How to prepare for a new kitten
Deciding to expand your family with a new kitten is exciting, but it can also be extremely daunting. Whether you’re worrying about how to introduce your new kitten to existing pets or whether it’s how to kitten-proof the house, making sure the home is ready for your new bundle of fluff has never been easier with Meowee!
To make sure you can enjoy welcoming your new addition to their new home, (rather than pulling your hair out when they arrive), there are a few simple steps you can follow to prepare for their arrival. Then before you even know it, the entire family will be in fur-baby bliss.
How to make your new kitten feel at home
Whether you’re collecting her from a breeder or if you have decided that rescuing a kitten is the way to go, you will usually have some time to prepare for the little fluffy tornado that you’re about to bring home. So we recommend you use the time as wisely as possible, making sure the house is kitten-proof, buying all the essentials and doing some research into the best vets in your area.
But why not make a start with some of the ‘cute’ stuff? And what better way than with a name for them - this will help with the excitement of bringing home your new kitten. This might be a really simple one. Maybe your four-year-old would like to name her after her favourite Disney princess or maybe he’s got some cute features which make naming him easy, like he has white fur-socks, so his new name is, rather obviously, Socks! Either way, giving them a name early on makes the experience all the more real and exciting.
Another rather thoughtful idea, if it’s possible with the breeder or rescue centre, is to take your new kitten a blanket or toy to their current home about a week before you bring them to their forever home. Ask the foster paw-rents to put the blanket or toy in bed with the kitten’s cat-mum, then when you go to pick her up you can bring back the comforter for their bed at home so they still have the soothing smell of their fur-mum and possible litter mates for the first week or so whilst they settle in. This also means that your sleep shouldn’t be so disturbed in the early days, meaning more energy for playtime!
What to prepare for your new kitten
To say that your kitten will be inquisitive when they enter their new home is an understatement. Although it might take them a while to settle in completely, it’s important to let them explore their surroundings and discover things in their own time. However, there are lots of things you can do to speed along the settling-in process.
Choose one room at a time
It can be extremely overwhelming for your kitten when you bring them home for the first time. Make sure that they only have access to one room to start off with, and that this room has doors that you can shut so that she is shielded from any hustle and bustle in your home. Ensure that they have everything they need in this room before they arrive, including; fresh food and water in case they’re hungry or thirsty, a cosy bed (with the addition of their comforter), a litter tray, a small collection of toys and a cat scratcher - to alleviate stress from your carpets and curtains!
As exciting as it may be for the rest of the family and other pets, it’s important to introduce them to your new kitten gradually. This room is their safe-haven, so make sure it’s not crowded when they arrive as he will need time to explore. Most of all, just remember that this experience is very alien to him. He’s used to being with his fur-mum & litter mates, an environment he’s been removed from, so it may take him time to come out of his shell completely. On the other hand she might be a confident soul who is climbing the walls (sometimes literally!) in one room, so just use your own judgement on when to let them explore the next area, taking one room at a time.
A cat litter tray is very important for the early days when bringing your kitten home. Hopefully they will be litter trained, but make sure that the tray is easily accessible for your kitten and once they have had a little explore just gently show them where the tray is - just to minimise risk of accidents. Cats are naturally very clean pets, which means that they like their litter trays to be kept clean. So make sure you have a scoop, tray liners and wipes at the ready. Don’t be too worried if she doesn't use the litter tray straight away, it’s likely that her mind is just occupied with all the exploring she needs to do.
It’s a cat’s natural instinct to hide when they feel nervous and anxious. This means it’s a good idea to create a couple of hidey-holes in their safe space, whether that be under a sofa, a cardboard box or a Meowee! Cat Tent. This will just help to reassure your new kitten in times that might be extra noisy or overwhelming for them.
You will also need to get a cat carrier for bringing home your new kitten, this doubles up as a nice hiding place for him to relax if it all gets too much. When you open the carrier for the first time don’t be down-hearted if your new kitten is reluctant to come out. Just let him come out in his own time, avoiding coaxing him out with treats, toys or even dragging him out. He will eventually pluck up the courage to venture out and explore his new surroundings. Just make sure to leave the carrier in his room so that he can use it as a hiding spot whenever he needs.
Food & Water
Kitten’s tummies can be very sensitive, which means it’s really important to find out from the breeder or rescue centre what food your new fur-baby is being fed before they come to their forever home. You might have a particular food in mind that you would like to feed them, but it’s important that you gradually wean them onto this to help avoid any unnecessary tummy upsets - stomach aches will only get in the way of play time and cuddles!
Cats also prefer for their litter trays to be as far away from their food and water as possible. This may prove difficult if their safe space is fairly small - but, if you can, try and keep them separate. You can always move their food and water to a different room once they start to explore more of the house.
A Cosy Bed
As cat owners we’re aware that cats can be extremely fussy when it comes to where they sleep. They usually prefer to make a bed out of anything but the nice, cosy bed you have bought especially for them - our favourites being; pieces of paper, cardboard boxes & inside the tumble drier (just remember to keep an eye on this!). Tiny kittens can sleep anywhere between 20-22 hours a day! - they have lots of growing to do after all. So if you’re around, it’s likely they will fall asleep right in the middle of playtime or prefer taking naps on your knee/in your arms for warmth.
However it is important that your new kitten has a cosy place to sleep at night or whilst you’re out during the day. If you’re reluctant to spend pennies on a bed they’re unlikely to sleep in beyond kitten-hood, you can quite easily create a bed out of a shallow cardboard box or fruit & vegetable crate - just line the bottom with blankets and/or towels and add a warm hot water bottle at night if it’s particularly cold.
Other things to consider
Toys - It’s no secret that kitten’s love play time. Once your new fur-baby has explored a little they will be ready for action, and having some toys ready for them will mean they’re less likely to settle with your soft furnishings with those needle claws!
Collar - If you plan on your kitten wearing a cat collar throughout their life, it’s important to start young. Once they’re settled in, try them in a fast-releasing collar which is essential for inquisitive cats.
Neutering, Vaccines & Micro-chipping - Dependent on where your new kitten started their life, they may have already been neutered, vaccinated & micro-chipped before starting their journey with you. But it’s important to double check this with the breeder or rescue centre as it may influence your decision based on extra cost.
Most importantly, just enjoy this precious time with your kitten. Follow these simple steps on how to prepare for your new kitten and your fur-baby will be creating lots of laughs and smiles for the whole family in no time!