A kitten can be an exciting addition to any family, but they are also a lot of work, so we have compiled some information to make the transition a little smoother.
If you don’t have your kitten yet, here is a list of things you might want to think about before you bring one home:
- Research the right breed for you
- Talk to veterinarians to see which one makes you and your family feel most comfortable. A good veterinarian is a great partner to help you care for your cat throughout their life
- Talk to your veterinarian about nutrition, enrichment and medical care for your kitten
- Purchase the necessary carriers for times when your cat needs to travel
- Purchase food and water bowls and decide where your kitten will eat
- Purchase a litterbox for your cat. We recommend that cats remain inside with proper enrichment as this is safest for cats and protects birds and other wildlife. However, even if your cat will go outside, it is still a good idea to litterbox train them to prevent indoor accidents.
- Prepare children and other pets for the addition of the new kitten
- Some cats do well with collars and leashes but all collars should easily break away in case the collar is caught on something
- Introduction to a scratching post or tree early on can help protect your furniture in the future
Remember that the decisions you make now for your kitten will help to shape the rest of their life.
What Should I Expect the First Few Days?
It is important to remember that kittens are new to this world. Almost everything that they are experiencing, they are experiencing for the first time. For this reason, it is important to expose them to new things with a positive attitude. When you bring your new kitten home, make sure that it is not too overwhelming. Allow your kitten to check out the areas where it will stay and reward positive behaviour in these areas. It is a good idea to show your kitten where you expect it to toilet before anything else. If your kitten does use this area right away, be sure to reward the behaviour right away as well. Kittens are curious creatures but it is not unusual for them to be afraid of loud noises, strange animals or people. To help with this, create positive spaces for your kitten to feel safe. Be sure to expose your kitten to a wide variety of experiences while rewarding them for the behaviour you expect. For example, if your kitten sits quietly while you turn the hairdryer on, reward them with praise or a treat.
Kittens can often want to stay up and play all night. To prevent this, keep your kitten active and enriched throughout the day. Allow your kitten to explore, “hunt” for food and play with toys.