How to Prepare for a New Kitten
Kittens are so cute and playful, but they’re also unique individuals and each one has its own personality and behavior.
Before welcoming a new kitty at your home, you’ll need to prepare it for a particular visitor with the ability to climb, leap, and scratch. You’ll also need to provide your kitten with appropriate toys, bedding, litter box, and food. See the shopping list for your new kitty here.
If you’re adopting a kitty from a rescue center, it’s possible that your new pet has been separated from its mother. In this case, while your kitten may be socialized, didn’t have the chance to learn the skills he needs. Most kittens are adopted at just 8-10 weeks of age, which means that your pet is really still just a baby with little or no knowledge of risk or danger. As a cat owner for the first time it’s your responsibility:
- to check your house for potential dangers and also to provide safe options for your pet and
- to establish guidelines for kitten behavior and stick to them.
Making your house kitten-proof is of great importance, especially for the first days. Every home is unique and has different dangers, so you have to see things from your kitties point of view. Put on some old clothes, lie down on your back and look up! You’ll probably see dozens of tempting attractions, many of them hazardous to tiny kittens.
Your first priority should be to remove serious hazards from your kitten’s reach. Maybe the toughest to manage are electrical wires and outlets, many of which are at ground level. Kittens and cats are attracted to loose wires, so consider taping wires to baseboards or the underside of tables or desks. Find out how to protect your cat from wires and cords here. Other hazards include kitten-sized openings in floorboards and rocking chairs or gliders that can crush an unwary kitten.
If you have ever had to set traps for ants or other pests, now is the time to be sure those traps are out of your cat’s reach.
Finally, after you have eliminated all the potential dangers for your cat, it’s time to check to be sure any breakable or precious items are above the reach of a leaping, climbing kitten. How to prepare for a ne
Preparing Yourself for Your New Pet
If you’ve never owned a kitten, before getting one you need to prepare yourself a bit for pet ownership. Unlike some other pets, like fish or birds, kittens need attention, companionship, and care. Just like humans, cats flourish in settings where rules and expectations are clear. So keep in mind the following tips:
- make sure you and other family members have time to spend with your new pet.
- agree as a family on the rules you’ll be setting for your kitten. May she sleep on the furniture? What’s your rule about jumping onto counters and tables?
- where will your kitten spend the night? You may want to keep her in one location for the first few weeks, as it’s easy to “lose” a kitten who decides to hide.
- who is responsible for kitten care? From feeding to litter cleanup to grooming and vet care, kittens do require time, energy, and work. Who is responsible for which aspect of kitten care? Be sure you’re all on the same page
Make sure to take care of those simple tips before taking a new kitty home to make coexistence as pleasant as possible. How did you prepare your house to welcome your new kitty. Share with us your thoughts and tips in the comments below…
Photo: Peng Louis
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