Bringing Home A New Kitten: Preparing Your Home

By Valdette Muller| September 4, 2017 | Blog


Experiencing their new home for the first time can be very overwhelming for a tiny kitten.

Every kitten comes with their own unique personality; some can be shy while others can be more confident in new surroundings.

Whatever their character, for a kitten to leave their mother and siblings for the first time can be a stressful and even traumatic experience.

This is part of a series about introducing new kittens into your home.

Preparing your home for the new arrival.

A great tip to remember when bringing a new kitten home, is to try and source items that the kitten may be familiar with such as previous bedding or something that has the smell of their mother or the scent of their previous home on it. This will help calm the kitten when bringing them to an unfamiliar place.

There are several questions one should ask when adopting their first kitten, such as;

“How do I toilet train it?” “What should I feed it?” “Where should it sleep?”

With these questions in mind it is  best to first prepare a room for kitty where they can explore safely. Also keep them away from young children or other pets that could cause them distress.

After bringing the new kitten home, gently place the cat basket or cat carrier on the floor of the room, and open the lid and allow the kitten to explore the new surroundings in their own time.

Keep your kitten in the room for the first week to allow them to gradually adjust to the new surroundings and get used to the smell of the new home. Visit this room regularly to check up on the kitten and allow them to get used to you as their new owner and care giver.

In the room make sure the windows are closed beforehand so that the kitten does not get out and run away out of curiosity or fear. Make sure any cupboards and draws in the room are closed. Kittens can get into tiny spaces and could try to climb up inside, get stuck or find themselves lost in the cupboard. If the cupboard is filled with other items, it can also prove to be hazardous for a kitten.

Prepare a litter box on the floor with newspaper under and around it. The confinement of the space will aid in the kitten’s toilet training, away from the stress of other pets or children. It will also help the kitten to avoid any accidents around the rest of the house. See our Litter Box training article for more on how to train your kitten.

Provide your new kitten with food, dry, wet or both. Only give your kitten food that is suitable for kittens, as kittens have smaller teeth that are not as strong in comparison to adult cats, they will then find it hard to chew or even digest adult cat food. Make sure to have food and water bowls ready in the room. Do not worry if your kitten does not eat the food right away as it may just be the stress of the new surroundings. As soon as the kitten feels safe and secure they will begin eating.

Provide a bed, basket or hovel for your kitten to curl-up in. Kittens love and need warmth so make sure that the new bed is as cosy and as inviting as possible.

Environment enrichment is essential to help direct your kitten’s playful behaviour to desirable objects. Your kitten needs items to chew on and play with toys, to ensure that they are not learning to climb curtains and wrestle power cords! We recommend getting a scratching post so that they learn to scratch the post and not your furniture. Attach a few toys to the scratching post in order to stimulate your kitten’s interest in scratching and motivate them to use their tiny claws.



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