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New Kitten Guide - Settling In

 

You are likely to be very excited about your new arrival and will be eager to get to know them. However,
it is important to respect that leaving mum and their litter mates will be difficult for them at first. Some kittens are naturally outgoing and will soon make friends, but others may need a little more time to adapt to all the new people, noises, smells and other pets in the household. Try to create a routine for feeding, play and relaxation, and remember that although your kitten will be energetic they will also need lots of sleep (just like a baby). Patience and understanding will help your kitten to feel safe and secure ensuring that they settle in quickly.

 

An invaluable den

A useful item to have at home for a new kitten is a crate – these are often used for dogs in the back of cars or for toilet training puppies. Crates are made of strong metal and come in various sizes. It provides a safe warm den for your kitten where they will hopefully feel safe. Their food, bed and litter tray can be put inside so it is self-sufficient when you are not able to monitor them. To help them to enjoy being in the crate try to feed and play with them inside. Allow your kitten to walk inside the crate on their own terms and leave the door open until they are used to it.

 

Once your kitten is used to the crate you can carefully lock them inside when you are going out. Kittens are very curious and can get themselves into all sorts of places and danger!  This will help to keep them safe and stop them getting up to mischief! The crate is also useful for introducing your kitten to other animals as they can get used to each other safely and without a chase taking place.

 

The first night

Create a sleeping area for your kitten by placing a bed or crate in a warm, draught-free and quiet place so that they can feel safe. Ideally you will have a blanket with the smell of your kitten’s litter mates on it, place this in the bed/crate area. The first night away from mum and their litter mates is going to be very lonely. The smell of their litter mates on the blanket is likely make your kitten feel comforted. A hot water bottle (wrapped in a towel and not too hot) to snuggle up to and a radio left on low may help to settle them down. Keep the room nice and dark and switch off the television. If you know what your kitten has been eating then stick to that initially as there are many other stressful changes going on already. If you do wish to change your kitten’s food in the future it is always advisable to introduce it slowly over the period of a week. Fresh water should always be accessible.

 

 

Safety first

Once your kitten becomes more confident, they will love exploring their new home. Keep all cleaning chemicals, Disinfectants, medicines and human food out of reach. You will also need to keep dangerous items like needles and threads out of the way. Veterinary surgeons report a surprising number of kittens and cats having accidentally ingested sewing materials whilst playing with them.

 

Some house-plants and cut flowers are also poisonous to cats. Kittens and cats are great explorers and climbers, so it is best to remove any plants that are toxic. These include lilies, ferns, cyclamen and umbrella plants. Christmas is a hazardous time of year as holly, ivy and mistletoe are all poisonous to cats too. A full list of toxic plants can be found on the Feline Advisory Bureau website at:

http://www.fabcats.org/owners/poisons/plants.html

 

If your home is looking a little bare once you’ve removed harmful plants, why not grow some cat-friendly plants instead? Cat nip and special kitty grass are ideal.

 

Kittens like warm hiding places which can include the washing machine, dishwasher and tumble dryer. You will need to take extra care and always check that your new feline friend hasn’t decided to take a nap in a danger zone! Also take precautions so that your kitten can not escape when you and others are coming in and out of the house. Keeping windows and doors closed will also help to keep your kitten safe.

 

 

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