March 29, 2017
Our Checklist for New Kitten Owners
Congratulations! If you are reading this, chances are you are either a new owner of an adorable kitten or soon to be, and that is exciting news! Adopting a new kitten carries with it certain responsibilities, so we are here to help make the transition easier for you and your new furry friend. We are going to give you some tips for bringing your new kitten home, getting him properly trained, and making sure that he loves the scratching post more than your household furniture. This is important stuff, folks.
Tips for Adopting and Bringing Home a New Kitten
We are so happy that you made the decision to adopt a kitten, we could squeal! Kittens are such a fun addition to the household and are much more self-sufficient than dogs. However, there are certain responsibilities that come with bringing a new kitten into your home, and we’ve got some tips for you.
- The drive home – Be sure and keep your kitten in the carrier on the drive home from the shelter. This will be less stressful for both you and the kitten.
- Arriving home – Set up a starter room for your kitten in a quiet, closed off area of the house. Set the room up with a litter box, comfy bed, scratching post, toys, food and water.
- Let them adjust – A new home can be overwhelming for your kitten. Give him time to adjust and once he seems relaxed and happy in his starter room, you can open the door and allow him to explore the rest of the house at his own pace.
- Meeting family members – Allow other family members to have daily short visits with the new kitten in the starter room, one family member at a time. Young children should be accompanied by an adult.
- Meeting other pets – Wait until your kitten is comfortable with his new surroundings before introducing him to the other pets. Keep them separated at first, and again, only one pet at a time.
Training Your New Kitten
It is a popular belief that cats and kittens aren’t trainable, but that is completely false. Cats may not respond to the same training methods that dogs are, but they are still highly trainable animals. Let’s start with the basics.
- Litterbox training –While the mother cat will begin training her kittens to use the litterbox right away, your kitten may still need some guidance when you bring them to their new home. Start by placing their litterbox in a quiet place (the starter room) and place them into the litterbox at certain times of the day when they would likely need to use it – first thing in the morning and after meals, playtime and waking up from a nap. If they don’t go, that’s fine. The key is getting them adjusted to the box and they will catch on rather quickly!
- Crate training – Crate training for kittens is often neglected, but can be very beneficial. It can ease separation anxiety and make trips to the vet more pleasant. Place the crate in the starter room with the door open and make it cozy with a blanket or towel. Place the food bowl in the crate so that your kitten will develop a positive association to the crate. Once your kitten in comfortable, close them in for short periods of time and gradually work up to leaving them in the crate while you are out if your cat suffers from separation anxiety.
Teaching Your Kitten to Use Scratching Posts
This is an important tip for obvious reasons – your furniture will thank you for paying attention to this tip! You are already at an advantage by being able to expose your kitten to using scratching posts at a young age, which is a huge help! Here are some tips –
- Place a scratching post in your kitten’s starter room, so they are exposed from day one.
- Provide your kitten with both vertical and horizontal scratchers around the house, once they graduate from their starter room.
- Encourage your kitten to use scratching posts by placing their toys on the post.
- Sprinkle the scratching posts with catnip, so that your kitten will be drawn to them.
- If you catch your kitten scratching on the furniture, pick them up and immediately relocate them to one of the posts.
Adopting a new kitten is such an exciting experience! We hope that this article helps you to get off on the right foot and start bonding with your new best friend.