Kittens are just about the cuddliest animal you can find and it is very difficult to say no to one when you see them. However, there are some key issues to think about when you bring your kitten home and it’s worth knowing what some of these are.
First few Days
When you bring your kitten home it will be the first time she has been separated from her Mom and the rest of her family. This is going to make her somewhat stressed, so make sure she has a comfortable safe environment. Have a nice, warm, dry bed and in a quiet area of the house and give her time to acclimatise to her new surroundings.
Perhaps for the first few days a warm (not hot) water bottle in the bedding will help, as this will be similar to the warmth of her Mum, a soft blanket will also help to make her more comfortable. Make sure her water and food are close by, it’s a good idea to have her cat litter nearby as well, but not too near to her food – cats will not use the litter tray if it is close to their food station.
If possible keep your kitten on the same food as she is used to. Check with the breeder what they were using or obtain a few days supply from them. If you want to change the food she is eating, then do this slowly over a period of days or even a couple of weeks. Introduce the new food alongside the old to keep your kittens stress to a minimum. A change in diet may not be too healthy for your new kitten and could cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea.
Cat Litter Training
Accidents are bound to happen, if they do make sure you clean them up thoroughly. You do not want the cat thinking that area is their toilet. Most kittens are taught to use the litter tray by their Moms; sometimes you just have to show your kitty where the litter tray is.
Make sure you have a nice big plastic tray and keep it clean as cats are clean animals and will not use a dirty litter tray. Most kittens use the toilet soon after waking, until your kitten gets the idea pick them up and pop them in the litter tray, they will soon cotton on.
Socialising and playing are essential for your kitten. They need plenty of playtime and lots of socialising with different toys scattered around the house. Kittens like to explore and have a genuine inquisitive nature, which can lead them into trouble sometimes. A scratch pad is a great object for your cat. Cats need to scratch to help with their claws. Scratch pads are ideal for this, and it certainly helps save your table legs!
Kittens can be vaccinated at 8 weeks and it is important you have yours vaccinated. Once vaccinated, they will only need booster injections every 12 months to maintain their protection.
Cats are very clean creatures and most clean themselves. If you start brushing your kitten early, they may well tolerate it as they get older, but on the whole they tend to look after themselves. Fleas and ticks are very common within cats, prevention is most important as tick bites can result in bacterial infection. Companies such as Frontline offer effective protection against the most common forms of fleas, ticks and lice with easy application.
Kittens can be neutered any time after 5 months old. Neutered cats make much nicer pets, they are far less aggressive and in the case of male cats do not spray inside the house. There appears to be no advantage to female cats having a litter before they are spayed. Unless you are serious about breeding your kitten when she is an adult, neutering is a sensible option.