Getting a new kitten can be exciting and daunting all at the same time. We've put together some advice to help you welcome your new member to the family.
Bringing her home
When you welcome your new kitten home, she might take a little bit of time to get used to her new surroundings. Keep things calm and quiet. Let her discover everything for herself and here's a few things you can do to help her settle in:
Choose her room
Decide which room your kitten will 'live' in for the first few days and make sure it has a door or some other way of shielding her from the hustle and bustle of daily life (including children and other pets). Kitchens or Utility rooms work well. Anywhere with a waterproof floor is best in case of any accidents.
High places and hiding spots
Cats and kittens love to hide and climb up high so they can survey their surroundings. A bit like their lion ‘cousins’ would do So, if you can, choose a room where your kitten can hide easily and where there's also somewhere she can get up high. If you can help her recreate her natural behaviour, you will help her settle in more easily.
The litter tray
Your kitten would naturally choose the most quiet and secluded place to go to the toilet. Try to place her litter tray in a corner opposite the door. Don't forget to have tray liners and a scoop ready. Clean out her tray regularly as cats are fastidious animals and she may go to the toilet somewhere else if her tray is dirty. Change the cat litter every few days. It’s recommended to have one litter tray per cat. If you buy two or more kittens from the same litter they may be happy using one litter tray but make sure it is a large one.
Food and water bowls
Place her food and water as far away as possible from her litter tray, at least one metre away. Also choose shallow bowls, so she doesn't bang her sensitive whiskers. Cats prefer drinking from ceramic bowls rather than plastic bowls. They also love fresh running water so if you have the space consider investing in a water fountain.
This should be comfortable, warm and easy to clean. But don't be surprised if she prefers to choose another place to sleep in – her independent nature is one of the many things you'll love about her!
You'll need this for her first journey home and for later trips to the vet. Put a nice cosy blanket in there for the trip home.
Scratching is a very natural, but also, complex behaviour for cats – it keeps claws in good hunting condition and it produces both scent and visual signals. Scratching posts provide a great outlet for her natural behaviour. There is a vast choice of cat scratching posts available now. In your cats eyes: the bigger the better!
Other useful things to buy:
Suitable grooming equipment for your breed
Fast release collar
Toys for playing
Keep the house as quiet as possible when you bring your kitten home and don't be surprised if she seems a bit timid at first. Show her where her 'room' is and let her explore by herself. Leave a door slightly ajar for her to come and go and she'll soon let you know when she's ready to explore more. Explain to children to leave them alone to settle in, and never to wake a sleeping kitten. Like babies; they need their rest to develop properly.