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Bringing a Kitten into Your Home

You’ll be getting a whole new family member when you decide to get a kitten, as well as a lifelong furry friend: it’s an incredibly exciting time! You’ll need to spend a bit of time preparing for them, though, before you bring them home. You want your new kitten to feel right at home, which is why we’ve created this guide to explain everything you need to know before bringing home your new kitten. Follow our tips and get ready to welcome your new four-legged friend into a friendly, safe environment where they can feel comfortable and relaxed.

Other big decisions, like whether your cat will be kept indoors or outdoors when they grow up, or whether or not you should declaw them, can all come later. Whether you’re a cat-owner or not, many people have their own strong views on this issue. In many countries, including the UK, most cats are allowed free access to the outdoors with no question of whether or not it’s the right thing to do.

Positives and Negatives for Outdoor Cats

For the majority of cats, it’s possible to find an arrangement that will keep them happy and healthy, wherever you live. The best solution is to allow your cat to keep their territory and have a familiar and reliable hand to feed, stroke and clean up after them. We’ve looked at this a little bit in our post, Cat Care: Indoor or Outdoor?, but it’s generally best to keep a kitten indoors at first, whether they will eventually be an indoor cat or not. So for now, let’s get you ready for your new arrival!

Before the Arrival

There’s a bit of admin that’ll need done before you bring home your new kitten. Before they arrive, it’s a good idea to get the following things sorted:

  • Get your new kitten registered with a vet right away. If you don’t already have a vet, local cat owners will be able to recommend one. You’ll need to take your kitten to be neutered and vaccinated, so it’s helpful to know they’re already on someone’s books. If they ever get sick, knowing who to call will give you great peace of mind.
  • Arrange to have your new kitten microchipped in case they ever get lost – you can do this at your vet’s office.
  • Some cat insurance policies that will cover any unexpected veterinary costs, so it’s a good idea to discuss these with your new vet in advance.

Every vet will have a different way of working with animals, depending on where they trained. There are lots of different factors to take into consideration, such as the cat’s natural energy levels and where you live. There are so many options out there, so there’s bound to be a vet that’s perfect for you and your kitten.

Every vet will have a different way of working with animals, depending on where they trained. There are lots of different factors to take into consideration, such as the cat’s natural energy levels and where you live. There are so many options out there, so there’s bound to be a vet that’s perfect for you and your kitten.

The New Kitten Shopping List

Shopping for your cute kitten is the fun part of the kitty preparation process, and you can get to it as soon as you have the admin out of the way. When you get a new kitten, you’ll need the following essentials:

  • A suitable carrier that your cat will be comfortable in (even when they grow up).
  • Litter and a litter tray (consider using litter they’re familiar with).
  • A brush suited to their hair type.
  • Some cat toys on which they can take out their energy and hunting instinct.
  • Kitten food. Try to give them the same diet they had before you adopted them, and make sure any changes you make are gradual.
  • A scratching post made of tree bark or a sisal string-wrapped pole. This will hopefully deter your new kitten from scratching your carpets or sofa, and will help keep their claws in good condition.
  • A soft cat bed they can relax in.
  • Two bowls – one for food and one for water. Make sure it’s wide enough for them to lean in and lap from without their whiskers touching the sides, as this can put some cats off. Some cats don’t like shadows or reflections in their bowls when they’re eating or drinking, so it’s best to opt for a ceramic or glass bowl rather than a metal one.

Buying all of these supplies is good fun, but try not to be disappointed if your new kitten ends up snubbing your nice cat bed in favour of an old box! Kittens can’t read price labels, so they’ll choose based on what they find most appealing, not what cost the most.

Getting Settled

The day has finally arrived: it’s time to bring home your new kitten. It’s a new situation for them, so try to be aware of their feelings and handle your excitement in a way that won’t scare them further. Rather than bringing your kitten home to a loud welcome party, try to keep things gentle and quiet to help them settle in.

There will be plenty of time for playing and noise once they’ve grown accustomed to your home.

The Homeward Journey

Try covering your new kitten’s carrier with a blanket while you’re taking them home, so they don’t become disoriented by the landscape flashing by outside the windows. Travelling in a car can be a bit nerve-wracking and confusing for cats and kittens, so it’s a good idea to treat their carrier with a calming pheromone spray and place it on a flat, secure surface in the car (such as the footwell).

Your new kitten will hopefully be able to stay calm with the help of the darkness, careful driving and pheromone spray. This isn’t the time to pop to the shops – go straight home with your new kitten so they don’t have to spend any longer in the car than is absolutely necessary.

For more information about our feline friends, check out Need2Know’s Essential Guide to Cat Care which explains what to do when dealing with a new kitten and throughout the lifetime of the cat as it becomes the pet and companion it is meant to be. Need2Know have books about lots more of our favourite furry friends, including Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels and Dachshunds. Becoming an animal expert has never been easier!

 

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