Bringing Home Your New Kitten

Picking up your new kitten is exciting for everyone, except maybe the kitten, who is going to be confused by the change. There are many ways you can make the transition easier and ensure that your kitten settles quickly.

  1. Place the kitten in a pet carrier for the journey home. As tempting as it may be to get him out and cuddle him, kittens can often get car sick and most will not like the movement through the windows.
  2. When you arrive home, let the kitten explore the house at their own pace, without too many people around. Put down the carrier and allow your kitten to emerge whenever they become comfortable – don’t pull the kitten out. Other dogs and cats should be kept away, initially. After the first few days you can begin to introduce them – see our article ‘Introducing a new cat’ for more help.
  3. Have lots of toys available for the kitten to play with and encourage them to bat toys around and chase them. You should have designated scratching posts around the house – if the inevitable happens and your kitten mistakes the sofa for the pole, simply pick them up and place them on the scratching pole.
  4. If you have decided on a name, then say it excitedly if your kitten looks round to see what’s going on and give them a reward.
  5. Have a litter tray somewhere out of the way and quiet, but still easily accessible. Cats naturally like to bury their waste, so litter training is usually relatively easy. Take your kitten there every hour or so, until they get the idea.
  6. After a few hours, your kitten will need to sleep. Kittens and cats nap throughout the day. Try to let your kitten sleep without disturbing them, no matter how cute they look – you have both had a big day!
  7. Feed the kitten a small meal of the same food being fed by the breeder or rescue shelter. You may want to change the type of food you feed later, but gradually introduce the change so that you don’t upset the kittens’ stomach.
  8. If you would like your kitten to be allowed outside during the day, wait until they are a bit older, have had all their vaccinations and are used to their routine before letting them out. They need to feel safe and secure in your home and know when to return for dinner time. Using a pet door that has multiple locking options, allows you to call your pet in and prevent them from going back out.