Handling your kitten
Remember to handle your kitten carefully. Rough or sudden movement can terrify your pet. If you want to carry your kitten, the best way is to slide one hand, open wide, under the stomach with the other under the rear end for bigger breeds. Do not slide both hands under the front feet.
Introducing the new environment, new family members and possible fellow pets (dogs and/or cats already living in your household) is a very important stage in successfully integrating your kitten into their new home. A poor introduction could cause a feeling of frustration and/or jealousy for your existing pet(s). This must take place gradually and gently. You can take certain precautions and make subtle changes to protect your new kitten from “accidents waiting to happen” inside your home. Isolate the kitten so that they gradually learn the way around the house and won’t hide under furniture. Maintain your existing pet’s (dog and/or cat) privileges, but make introductions soon after your kitten arrives home so that they can be properly integrated into the household.
Children. Children often tend to almost smother the new arrival with attention. An adult cat is perfectly capable of avoiding children when they don’t want to be bothered, but a kitten is not. You should explain to your children that the kitten is not a toy, that they need lots of sleep and that they should not wake the kitten just to cuddle or play. It is best not to allow young children to play with the kitten when you are not present. Your supervision will ensure the child is gentle with the kitten and aid in avoiding scratches.
Other Cats. An adult cat does not always appreciate invasion of their territory. Some may show displeasure with threatening behavior. Total acceptance may take several months. During the introduction, try introducing the cats on neutral territory during play or meal times. Separate the cats if any aggression begins to appear. Repeat the process until the cats no longer mind each other’s presence and begin to share. A hier archical relationship will then be established between the cats, are lationship that you must respect.
Dogs. A well-socialized dog will easily accept the young kitten. Older dogs may be less tolerant, but a slow introduction will prove to be worth the effort as you allow the pets to get acclimated and accept each other.
Your kitten’s first nights.
The first night is often very disturbing for your kitten. It is normal for the kitten to cry the first three to four nights.
Your kitten’s first things
It’s a good idea to have all the necessary items before the kitten is brought home. Your list should include food, feeding bowls, a litter box, a bed and toys. All of these accessories are available in pet supply stores:
Food. Please, follow your breeder recommendations about how to feed your kitten.
Food and Water Bowls. Choose a small bowl for kitten food (an adult cat only eats four to six ounces of food per day)and a bigger one for fresh water, which must always be available. Glass, crystal or ceramic bowls are recommended.
Litter Box. Select a container that is deep enough and a scoop to remove droppings. There are several different kinds of litterboxes, including a covered litter box that can help to avoid accidental spill sand limit odors.
Bedding. The kitten will choose their own place to sleep, but it is important to provide a warm comfortable place where the kitten will feel safe (you may want to use the carrying crate you used to bring the kitten home).
Scratching Post. Providing appropriate places to scratch will help to avoid damage inside your home.
Cat Tree. Kittens love to climb up high and twist around between two branches. A cat tree helps to limit excessive rushing
about and jumping on furniture while still allowing the kitten to satisfy the need for exercise.
Toys. Toys can be either bought, hand made or even just items found around the house. Toys will encourage the kitten to interact and play. And play will keep her entertained so she is less likely to cause problems stemming from boredom.
Choosing a veterinarian
It is important to have an initial checkup after obtaining your kitten and for follow-up care, so choosing a veterinarian before your new kitten comes home can save time. If you don’t have a veterinarian, friends or family members with pets can make recommendations. Here are a few tips to help you choose a veterinarian, if you are unable to keep the kitten’s original veterinarian.
Preference. Meet the veterinarian and see the facilities. The veterinary staff should be friendly and helpful. The veterinarian must be trustworthy and have expertise in dealing with cats.
Proximity. Choose a veterinarian’s office that is close to your home. This is not only an issue of your convenience, but will allow you to get there quickly in case of an emergency.
Hours. It is important to make sure your vet’s hours of operation coincide with your schedule. Many veterinarians have extended evening or weekend hours to accommodate work schedules.
Emergencies. Many veterinarians refer to after-hours emergency clinics. Ask if the veterinarian answers after-hours emergency calls, or refers emergencies to a local clinic. If the vet refers to a clinic for after-hours emergencies, be sure to ask where the emergency clinic is located.
Making your home safe
Without realizing it, there are many dangers that exist inside your home, and oversights can jeopardize your kitten’s safety. New habits and certain arrangements will help you to protect your kitten from possible household accidents. By kitten-proofing now, you can avoid a lot of heartache later. Just as you would with a baby, you need to make sure the whole house is safe from anything dangerous to the kitten. By getting down at the kitten’s level you can assess potential hazards.
Hide any exposed electrical wires.
Put all pesticides, weed and rat killers and all medications out of the kitten’s reach.
Put away small items such as rubber bands, string, needles, etc.
Don’t leave plastic bags or things made out off foam lying around.
Close the trash can lid and the toilet seat cover.
Be careful with hot irons.
Be careful with all indoor plants - many household plants are toxic to cats.
Kittens have a tendency to lurk in cupboards, drawers and laundry baskets, and very often get inside washing machines and dryers. Look for possible hiding places to minimize the risk of accidents.
While this is an exciting time for you, it can be a rather frightening time of adjustment for your new kitten. The kitten will be leaving the security of their mother and littermatesand experiencing a multitude of new sights, sounds and smells. You are now responsible for your kitten’s health and safety. You have taken the place of them other and now the kitten will rely on you for confidence and protection. Remember that your kitten has just been brought into totally unknown surroundings. Curb your enthusiasm, move gently and don’t shout. Avoid handling the kitten excessively. A noisy or agitated atmosphere could cause your kitten to be a nervous and fearful adult.
Getting a kitten