So you have decided to buy a kitten, fantastic, now you need to know how to prepare for your new arrival!
Firstly, welcoming a new kitten into your home is a wonderful experience. The mystery of getting to know one another, and the opportunity to create a new bond with one of the cutest little bundles of cuddliness imaginable.
Having a baby kitten can be exhausting and rewarding all at the same time. With proper training and plenty of love and attention, you and your kitten can develop a bond that will last their lifetime.
When bringing home a kitten for the first time it is recommended to already have a space set aside just for them, a safe area. This should be a quiet area where he or she can go to get away from the hustle and bustle of a household, and from any other pets or children that may also reside there.
Setting Up a Safe Area for your Kitten
This safe area should include a litter box or two, a food bowl, a clean source of water in a bowl or fountain small enough your kitten can’t fall in and drown, plenty of toys to play with, some kind of scratching post unless you want your furniture torn to bits, and bedding or a cage of some sort to give them a comfortable place to sleep or relax. Remember to pay attention not to set the food or water bowl too close to any litter boxes as most kittens won’t enjoy eating next to where they may go potty.
Kittens have energy in abundance and will need plenty of attention and things to keep them entertained so they don’t get into trouble – not that they mean to get into things they aren’t supposed to. Kittens are just very curious and enjoy exploring the world around them, but sometimes that curiosity gets them in some sticky situations. There’s a reason for the old adage ‘curiosity killed the cat’.
Kitten-Proof Your Home
Once the kitten’s safe area has been made ready, it is time to move on to the rest of the house. Just like with human children, kittens love to play or eat things they shouldn’t. So, it is imperative to remove any or all hazards that could be laying around that he or she could potentially choke on or become poisoned by, such as mouse traps or poison baits, human prescription drugs, plants, etc. Also, things like electrical cords, strings that adjust mini blinds, and open water sources like toilets and bathtubs should be kitten proofed and kept out of reach. Kittens love to climb and could become entangled within cords and strings and fall into toilets from which they can’t escape resulting in potential harm or death.
Introducing Kittens to Other Pets
If you have any other pets around, a puppy/kitten gate should be installed in order to keep them separated so they can sniff and get to know each other from a safe distance. Once no signs of aggression are observed, the puppy/kitten gate can be removed as long as peace is kept. It is best to make sure that your kitten is fully vaccinated and received a clean bill of health from your veterinarian before introducing them to another pet in the house. Kittens can have parasites that they can spread to other members of the family. So, a full checkup of your new kitten will ensure that all members of the family are kept healthy and happy.
It should be noted that any introductions to any other animals or family members should be done slowly and only under your direct supervision. NEVER allow new kittens to wander on their own as larger adult cats can sometimes react negatively and cause severe harm to your new baby.
What to Feed a Kitten
Then of course feeding. Usually up to about 6 months of age, 3-4 feedings daily should be sufficient, then from 6-12 months, twice a day, after 12 months of age you should just pay attention to your now adult cat’s weight and adjust accordingly. Remember, when feeding a young kitten, to give it a diet formulated especially for kittens as adult cat foods don’t contain the necessary calories needed for a growing kitten.
Kitten to Cat – a valued family member
The most important thing to realize is that even though your new little fur baby will require quite a lot of attention initially, the kitten stage really doesn’t last that long. Remember to have plenty of patience and realize that kittens really do not mean to be destructive or misbehaved, they are just learning the world around them and sometimes that means getting into trouble. Enjoy watching your kitten grow into a majestic cat, have fun playing with it and watch that bond between you grow as your beloved baby cat becomes a grown up cat and a valuable member of your family.