Bringing a cuddly new kitten into your home is a major decision and a long-term commitment in both time and money. However, as challenging as it can get, the rewards are definitely worth the journey.
Before your new kitty arrives, make sure you understand its needs. Additionally, make sure you have all the essential supplies your new arrival depends on. You need to have:
- Kitten food
- Food and water bowl – ceramic and metal bowl with nonslip rubber bases are excellent choices for young kittens
- Cat bed – molded plastic beds are relatively chew-proof and easy to clean. Cover them with washable beddings with zip-off covers that can be easily removed for cleaning.
- Litter box – in fact, you will probably need 2 litter boxes. Kittens are very picky and have high standards, so offering them two different litter boxes, increases the chances of the boxes being used. A kitten considers the litter box as its own personal space and it must meet its standards.
- Toys – select several toys for your kitten’s entertainment.
A young kitten relies entirely on you to ease its transition from the mom cat’s side or shelter to the strange, new home. You need to make a good strategy on how to keep it happy and entertained. Additionally, young kittens learn acceptable behavior from their mothers. If separated too early, it is up to you to fill that void. It is also important to never leave your new kitten unsupervised in new and unknown environments as you cannot know what it may come to its mind.
Kitten food is specifically designed to support the intense growth needs of young kittens. Kitten food contains high percentages of high-quality proteins. Since growing kittens are like eating machines, they usually need several meals a day. Another option is to always leave their food bowl full and let them eat when they want and as much as they want. It is advisable to feed your new kitten the same food formula the breeder used, for at least 7-10 days after moving in your place. Also try to stick to its old feeding schedule. It is important to make gradual food switches. Sudden changes in the dieting regimen may lead to upsetting its sensitive stomach. Once the kitten is settled and adapted to the new environment and it starts passing well-formed stools, you can begin introducing new foods, by replacing small portions of the old food with new foods.
Assuming that the kitten was separated from its mother and littermates, it is important to make the kitty warm and secure. Providing it with a comfortable bed is the best way to do that. The type of the bed does not matter. You can either make one by covering a box with blankets and pillows or purchase a cat bed from the local pet store. Always place the kitten bed in a calm, quiet place.
Fortunately, most kittens prefer being clean and instinctively know how to use the litter box. They might refuse to use it if it is unclean or if the litter is scented, which some kittens find repulsive. However, keep in mind that your new kitten is still young and it may make a mistake or two before getting used to the litter box. It is important not to implement punishments when a mistake occurs.
Socialization is the key to raising a well-mannered cat. The more new and interesting experiences a kitten has at an early age, the less fearful and more social it will be. Make sure your kitten meets new children, adults and other cats, dogs and small rodents.
Do not forget that your puppy needs some time out. Let it have frequent, deep and uninterrupted naps. Sleeping time is when the growth hormone is most active and kittens need it to grow quickly.
Last, but not least, have your kitten regularly checked by a vet. Kittens are very susceptible to infectious disease and both internal and external parasites. Scheduled vaccinations and regular anti-parasite treatments are needed to protect your kitten.