Kittens are wonderful in a home where they can become part of the family, but they will need a bit of special care when they come to their new home. It is important to make sure they have had their inoculations and vaccines before being picked up, but it can also be done sooner after they have arrived. Here are a few good tips to ensuring the introductions go well when the kitten is brought home, and making sure it feels safe once it gets there.
When arriving at the breeder or home where the kitten is being picked up, make sure to have a good carrier with a shirt that has already been worn but not washed. The kitten will be transitioning from its own family, and it will need to start off feeling safe and getting used to the scent of its new home. A good carrier is an investment in the future, so choose a sturdy one.
Upon arriving home with the kitten, place the carrier in a room where its litter box, food and water have already been put in place. Never try to force it out of the carrier because it will become alarmed and panic. Leave it alone for an hour or two, but make sure there is enough light for it. Cats and kittens can see in dimmer light than humans, but they still need some light to see well enough to feel safe. The kitten will take its time before coming out, but it will begin to explore.
Feeling safe when it first arrives should be a major goal for its new family, so choosing a day when someone will be there constantly is the best way to plan its arrival. A house full of people is not necessarily good, and keeping the noise level reasonable will abate its fears over the first day or two. Company can come see the newest family member after it has had a week or two to make the adjustment.
Kittens love to play until their tummy is empty, so make sure they have easily accessible food and water. Remember that they are growing, so they will need nutritious food to help them remain healthy. Check with the veterinarian they will be seeing to get suggestions for kitten foods. Change their water daily at a minimum, and it can be refreshed throughout the day if they are thirsty and need more. Keep the litter box clean so they will continue to use it.
Establishing a routine for any baby is important, and that is exactly what a kitten needs. Keep the food, water and litter box in the same place for at least two weeks before moving them to a more convenient location. Kittens love to play, but they also need to be safe when they sleep. In the room where their food and litter box are, create a bed for them. It can be as simple as a cardboard box with an end cut out and a soft blanket or shirt inside.