Bringing Home A New Kitten: Socialisation and Welfare

By Valdette Muller| September 30, 2017 | Blog

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You have a new kitten and have prepared your home for their arrival.

This article is part of a series about introducing new kittens into your home. In the previous article we discussed the preparation of your home for your new kitten and how to begin the kitten’s transition into your family.

Watching over the kitten during their first few days and nights. 

Kittens do cry, especially if you have one kitten alone for the first time at night. Kittens are used to sleeping beside their mother and other siblings. It may be stressful for you to hear their little high pitched meows; if it does happen the only thing you can do is to allow the crying to work through or you can try comforting the kitten by stroking and talking softly to them.

Children should be reminded that the new kitten needs lots of love, attention as well as rest. Socialisation is good but make sure that the kitten is not handled too much. The kitten’s body is small and flimsy, and excessive handling could cause injuries.

Kittens need their sleep when they are young, even more so than adult cats. Between the kitten’s catnaps they will exhibit energetic bursts of activity. No matter how cute your kitten looks, it is best that they are not woken up for affection or playtime.

Kittens love to climb and explore, allow your kitten to explore and find hiding places in case they get scared of the other pets. Be prepared to go to the rescue if they get too high or if they get stuck.

Socialisation with family and other pets.

Other family pets should be introduced to the new kitten slowly and should always be under close supervision when in the presence of the kitten.

Allow your other cats or dogs to sniff the kitten from under the door of the room. Doing this will help your other pets to assess the kitten by smell first, and it gives the kitten an opportunity to assess them as well.

We strongly recommend that you do not just simply allow your kitten to be placed in a room alone with your other pet/pets and let them work out their differences that way. This can lead to some devastating results if your other pet/pets are not happy or feel threatened by the new kitten.

Remember that if you have other pets your home is their territory and they could show hostility or become jealous if they feel threatened by anything that would take over their territory or you and your attention.

Allow the kitten to bond with you and over time it should bond with your other pets and family as well.

Instead of forcing the relationship to develop by coaxing the kitten out of a hiding place which may potentially frighten them, simply spend time in the room with them by either reading a book or watching TV. This allows the kitten to get used to you, and they will find their way around your home and to get used to you and daily life. The peak socialisation period in a kitten’s life is the first 14 weeks.

Sources: https://icatcare.org/advice/helping-your-cat-kitten-settle

http://www.instructables.com/id/Dealing-With-Your-Cats-First-Night-At-Home/

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