A New Addition to the Family

Ark Vet New Kitten

Congratulations on getting a new kitten.The first 30 days with him are critical to developing a great relationship, and we want to share some tips with you on how to make the most of them. With the right start in life your furry friend will most likely be in your life for a good 10-15 years or more! The first 30 days are most critical to ensure you develop a great relationship with your new pet.

 

Preparing your home for your new kitten:

Before you bring you kitten home it is important to ensure that your home has been prepared and is ready. This involves creating a safe, secure and quiet environment. Ideally you should prepare a small area of your home away from the busy day of normal life, to allow you kitten to feel safe and confident enough to explore the rest of your home at their own comfortable pace. The scale should be stocked with a litter box, food bowl and water bowl. This area you create will be the safe zone for your kitten to retreat to when tired and as a place for you both to bond, while they get used to the strange sounds and smells of their new home.

If you have any other animals they should be gradually introduced to your new kitten over time. This means for the first stages there should be a closed door or pet gate to keep them out. Overtime you can allow your pets to approach the gate and learn that the kitten is there, getting them used to the new scents. Full contact should only be made once there is full supervision. This is a gradual process that will take time. Once there are no signs of aggression and it appears that they both have accepted one another`s presence then can they be let out together. It is important to wait until your kitten has had their vaccinations and received their bill of clean health from the veterinarian before introducing them to your other pets.

 

Supplies you may need when preparing your home for you new arrival:

  1. High quality kitten food
  2. Food and water bowls
  3. Litter box and cat litter
  4. Bedding
  5. Blankets
  6. Pet carrier
  7. Scratching post and kitten safe toys

 

Settling in:

Once you bring your kitten home you should place their carrier on a flat surface and open the door, allowing you kitten to come out and explore at their own pace. Once they have investigated the area and appear more comfortable then you can give them a cuddle and see if they need a rest, after all moving home can take a lot of energy out of a kitten.

Along with play, kittens require plenty of sleep. Once the excitement of a new area wears off they will need to have a nap. It is important to give your new kitten plenty of time to explore and rest undisturbed, there will be plenty of time to play and cuddle.

Offer kitten food and water in separate bowls away from the litter tray.  Cats cannot properly digest dairy, it is advised to avoid milk and dairy products for your kitten in order to prevent tummy upset and diarrhoea. If your kitten doesn’t eat straight away that`s okay, the change in environment can be a stressful time. It is important to give your kitten time to settle in.

 

What to expect:

You new kitten will have boundless energy and curiosity which requires a lot of time and patience. Socialization is extremely important during a kittens life. Their curious nature requires a lot of supervision to keep them out of trouble. Bonding with your kitten is of great importance as it is the bond that will last their entire life.

 

Socializing and training:

On the first day home it is highly important that your new kitten knows where the litter tray is. Kittens that are fully weaned usually learn how to use a litter box with their mother. However it is important that you show them where the tray is. You may need to remind your kitten where the tray is and use positive reinforcement such as praise and treats until they are confident enough to use the tray without prompting. Ideally having more then one litter box in the house will help your kitten to gain easy access while they are figuring things out. Arkvet New Kitten 2

Establishing and reinforcing boundaries and household rules is also an important step in your kittens life. Positive reinforcement should be used, rewarding good behaviour and redirecting their attention to something else if they start getting themselves into trouble. Scratching posts and trees are ideal to redirect your kittens attention from scratching furniture.

Socialization is crucial for a kitten. They will need to be played with and comforted regularly. Exposing them to many different sounds, scents, and sights is important to ensure they do not create a fear as they grow up. Ideally having them ride in the pet carrier aids them to feel more comfortable when they need to travel somewhere. Beginning to groom you kitten young is great for getting them used to the comb and ensures they will tolerate it at a later time. It is important to keep in mind that as your kitten is young, they will be experiencing everything for the first time so they may need reassurance if they become frightened. Try not to bombard them will too  much stimuli at once.

 

Sleep:

Though kittens have lots of energy they also require a lot of sleep. Studies show that kittens can sleep 16-20 hours a day.For this reason it is important to provide them with comfortable blankets and bedding to sleep on. Sometimes kittens may wake up in the middle of the night and meow for attention. Gradually they will learn over time that nighttime is for sleeping.

Remember everything is new for both you and your new kitten. Kittenhood is the best time for your kitten to learn new things and bond with you. Enjoy it.