Settling Your Kitten Into Her New HomePetmania Pet Care Advisor
Welcoming your kitten into her new home
Welcoming a new kitten into your home is an exciting time, but it may take a few weeks before they are completely settled in. When they arrive home, they will be about 8 weeks old, and it can be a daunting time for them coming into this strange new environment without their mother or siblings.
Patience is key when settling in your new kitty, and although you will naturally want to show your cat they are safe and welcome, it is important to let them settle in on their own terms. They have not yet formed a bond with you, and right now, you’re still a stranger!
In this blog post, we’ll show you how you can help your kitty settle into their new home, what to expect in their first few nights, and how to make them feel safe, secure, and welcome!
The First Few Nights
It is a good idea to bring the kitten home with some bedding that still has their mother and sibling’s scent; this familiar object will give them some comfort in their new setting.
Make sure you set your kitten up in a quiet room, away from any foot traffic of the household and other pets. Prepare blankets, toys, water, hiding spaces, and a comfy spot in this room. Their litter tray should be placed in the corner, away from the door, their food and water bowls, bed, and hiding spot. Some kittens might already know how to use a litter tray from their mother; if not, check out our toilet training blog here.
Some kittens may be want to snuggle up to people right away, but in a new environment, most will need time and space to ensure their surroundings are safe and establish everything they need. Cats tend to prefer beds and resting spots in elevated places so they can see what’s going on around them. Give your kitty a choice of levels when it comes to sleeping habits, and always clear any valuables off high up shelves in the room!
During the first day, if possible, only handle your kitten if she initiates it. After the first forty-eight hours, you can handle your kitten throughout the day for short periods of time. Cats are creatures that prefer to be in control, so it is a good idea to only interact with them in a gentle and calm way on their own terms.
Feeding your Kitten
When feeding your kitten, always feed her the same food she received from the shelter or breeder. A sudden change in diet, alongside the stress of moving home and thrown into an unfamiliar environment, can cause an upset stomach or diarrhoea. Once your kitten has settled into her new home, you can begin to transition to a different food by adding the new food gradually to her older one over a period of seven days.
Kittens have small stomachs, so should be fed little and often. There are foods which have been specially created for kittens due to their many different nutritional needs. For a full range of kitten food, check out our range here.
Introducing Your Kitten To Children and Other Pets
Bringing home a kitten is an exciting time for anyone, especially children. If you have children, chances are they will be very enthusiastic for the new arrival. However, to guarantee their safety and the safety of your new pet, it is very important that any time spent with the cat is supervised. Wait until your cat is fully settled in to introduce her to the children properly.
Don’t let your children surround the kitten or force her to interact with them. Always let the cat approach the children first, and encourage your child not to touch the cat initially. Have some treats ready to tempt the kitten to come a bit closer to your child, or to move them away. Be prepared to remove the child from the room if they become over excited or tries to grab the cat.
Be cautious when introducing a new kitten to other pets you own. The first meeting should be carefully supervised and at a distance. This process could take a few weeks before a more relaxed atmosphere is re-established. It is also best to feed both pets in separate areas, as that can be a prime situation for conflict.