Are You Mentally Prepared
Getting a new kitten is much more than just cuddles and cute photos. It can be stressful, hard work and exhausting its not that different from bringing home a human baby! Expect some late nights and early mornings as you help your kitten adjust to their new home, as well as a few missteps as they learn to use their litter box and scratching post.Cats are curious, independent and love exploring, so its important that you set some boundaries from the start. While there are bound to be some hiccups along the way, ultimately getting a new kitty will be one of the best choices you can make. Youll be rewarded with years of happy purrs, meows and rewarding friendship.
How Can I Help My Cat Accept The Carrier
You probably got off to a good start with the pet carrier by following the recommendations for bringing your new kitty home. Continued crate training will come in handy over the kittys lifetime. There will be trips to the veterinarian or vacation travel or times of home confinement that require short stays inside the pet carrier.
To foster positive feelings about the pet carrier, start by leaving the carrier in the cats feeding quarters with the door open. Place toys or his food bowl inside the carrier to entice him inside. A pleasant experience and the freedom to come and go as he pleases will give your cat a better view of the carrier.
“A pleasant experience and the freedom to come and go as he pleases will give your cat a better view of the carrier.”
After he becomes comfortable entering and leaving the carrier of his own accord, close the door briefly while he is inside. ;Each time, try to leave the kitten in a bit longer before allowing him to exit. Contrary to your instincts, never allow the kitten out when he cries or scratches at the crate or he will associate those behaviors with escape. Instead, wait until the kitten is calm and quiet, praise him and allow him to exit.
Prepare Your Home For Your New Kitten
Bear in mind that kittens are incredibly curious and will try to explore everywhere. Block access to potential escape routes or dangers such as toxic cleaning products, exposed electrical cables or potted plants that are poisonous to cats .
You may also want to consider using cat-safe cleaning products. And dont forget, as well as protecting your kitten from your home, you also need to protect your home from your kitten. A scratching post or cat tree can help your new cat release any excess energy and keep your sofa and other furniture safe from their growing claws.
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Set Up A Feeding Schedule
To keep up with your kittens appetite, youll want to establish a daily feeding routine. The best way to ensure that youre not under or over-feeding your kitten is to consult with you veterinarian about how much and how often to feed. At 3 to 6 moths of age, most vets recommend feeding your kitten three times a day. Once hes reached six months, you can scale it back to twice a day. Keep stocking your pantry with kitten food until your baby reaches adulthood, 9 to12 months old. In addition, dont forget to keep his water bowl fresh and filled at all times. But hold the milk. Contrary to popular belief, milk is not nutritionally sufficient for kittens and can give them diarrhea.
Get advice on the best way to litterbox train your kitten.
Phase 4 Cat Meets Cat
- Let the cats meet at their own pace. If there are no signs of aggression between cats, leave the door to the safe room open a crack. This will allow the new cat to explore and/or your resident cat to visit. Supervision is necessary for the safety of both cats.
- In case of aggression, have a spray bottle filled with water or a towel handy. Always stop serious threats and/or aggression immediately, as a serious fight may damage the potential for successful integration and relationship.
- If over a period of weeks your integration plan is not going well, consider the installation of an inexpensive screen door from a building supply store. The screen door allows the cats to continue to get to know each other by sight and smell, while keeping both parties safe. Each cat can take turns in the screened room.
- A Feliway diffuser may also prove helpful when integration is difficult.
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Kitten Toothbrush And Toothpaste
Most people dont even think about brushing their kitten’s teeth. The first set of teeth is going to fall out anyway, so whats the point, right?
Wrong! Dental care is an important part of your kittens overall health. Yes, those baby teeth will fall out, but their gums need to be healthy too. Plus, starting a tooth brushing routine early helps your kitten get used to this practice.;
Toothbrushing can also help with the teething process. A soft-bristled brush or a rubber finger brush can be used to massage the gums and help new teeth push through the surface of the gums.;
How To Get A Kitten Used To A New Home
Once youre home safely, it is time to gently introduce your kitten to their new environment. Give them the freedom to explore their new room, toys and items no doubt giving them all a good sniff! If they choose to hide, sit quietly in the room and gently talk to them rather than forcing them out from their hiding space. It is completely natural for kittens to hide initially in a strange new environment.
For the first few days, limit them to just a couple of rooms initially so that they dont feel overwhelmed. As they become more confident, you can introduce them to other areas of the house.
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To Provide Your New Kitten With A Safe Happy And Healthy Home There Are Things You Should Prepare In Advance Heres Our Guide To The 10 Things You Must Do Before The Arrival Of Your New Kitten
Bringing a kitten home can be a wonderful and joyous experience, but if youre unprepared, it can be overwhelming. A kitten can be just like a baby, as they need lots of attention and consideration of their every need. Your kitten depends on you so heres how you should prepare your home for a new pet.
Helping Adult Cats To Settle In
Preparation is the key to a calm introduction so you will already have prepared your home by purchasing all the necessary items, such as litter tray, food and water bowls, scratching post and bedding. It is advisable to keep a new cat indoors for at least two to three weeks to ensure it becomes fully acclimatised to the new home and less likely to panic and stray in search of somewhere else more familiar.
This will be a potentially challenging time for an adult cat adopted from a rehoming centre as a period of confinement often leaves them in a state of anxiety. The cat may retreat into a hiding place initially but is best left there as you go about your business to allow it to decide alone when it is safe to explore. Cats will occasionally in the first few days only eat and use their litter tray in the dead of night. The really anxious cat may even fail to do either for the first twenty-four hours. This is a part of the process that is best ignored by putting down fresh food and checking the litter tray regularly and letting nature take its course. If the situation persists beyond this period then it would be wise to consult a veterinarian.
If you already have a resident cat, dont rush the introductions as this is a very important step.
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What Should I Do If I Have Other Pets
Some kittens not only face a new home, they also face a new family that includes other pets as well as humans. Some kittens may show fear and defensive postures toward other pets in the home, but most young kittens are simply playful and inquisitive around other animals. In fact, existing pets that have an established territorial instinct for the home may pose more of an aggressive problem than the new kitty. If you know or suspect that your dog or cat might be aggressive toward the kitten, choreograph their introduction with safety in mind.
Keep your cat or dog on a leash or have someone hold them when introducing the new kitten. Allow the pets to explore each other and intervene only if you detect signs of impending aggression. Usually, gently correcting inappropriate behavior on the part of the new or existing pet and reinforcing desired responses will diffuse the situation, but be prepared to use the leash and retreat quickly if tensions escalate.
Planning ahead will make the introduction of the new kitten easier. Review training commands with your dog. Ask him to sit and stay if either he or the kitty becomes agitated during the introduction. Have him on a leash in case a hasty retreat is necessary. Resident cats may not respond to voice commands, but they can be placed on a leash/harness for quick avoidance of dangerous behavior.
The introduction period will usually last one to two weeks and will have one of three possible outcomes:
Timely Grooming And Wellness
Trimming the claws and brushing its coat are another two important elements of taking care of your newborn kittens.
The sooner you start the routine of your cats maintenance, the easier process it will be for both of you as the days and years go by. There wont be much resistance from your kittens part and negligence on your part as well since this would already have become a normal routine for both you and your kittens.
Another important factor to note here is your kittens wellness or well-being from the beginning.
Schedule appointments in the nearest vet clinic with a veterinarian for your newborn kittens preferably in the first week or two after their birth to check for any abnormalities and conduct an overall wellness check.
As newborn kittens are prone to illnesses such as respiratory infections, ear mites, and intestinal parasites etc, a regular visit to the vet clinic can help to prevent such illnesses from developing in your newborn kittens.
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Helping Your Kitten Settle In
Restrict your kitten to one room for the first few weeks, then gradually let it explore the rest of the house. Put your kittens bed and toys in this room, as well as the litter tray and its food and water bowls, advises Maeve. Tuck the litter tray into a quiet corner, as far away from the food bowls as possible, because cats and kittens are super-sensitive about hygiene.
If your kitten seems distressed, a cat-appeasing pheromone diffuser, such as Feliway, can help. Finally, if you have other pets, make sure your kitten meets them for the first time in a safe, supervised environment. Letting them smell each others toys or bedding before they meet can help, adds Maeve.
Phase 3 Cat Meets Dog
- Bring the dog in on a leash. Once the cat is used to your home, let the cat roam loose in one room. Keep the dog on a leash and have dog treats ready in your pocket. If possible, have another person the cat is familiar with on the other side of the room to reassure and distract the cat from the dog.
- Sit and meet. Keep the dog seated and focused on you as the leader. Try offering the dog a toy. If the dog focuses on or accepts the toy, reward the dog with a treat. If the dog tries to stand and move towards the cat, correct the dog slightly with the leash and reward him or her with a treat. If at any point the dog is not responding to your commands or the cats stress level appears elevated, remove the dog from the room. Keep repeating this process until the dog is responding to you and either ignoring or accepting the cat. This process helps teach the dog that cats are not prey, toys to be chased, or threats.
- Watch. Never leave the dog and cat unsupervised until you are absolutely sure they have built up a mutual, trusting and respectful relationship.
- Make sure kitty has some space for alone time. Even once the cat and dog are comfortable with each other, cats still like having the option to retreat to a space away from the dog. Place a baby gate across the doorway of a room in the house where the cat or cats like to hang out, or buy or build a tall cat tower so they can retreat when needed.
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Make Socializing A Priority
Play with your cat frequently and handle him gently. Kittens need to be socialized so they won’t be scared of humans. Try using an interactive toy to build your bond. You might also consider clicker training to engage him even more.
This is an excellent time to start gently touching your kitten’s paws, so he gets used to the sensation. This will help your cat stay calm in the future when you need to;trim his nails.
Start some traditions or rituals that your kitten looks forward to, like cracking open an exterior door or window just a little every morning, so he gets “smells” from the outside world.3;Or maybe play a game of “chase the feather wand” when you get home from work. Create little traditions that happen at the same time every day, so your kitten can anticipate them.
After a few weeks, you can start to invite friends over for visits. The more your kitten is around other people who treat him nicely, the less scared he will be of visitors when he’s an adult.
When you first bring your kitten home, he will likely feel a little fearful and overwhelmed. Try to be a comforting presence, helping your kitten slowly adjust to his new world. Before long, the two of you will be good friends embarking on a journey full of play, adventure, and snuggles.
1. Horwitz, Debra, Gary Landsberg, and Lynn Buzhardt. “Bringing Home Your New Kitten.” VCA Hospitals,;.
How To Brush Your Kittens Teeth
To prevent dental disease, most vets recommend brushing your cats teeth twice a week. PetMD recommends that you start by massaging your cats lips, then move on to the teeth and gums. You might want to do this for a few weeks until your cat is comfortable with it. Then, put pet toothpaste on your finger and massage their teeth. Finally, you can move on to putting toothpaste on a toothbrush and letting your cat lick it. Once theyre used to this step, its time to start brushing.
What about baths? Most cats can go their whole lives without bathing. But if your little explorer runs through some mud or needs special treatment for a skin condition, they may need a quick bath. Keep the water lukewarm and dry your kitten off with a towel afterward.
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What Should You Expect When Taking Care Of A Newborn Kitten
Caring for newborn kittens is more or less similar to taking care of newborn babies and if you are yet to experience motherhood, this can be a good practice before real babies come in your life. #newbornkitten
Taking care of newborn kittens comes with a huge responsibility and you will have to devote your time and efforts to make this work. Like human babies, they too may need you to work around the clock and especially if the mother cat is missing from the scene. You will have to prepare yourself for sleepless nights as you may likely need to wake up even in the middle of the night to feed them if necessary.
So, yes in a way its like caring for a human baby in that aspect. However; unlike humans, as they grow up much faster, you may only have to go through this process for a few months.
Bringing Home A Kitten
Once your home is set up for your cat, its time for the exciting part taking them home! Youll need a sturdy and well ventilated cat carrier for bringing your kitten home in the car, which will need to be secured with a seatbelt once your kitten is inside.
Most kittens arent keen on being in a cat carrier, especially as their environment is new and strange to them. To keep them calm, consider placing a blanket or item from their home inside. Cats are heavily reliant on scent and will settle much quicker if their surroundings smell familiar.
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New Kitten Checklist: Welcoming A New Kitten Into Your Home
Adding a new kitten to your family is exciting, but before you bring your new fluff home, its important to make sure you have everything you need with our New Kitten Checklist.
We put together a new kitten checklist complete with all the essential supplies you’ll need for your new kitty as well as some tips for getting your home ready.;