Bringing home your new kitten is exciting and sometimes overwhelming. Here are some guidelines to help you welcome this new addition and make sure that the first few days are less stressful for everyone.
• Age is more than a number. Your kitten’s age is a factor in a smooth adjustment. Bring home your kitten when it’s between 8 and 12 weeks of age for the smoothest transition.
• Use an approved cat carrier. This is a good introduction to what should become his safe and familiar place whenever you travel.
• Be Gentle! Quiet and gentle handling is best. Your home is a totally new environment. Avoid rough handling and loud noises. It’s best to place your kitten in a small quiet place with food and a litter box during this transition period.
• Introduce the litter box right away. Place your kitten gently in a litter box immediately after he eats and whenever you notice signs he might be ready to squat. Gently scratch the kitten’s paws in the litter to teach him that the box is the place to deposit and bury waste. If your kitten has an accident, use a paper towel to wipe it up and place that, and the kitten, in the litter box to help your kitten associate elimination with the box. ARM & HAMMER™ Cat Litter Products are safe for kittens and provide excellent deodorization.
• Kitty-proof your home. Like small children, kittens can get into lots of trouble very quickly! Remove or secure small items that could cause choking, dangling electrical cords that could result in a shock, and houseplants that could be deadly if eaten. As your kitten grows more adventurous, the list will lengthen, so heightened vigilance is the best way to prevent a tragedy.
• Diet is important. Make sure you have kitten food that is formulated to meet his nutritional requirements. You may need to feed several times a day since kittens grow rapidly.
• See the vet. Make an appointment to have your kitten thoroughly checked for signs of illness and plan to have him vaccinated.
Follow these steps and you’ll be off to a good start with the new addition to your family!