Introducing a New Kitten to Your Home
Bringing home a new cat is an exciting time, but it is important to be prepared for the addition to your household to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible for both the kitten and the rest of the household.
Before bringing home a new kitten you should make sure that you have everything that she will need. A bed, food and water dishes and a litter tray are the very basics, but you may also want to have grooming supplies and a collar to get your new cat used to these things from the start. The earlier a cat is introduced to grooming items and a collar, the less stressed she will be when they are used.
Just before you let the kitten out of his carrier, make sure that your house is kitten proof. Check for any gaps or spaces that a tiny kitten might squeeze into to explore and get stuck, or hide for hours while her owners search frantically! Make sure that any electric cables are covered as some cats will chew these and risk electric shock. You will also want to clean up any toys or small ornaments that a curious kitten might play with or try to eat. That includes removing any breakable ornaments from anywhere within their reach! Remove all poisonous plants such as Lilies, and make sure that no plants pots are sitting in water dishes that your kitten might try to drink from and ingest fertilizers or pesticides. Pack away any sewing, knitting or craft supplies that a kitten might get into - while they might be great fun for a while, many items could injure your kitten or pose a choking hazard. Lastly, get into the habit of keeping doors and windows closed, as well as keeping the toilet seat lid down to prevent kitty slipping in.
Introduce the kitten to your home gradually, one room at a time, in order to let her get her bearings. Start with the room where her bed and toilet area will be and allow her to explore the room in her own time. Do not leave the kitten alone until you have watched her walk around the room and are sure that there is no trouble she can get into. Over the course of a week or so you can introduce her to other rooms in your home, each time monitoring her carefully. This is particularly important for toilet training, as you may have to scoop her up and rush her back to her toilet area if she has wandered too far.
Lay down the law of the house right from the start by not allowing your cat to jump on surfaces or to scratch inappropriately. Although it may be a while before your kitten is interested in a scratching post, having one in the house will allow her to become familiar with it and mark it with her scent. This will encourage her to use it when she is ready, rather than experiment with your furniture!
If you have young children, have them hold the kitten gently in open hands and let the kitten get to know them slowly. Never leave young children unsupervised with a small kitten as they may not understand how fragile they are. You should also teach your children that a kitten can scratch them, both deliberately if they play too rough and accidentally while they are climbing or jumping. Most children will learn a kitten's tolerance level quickly after a couple of swipes!
Other pets should also be introduced slowly and only if both animals are up to date on all of their vaccinations. First, expose both animals to a blanket or piece of clothing that carries their scent before allowing them to meet. The best way is to hold both the kitten and the other pet a distance apart and allow them to get the other's scent. Over the course of a few days they can slowly be brought closer together to allow sniffing and licking. Be sure to keep giving your pet plenty of attention while the kitten is around to prevent feelings of anxiety and jealousy. The true test of when two animals are ready to be allowed loose in each other's company is when they can both sit in the same room and ignore each other. NEVER rush two animals to become friends. They will have to spend time together in order to become familiar, as well as establish their own boundaries.With a little patience and care your kitten will settle in and be part of the family in no time.
Tom Woodcock is a cat Lover and regularly helps out a
local rescue centers. To learn more about Cat Supplies Cat accessories and pets visit him online.