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How to Survive the First Few Weeks with Your New Kitten
Kittens are adorable with their sweet little faces and seemingly insatiable appetite for exploration and excitement. However, observing the cute factor is one thing. Bringing a kitten into your home is quite another.
A kitten will become a beloved family pet, bringing you and your family much enjoyment. However, pet ownership is a responsibility you should be willing to take on as the animal relies on you for its survival. Kittens are no different. Indeed, they might require additional commitment as they learn to navigate the world around them. Here is what you need to know about the first few weeks of living with a kitten and how to survive them:
Prepare your home
Ensure that your home is cat-friendly and ready for a new feline occupant. It might be wise to pack away valuable ornaments and other items as kittens can be clumsy or somewhat destructive while in training. They do not always know their limits and can injure themselves during their expeditions to satisfy their curiosity. Therefore, get a kitty wellness tonic that contains joint supplements for cats. Many well-known companies such as Vet’s Best, Nutri Vet, and Scruffy Paws Nutrition have various supplements that are of the best quality and affordable all at the same time. This will protect your kitten’s joints while it is young and well into its senior years.
As kittens have different nutritional needs to an adult and older cats, buy kitten food before the new arrival comes to its forever home. If you have never had a kitten before, the range of food available might seem overwhelming. Ask friends and family members with cats what they recommend.
On the big day
A kitten might feel very overwhelmed after being separated from its mother and taken to a strange place. Consequently, some anxiety is perfectly normal. To mitigate this, make a kitten’s arrival as peaceful and quiet as possible. Loud noises or overstimulation could worsen a kitten’s nervousness and uncertainty about its surroundings.
Start small with one room in the house. Close the door behind you and set the carrier down. Prepare this room in advance with some food, water, and a warm cozy bed. Open the carrier door and wait for the kitten to come out while you remain seated on the floor. Some kittens might take longer than others, depending on their confidence levels. Once it emerges, gently pick it up and put it on your lap. During this time, stroke and play with it to encourage it to feel safe in your presence.
See if your kitten is hungry or tired by showing them their food and bed. The stress of arriving at its new home might see your baby feline needing a snack and a nap. If a kitten remains alert and uninterested in eating, start taking it to other rooms to familiarize it with its new home. It might be wise to keep the family dog in another room for a while and encourage your children to be quiet and gentle around the kitten.
Kitty’s first night
As it gets closer to bedtime, you might sense your kitten’s anxiety levels rising again. Until now, the kitten has slept alongside its mother and siblings. Having to sleep alone might be terrifying. It might take a few nights before things settle down.
Put the kitten in a room or enclosed area of the house with easy access to its bed, litter box, food, and water. You might find that a kitten will feel safer sleeping in its carrier for a little while before adjusting to its new surroundings.
Establishing a routine
Kittens thrive on routine as it helps them learn. Therefore, feed your kitten at specific times, placing its bowl in the same place each day. Then, allow your kitten to explore their new home. Hopefully, other pets will have adjusted to the idea of a baby feline sibling and will not make the process stressful.
Some kittens take to a litterbox with little or no training, while others need plenty of encouragement. Keep the litterbox in one accessible area of your home. Put your kitten in its litterbox after it wakes from a nap or eats a meal. Praise your kitten each time it uses its litterbox. Positive reinforcement for doing what is right is better than negative attention for not doing what is expected.
First few weeks with a new kitten: socialization
In the coming weeks, a kitten will interact with you and other family members more. A socialized cat accepts everyone’s presence without becoming hostile. Expose your kitten to family pets, let your children hold and pet it, and take it outside to explore your garden.
Each new experience may bring a kitty some anxiety, so you will need to be patient. Be vigilant for unacceptable behaviors, such as scratching furniture. Get a scratching pole and show your kitten how to use it by guiding its paws over the post. Kittens are active and playful but will not be destructive if you give them toys and objects to play with. Check some weird and wonderful things you didn’t know about cats.