Settling your kitten into her new home will be much easier for both you and your kitten if you prepare in advance. Here are a few basic essentials that will make your kitten feel at ease in their new home.
Always place your kitten’s bed somewhere away from draughts with some privacy. If your kitten is anxious about their new home, you may want to try a calming aid such as the Feliway Pheromone Diffuser. This imitates your kitten’s natural pheromones and helps to relieve any stress your kitten may feel when settling into a new home. A heat pad is a great way to keep your kitten warm during the winter months, simply pop them in the microwave and your new arrival will be snug for hours.
When you first bring your new kitten home, it is important to create a space just for her, to let her get used to her new home and a place for her to retreat if she gets scared or overwhelmed.
Equip the kitten’s room with a bed, scratching post, toys, litter tray, food and water. Let her explore her new surroundings whilst you are still with her, this will help get both of you used to each other in a safe environment. Then leave her alone for a short time so she can become comfortable and settle in. Your kitten may hide, try to coax her out to comfort her but don’t go too fast – over time she’ll become less timid with you.
If you have existing cats or pets, it is best to make introductions slowly, animals recognise each other through scent, so isolate your new kitten and place toys from your kitten into your existing pet’s bedding and vice versa to get them used to the smell, this way first introductions should go smoother.
Your kitten’s first few meals at home are very important. To ensure they do not get an upset stomach it is best to find out what your kitten was being fed and continue to feed them on the same food for a day or two. If they’ve not been eating a Nutrition Centre brand, then we recommend you change their diet. This will need to be done gradually over a few days, mixing equal amounts of old and new food into their bowl.
A kitten’s nutritional needs vary significantly from that of an adult cat and they require a unique and balanced diet to help them grow into healthy adults. Pets at Home Kitten Complete has been specially formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs at this critical stage of your kitten’s development. We have carefully blended protein and fibre in an easy to digest formula. This ensures your kitten has all the essential nutrients for growth and stamina, for the very best start in life. We only use quality ingredients to help keep your kitten in the best possible condition. Every meal contains a high meat content which is sourced from UK farms. It is also non GM and contains no added colourants, flavourings or preservatives.
It’s vital that your kitten always has access to a clean, fresh supply of water. You may want to treat her to kitten milk every now and again. Our kitten milk is enriched with Omega 3 and infused with vitamins and minerals.
When you wash her bowls, make sure they’re rinsed well as washing up liquid can harm her delicate stomach. It’s also advisable to wash them separately from your own. For more advice on what to feed your kitten, ask a member of our store team, they will be more than happy to help.
Cats love to scratch and your new kitten will be no different – but it’s not just for fun! Scratching is a natural and necessary method that helps to keep your kitten’s claws in good condition. Since your kitten will want and need to scratch, you should provide her with the opportunity to do so naturally in your home. For the sake of your furniture, a scratch post really is a must! Ensure the post is the correct height for your kitten so that when she stretches her front feet upwards from a standing position, they do not reach over the top.
Cats are highly motivated by scent; their sense of smell is 30 times stronger than ours and the smell of catnip is really attractive so spraying the post with catnip spray may encourage your kitten to use it. Praise your kitten whilst she’s playing with the post, as this will encourage her to play with it again and again.
Playing with your kitten is not only great fun but helps to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Sometimes however, your kitten may bite and scratch and this is usually because you used your hands or feet to act as prey. If your kitten bites you, stop the game immediately and try playing with a toy that keeps your hands distanced from your kitten, such as a play wand or glove.
It’s quite normal for kittens to suddenly leap up and dash about the house in a frenzy of excitement more commonly known as “having a mad half hour.” This behaviour is not harmful and should not be discouraged. It’s just a natural way to release some pent up energy which would normally be used during the evening for hunting if they were living in the wild and usually disappears once your kitten begins to explore the outdoors.
In some kittens, the learning experience of having “a mad half hour” can lead to behavioural problems. They may learn that running around the house at top speed causes everyone to stop what they are doing, look and laugh. Even worse, they may discover that biting or scratching you or your guests on the way past brings even more excitement. Unfortunately, such behaviours can quickly become established and bright kittens may discover they can manipulate their owner’s attention by biting them and running away.
Although it is difficult, ignoring this sort of behaviour is the only way to ensure that it does not become a problem when they’re older.
Cats are very clean animals and usually learn how to use a litter tray quickly. Ideally you should start getting your kitten used to using a litter tray as early as possible. Where you position a litter tray is very important; make sure it is in a private but accessible place, well away from your kitten’s bedding and food. Your kitten may prefer a top over their tray for extra privacy and may adapt to litter training more easily if provided with a hooded tray. Hooded trays are more hygienic too as they reduce odour problems. Once the tray is in position and filled with litter and a liner, let your kitten explore it in its own time. If your kitten seems reluctant, gently take her to the tray yourself. You can further encourage your kitten by actually placing her into the tray early in the morning, last thing at night and after every meal.
You may find that even after your kitten has become accustomed to using its tray that accidents still happen. This may be because the tray is not being cleaned out regularly enough. Also, using strong detergents can be off-putting for cats, so use a cleaner that has been specially designed with a cat’s strong sense of smell in mind. A more common reason behind cats urinating and defecating in the house may be due to stress or anxiety. The most important factor in stopping this problem is to discover the cause of the stress. Fear of invasion of their territory by another cat is the number one cause.
Your kitten must be vaccinated before being allowed outside. First vaccinations are usually given around 8 weeks and the second booster vaccination at 12 weeks. Why not visit a Companion Care Veterinary Surgery in store for more information. Now that your kitten is settled into the home, you may want to let her out to explore the outside world, so it’s a good idea for your kitten to have a personalised pet tag, so that if the worst should happen and you were separated, you can be assured that your kitten is wearing a tag with your contact details. We also recommend that you have your kitten microchipped, in case she loses her pet tag. For more information, please ask your vet.
Your new kitten will need regular protection from fleas and worms, as this is vital for their health. Treating and preventing fleas and worms is simple and painless. We have qualified members of the store team who are able to dispense all leading flea and worm medication including FRONTLINE®, Advantage®, Fiproline®, Drontal® and Panacur®. We also stock a selection of sprays and wipes that accompany the treatments to ensure your kitten’s bed and your entire house is free from these parasites.
- Kitten Food
- Kitten Treats
- Food and Water Bowls
- Pet ID Tag
- Adjustable Collar
- Kitten Bed
- Heat Pad
- Scratching Post
- Catnip Spray
- Litter Tray
- Litter Liners
- Litter Scoop
- Kitten Friendly Disinfectant Spray
- Kitten Grooming Brush
- Flea and Worm Treatment
- Feliway Pheromone Diffuser