When you bring a new kitten into your life, you’re opening an exciting new chapter for both of you. To ensure your pet integrates into the family smoothly, there are a few steps veterinarians recommend taking before, during, and after their first day at home. The following guide will help you navigate the early stages of raising a kitten.
How to Care for a New Kitten
Before They Arrive
As you would for a toddler, thoroughly prepare your home before your kitten arrives. Kitten-proofing includes covering up or hiding hazards such as electrical wires and dangling strings. Plants such as tulips and lilies are toxic for cats, so ensure those are put away.
Create a checklist and gather all the supplies your kitten will need, such as a bed, food and water dishes, litter and litter box, scratching post, toys, and treats. A warm, prepared space full of gifts will make your new pet feel right at home.
On the First Day
Your home is a big, open world to your kitten, so it may be a bit overwhelming at first. Dedicate a single room or space with all their belongings to help them adjust to their new surroundings. Once you bring your kitty home, open their carrier and allow them to explore the room independently. Make sure the room has their litter box, food, water, and bed. Never corner kittens while greeting them, which could scare them. Instead, let them come to you. Cats feel more comfortable investigating new people and places on their own, so allowing them to do so builds trust.
During the Following Weeks
As your kitten grows accustomed to their space, gradually grant them access to other proofed areas of the house. Kittens are more open to new experiences than older cats, so be sure to interact with them as much as possible. This could help prevent future aggression and antisocial behavior. Pet them, hold them gently, and have family and friends do the same. Reward good behavior with treats and praise.
Once your kitty is comfortable with you, take them to a vet clinic for a check-up. Your veterinarian will examine your pet to make sure they’re in good health, set up a vaccination schedule, suggest preventative care, and discuss spaying and neutering options. Making regular veterinarian visits helps ensure a long and healthy life for your new family member.
Ensure your new kitten is healthy with a visit to Cedarknoll Animal Hospital. Based in Montgomery, NY, their veterinarians prioritize your pet’s comfort and well-being. They provide a variety of essential services, including pet vaccines, in-house diagnostics, dental care, and grooming. Visit their website to learn more about what they do, or call (845) 361-5404 to schedule an appointment.