It is always an exciting experience to introduce a new pet to the family home. While we may know the ins and outs of our most lived-in space, your new kitten will be introduced into an entirely new world. It can be a bit scary and overwhelming, being a little like leaving your 3yo toddler in the middle of a major shopping centre and walking off. Just like humans, kittens are not all the same and will all react differently to their new home – but we’ve put together some tips that can help you make their transition a smooth and comfortable one. Preparing in advance is key!
We highly recommend registering with your vet before bringing your kitten home. You will also be able to discuss all things vaccination, microchipping, neutering, fleas and worms with us. Let us help you start form a place of best information to keep your new introduction at their best, from the get go.
It’s good to remember that you are essentially introducing a baby animal into your home – ‘kitten-proofing’ will help create a comfortable environment for your new pet and hopefully lessen the opportunity of your kitten getting lost, hurt, or damaging things at home.
The most important factor we’d like to stress is that kittens can and often like to squeeze into small spaces – and sometimes it’s not a very safe space they choose. Check around the house and try to block off access into appliances, cupboards, and gaps in furniture. Recliner chairs and clothes driers continue to be the most lethal household items. It’s also important to make sure that you close doors and lids for things such as the washing machine, dryer, and even the toilet – always make sure to double check your kitten hasn’t crawled into an appliance before using it! Remove all access to cables and wires as well – just like puppies, kittens like to play and chew! You can try applying Vicks VapoRub or aluminium foil to them as a deterrent.
Try to grab everything you need for your kitten before you bring them home. Take a look at this basic checklist we’ve made to make sure you have all the essentials:
- Kitty litter + tray
- Toys / scratching post
- Collar with a bell
Familiarity: We recommend using the same litter and food that your breeder has been using in the beginning, then if you would like a change, transition over a few weeks. This will help reduce instances of inappropriate toileting, or indigestion and upset tummies. If you have any questions – especially about diet – please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Bringing your kitten home:
Getting your kitten settled and feeling safe is an important step. We recommend you allow your kitten to explore on its own terms in a safe and enclosed room when you first bring it home. Smaller spaces will help reduce overwhelm. Make sure this room has an accessible snuggly bed, food and water.- Remember that this is a totally new experience for your new pet, there will be plenty of time for cuddles later. Gentle playing and petting is encouraged if your kitten is comfortable doing so – this will help build trust. Absolute warning here, if you cannot cuddle and pat this kitten in the breeders home before purchase, please walk away. They should be able to be handled where they are comfortable, we often see kittens that struggle with contact initially go on to have stress and mental health concerns throughout life. Please note that it’s totally normal for kittens to hide for the first few days in your new home, – there are so many new smells, sights, and sounds for them to adjust to! As this trust evolves, you can gradually start introducing your kitten into new rooms – this will help you keep track of your kitten’s whereabouts and prevent a panicked experience of “where did the kitten go!?”. Collar and bell a big help here. Make sure they know where the litter tray is, as well as their food and water.
When you have other pets at home:
Please make sure that you keep all other pets in a separate room while introducing your new kitten to their new home. This will help all animals get used to each other’s scent and noise. When introducing pets to your new kitten face to face, make sure to hold them or keep them on a leash, and allow them to explore and intervene if you detect aggressive signs.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any queries you may have with introducing a new kitten to other pets. While we’d all love for our pets to get along, sometimes this doesn’t happen immediately – we can help suggest strategies to minimise instances of aggressive behaviour and intimidation.
When it’s time to go to bed, we recommend setting up your kitten in a single room or enclosed area with its bed and litter tray – make sure any water or food is not placed in close proximity to the litter, after all I’m sure you don’t want to eat dinner in the toilet..
If you have any concerns or further questions about your pet please book in for a consultation either online or by calling our awesome reception team on 9369-1822.