There’s excitement and expectation in the air - you’re going to get a kitten! To start the relationship off on the right foot, there are a few things to be aware of.
What you should know
Cats are sensitive creatures and your home will be an unfamiliar environment for the young animal. Kittens are best adopted at 10 to 12 weeks, although some are adopted earlier. The younger the kitten, the more careful you’ll have to be not to scare or confuse her.
What you should have ready for the kitten
It’s best to start out with the same food the kitten ate at his previous home. If necessary, you can change it later.
You can start out with a cardboard box and some blankets as a bed, or buy one from the pet shop. But remember the kitty will grow!
The litter box should be where the cat can have some privacy. Training to use it shouldn’t be difficult. Put her in the litter box when she wakes up and after a meal. She’ll soon get the idea.
Cats need to scratch, so get a scratching pad like a carpet covered clawing post. Otherwise your furniture will be the scratching pole.
Kittens love to play – and it’s easy to amuse a kitten with a paper bag, cardboard box or an old tennis ball. Or get safe, appropriate toys at a pet shop.
How to prepare your home
Your kitty will appreciate its own special space when it comes into this strange new place. Prepare a special corner in a laundry room or bathroom with food, water, bed and litter box.
Put cords, small objects, and poisonous stuff away – a kitten is curious and can hurt herself when she’s alone.
Once your kitten is used to her new environment she may explore high helves, bookcases, and refrigerators. Rather remove items that can be knocked down.
The first few days
A car carrier can help the cat feel safe when you bring it home. Take her to her special place to explore. A cat will crawl into spaces to explore, so keep cupboard and washing machine doors closed.
Don’t handle the kitten too much at first, and don’t let everyone to pick her up. Rather sit quietly with her, until she comes to you.
You can leave a young kitten alone for a few hours - as long as there’s food, water, a litter box, bed and safe toys. A young cat is best confined to one room.
Take the kitten to the vet for a check-up within the first few weeks. The vet will inform you about de-worming, vaccines and possible spaying or neutering.