sure to clean it well. Cats, even the youngest, have an incredible sense of smell, may be uncomfortable with if they sense another animal. Place a towel on the bottom of the carrier just in case she has an accident — excitement can do that to a kitten!
Upon arrival home, place the carrier near her new bed. She may find it comforting to return to as she adjusts to her new surroundings. Place one of your shirts in her bed so she can become more familiar with your scent. Have her litter box should be set up as should her food and water bowls….though her litter box should be on the opposite side of the room or even in a different one. Allow kitty to explore her new home and discover new hiding places. It won’t take long before she is comfortable! If she has 4 legged siblings, you will want to keep her separate to start. Having a place of her own will help build her confidence.
Place kitty in her litter box after waking from a nap as well as after eating. If she doesn’t go, bring her back hourly. She will instinctively know to bury her waste. You can help her out to start by gently taking her paw and simulating digging. You will be amazed at how quickly she gets used to it.
Cuddling with your kitty is something you have likely been looking forward to since first deciding to adopt. Unfortunately, you will need to be patient and show restraint. Allow her to come to you when she is ready. You will need to handle her. To to so, place one hand behind her front legs and use the other to support her hind legs. While this should be common knowledge, let us remind you that you should not EVER grab her by the ears or tail.
Make an appointment to visit a vet soon after bringing kitty home. In addition to a physical, you will want to have her tested for parasites and get her vaccinated. Find a vet clinic close to home that you are comfortable with so you can call them should there be any issues that arise with the health and well-being of your new pet.
Congratulations on your newest addition! She is bound to bring much love into your home.