Having a kitten is one of the most exciting times of your life. They are so mischievous and fun; they bring immediate excitement into your home. They also make a house a home instantly. However having a kitten isn’t all cute snuggles and tiny paw prints. Kittens are naughty; they act on pure instinct so they need some time to adjust to new surroundings so here are a few pointers on getting your home kitten ready.
- Firstly, this may seem logical. But make sure all your roommates are comfortable with a kitten being in the house. Kittens are very cheeky and they like to explore, so there’s no containing them for long. Also check your roommates are comfortable with the location of their litter-box and they don’t have any cat allergies (remember there are other breeds that are allergy appropriate).
- Secondly, the set up. Make sure your kitten has a designated meal area and a designated kitty litter area. Make sure your cat also has a suitable carrier to bring them home safely. NOTE: we have some very safe ones available here. Put a plastic bath matt under the litter box, because kittens are still learning and often they can have accidents.
- Third, have extra kitty litter, cat food and kitten milk at home. Be sure to ask the kittens’ previous owner about what they had been eating previously and whether they have a few sample packages for you to take home.
- Cats and kittens are very territorial, so you have to remember they may not be a ball of excitement when they first come home. To help them settle in better, leave their carrier door open and let them into one room (where their litter box, food and water is). Be sure to bring a blanket or something with familiar smells with them to their new home.
- Be patient. They need time to explore and discover their new surroundings. Be sure if you have other pets, to introduce them gradually. Because kittens are very small they can tend to be quite fast to become aggressive. Introduce one pet at a time (the most friendly pet first) and give them a little bit of supervised alone time.
- Gradually increase the time your kitten is allowed with other animals as well as access to the house. Be sure to check the regulations of your area to see whether cats are allowed to be outside in your area.
- Make sure to book them a follow up at a vet. Kittens need regular shots and injections to protect them from a wide range of diseases, so make sure you take them into the vet for a full assessment, their injections and also to book in an appointment for them to be de-sexed.
- It’s very important if you’re not a breeder to have your cats de-sexed. Not only is it to prevent kittens, however it helps male cats behave better. It also prevents excessive intercourse and spreading if feline HIV which is a big killer of cats. De-sexing also helps to minimise difficult aggressive male fights by minimising testosterone.
- We will be having a more detailed article on this topic, but cats are a very self-reliant pet. Unless you have a long hair cat, or a cat with an inflammatory skin condition. They clean themselves so bathing isn’t really necessary.
- Even when your cat is healthy annual cat checks are a must, they can see certain signs you wouldn’t even be aware of e.g. Cysts, skin conditions, bowel problems or infection. They also do need injections to protect them, especially if they are social.
- Clean water (never human milk). Cats generally don’t drink a lot of water, but it’s still important for them to have a fresh water source, which is away from their litter box. Cats have a fascinating skill of finding fresh water sources in your home, be it shower water, dripping taps or dipping a paw into your water glass. This is an evolutionary trait so they don’t drink water near where they have gone to the toilet. Cats don’t have the tummy enzymes to break down normal milk, it can make them quite unwell so avoid it an opt for cat milk or water.
- Litter box: clean our faeces daily, with a full litter change over twice weekly (this does depend on your cat) never let it get to the point of having a smell, this means there may be bacteria present. Also remember when pregnant you shouldn’t change cat litter and use gloves when changing it normally.