Posted on 08-23-2016
Before the Big Day
*Discuss important questions, such as where is your new kitten supposed to eliminate and who is cleaning the litter box, who is taking him to the vet, who is charge of feeding and when is he being fed, etc.
*Shopping! Draft a shopping list and purchase supplies: food and water bowls, toys, grooming supplies, bedding, collar and leash, identification tag, carrier, litter box and litter, and odor neutralizer. Pre-kitten shopping allows you to have every thing you need without the pressure of your kitten needing it right now.
*Safety First! You'll need to kitten-proof the area where the youngster will spend most of his time the first few months. This may mean taping loose electrical cords to baseboards; storing household chemicals on high shelves; removing plants, rugs, and breakables; setting up the crate; and installing gates. Once you think you've completely kitten-proofed, lie on the floor and look around once more to get a kitten's-eye view. Rubber bands, jewelry, Christmas decorations, balloons and other small items are dangerous to kittens that may swallow them. Remove poisonous plants, and roach or ant traps and make sure the toilet lid is down. Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets closed so your kitten doesn't encounter bleach, detergent, dental floss and other household items when exploring. In the laundry area, keep washer and dryer doors closed: A kitten may climb into a warm dryer for a nap. Remember, if something would be harmful for a toddler, it's the same for your kitten.
*Lay down the Rules - Children are often very enthusiastic when you get a new kitten. Make sure to tell them not to overwhelm kitten the first day, and not to fight over him or create mob scenes showing him to the neighborhood. Teach them how to properly hold the new kitten, providing support under the chest and hind legs. It is not recommended that children under 5 be left alone with kittens because they do not understand that they can be too rough with the kitten and cause injuries or even death to the kitten.
Getting Off on the Right Paw
*When you pick up your kitten, remember to ask what and when he was fed. Replicate that schedule for at least the first few days to avoid gastric distress. If you wish to switch to a different brand, do so over a period of about a week by adding one part new brand to three parts of the old for several days; then switch to equal parts; and then one part old to three parts new.
*From the start, consistency is important. On the way home, your new kitten should ride in the back seat, either in one person's arms or, preferably, in a crate or carrier.
*Once home, take him to his toileting area immediately. It is important that you teach him/her early on where it is appropriate to eliminate. This will help your kitten learn exactly where it is safe to eliminate. Kittens usually do not require much training to use their box, but make sure it is easy for the kitten to get in and out of, and that it is kept clean. Some cats will stop using their box if it is not kept clean. Also a good rule of thumb is to have 1 more box than the number of cats in your house. So if you have 1 cat in your house you should have 2 litter boxes.
*Make a room by room introduction: After you've kitten-proofed, introduce your kitten to your home one room at a time. Place his open carrier in whichever room you are introducing him to so he has a retreat if he wants it, and let him walk around while you sit quietly. Talk to him softly as he explores. He may hide under a bed or scoot behind a refrigerator, so you need to be vigilant. If you don't want him in the habit of climbing on your bed, gently remove him and place him on the floor. Bring him back to his own space, and repeat this introduction process in each room of your home until he has explored every place.
*Introducing to other pets in the home: Before bringing in a new kitten, be sure your resident pets have recently been checked by your vet, and are disease-free. When the kitten is in his or her secured room, your other cat will sniff around the doorway. Give your resident cat extra attention to ease his or her anxiety. Once the kitten feels comfortable, allow the two to meet briefly. Stay in the room while they sniff and explore each other. There may be some hissing and growling. If one cat shows real hostility, separate them and try again a few days later. Never leave a dog alone with a new kitten. Dogs can become aggressive, or a kitten may claw at a dog's face. Make sure your dog is properly leashed as you introduce him or her to your kitten following the same procedure you would to introduce a cat to your kitten. This lets the animals learn each other's scent. The kitten should not be allowed to run away because the dog may think that chasing it is a game. Reward both pets for calm behavior. Always supervise their interactions until the kitten is fully grown.
*Kittens require a lot of stimulation while they are growing. Get lots of fun toys and take the time out of your day to play with your kitten. This keeps their minds stimulated and keeps them from destroying your house when they are looking for a safe and fun way to play. Another great way to help provide stimulation for your kitten is to provide a scratching post/ climbing tower with multiple levels. This allows your kitten to have an area that lets them get up above the things that may scare them so they can investigate, and allows them to sharpen their claws on something besides your furniture.
An Apple a Day: Regular Kitten Visits
Kitten's do not have a great immune system when they are younger and require several series of shots to help them to avoid becoming ill. Kittens also can acquire worms very easily and these worms can be passed from the kittens to us! The best thing you can do when you get your kitten is schedule a check-up with your veterinarian as soon as you can get in to the office. This will make sure your kitten is healthy and if your kitten has intestinal parasites he can be de-wormed so you do not have to worry about the rest of your family getting sick.
Use the below quick & easy scheuler button to request an appointment. We want to help you welcome your new family memeber!
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