Bringing Home Your New Kitten
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Bringing Home Your New Kitten

Est. read time: 4 min.

To a brand new kitten, everything in its world is new, exciting, but also potentially frightening. Your kitten is also very fragile and vulnerable, so it’s important to take extra special care of it. Here, from the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), are some ways to help ease your kitten into its new life in your home.

What To Do Before You Bring Your Kitten Home

The most important first step to bringing home a new kitten actually occurs even before you’ve gotten home. You need to have your kitten seen by a veterinarian in order to have a basic health inventory performed. Amongst the many things your vet will be looking out for, you’re primary concerns are testing for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus, administering a physical, testing and (if need be) treating for parasites, and getting your new kitty vaccinated. On top of these basics, it is advised to have your kitten spayed or neutered at approximately six months, and it is also encouraged to have a microchip implanted at this point.

The Initial Introduction To Your Home

Bringing your new kitten home will require some extra special attention from you, and your new, little friend will benefit from a couple days of continuous care, so it’s best to bring your kitten home when you’ve got a weekend coming up. When you first bring your kitten home, it’s going to be a potentially overwhelming experience, unless you make special allowances and accommodations for your tiny, furry friend. Having a relatively isolated area at first, like a small room, will be helpful in easing the transition. Also, making sure that you’ve got all of the supplies in this area that you’re likely to need (e.g., food and water bowls, kitten food, litter box with litter, scratching post, toys, bed, nail trimmers, etc.) will make a considerable difference. Though your kitten will want a fair deal of attention from you, it will also want its privacy, which means you sometimes need to leave it to its devices to explore and acclimate itself to its new environment.

Introduction To Other Family Members And Pets

After your new kitty has become familiarized with its room, has a clean bill of health and has been eating, drinking and using the litter box with regularity, you and your kitten are ready to explore the rest of the house, including the other occupants. Keeping small children and larger pets at bay while your kitten explores this new unchartered portion of the house will make the process less anxious for your new arrival. However, socialization is a vital part of a young kitten’s experience and growth, which means that experiencing your family members and other pets is a healthy part of establishing your new kitten as a part of your family and household. Optimally, 10-12 weeks is the sweet spot for beginning a full-scale assimilation into your home and family, including generous amounts of human contact and handling. This will serve to best adapt your kitten to home life. If you have any larger pets, be mindful of their interaction with the kitten, and it would be wise to purchase a safe haven, like Automated Pet Care’s Feed-Safe, which creates a private and safe space for your kitten to enjoy food and water. Also, you may want to consider starting your kitten with a self-cleaning litter box, so that the kitten acclimates to using this type of litter box early on.

Finally, enjoy the wonder and pleasure of bringing something so sweet and precious into your home. There are few more truly beautiful experiences in all of life, so relish this one.