Are you planning to bring a kitten at home? We are sure you must be experiencing a great level of enthusiasm and excitement. The feel is very different for any pet parent. It is almost like you are waiting for a new baby to come to your home. Especially the kittens can be one of the energy balls that can make up your day. The people who are having stress or looking for a companion would love having the kittens around. After playing with them, you will be so relieved, and you will feel like a whole new person. Kittens are also considered one of the amazing family pets. They can get along with your family well. People of all age groups can be interested in a pet cat, and it shows equal response being in a part of the family.
As adorable the cat pets are, they could be easily troublesome and cause mischiefs at home. Even then, people adore cats as they are simple and could be easily trained. Considering all other pets, raising a kitten is a different experience altogether. While saying all that, the most vital thing about kittens is that they are loveable, charming, and simultaneously make you exhausting. They have boundless energy, and you could lose track of time while taking care of them. They wanted to take a lot of attention and playtime with you. Every cat will be different from each other, and it takes time for anybody to understand them.
Importantly, being a kitten is the best phase of a cat’s growth. You can play, bond, feed, teach, train, and do anything you want from your ideal cat. If you have enough time to spend with your kitten, you can see them growing like how you wanted them to be. In this article, we will discuss the first thing you need to do when you bring a new kitten home. Covering various aspects of growing a kitten, this article will be an essential guide.
What to do just before you bring the kitten home?
With kittens, your life is not going to be the same as before. As mentioned, they are coming home as a baby, and you may need to give some serious thoughts to make their living smooth and calm. Hence, you have to spend more time enjoying the kittens rather than tensed about what happens when they come.
Making the rooms’ kitten-proof by viewing each room carefully on a ground level is essential. The kittens are curious little creatures, and they will love to explore new places. It is natural for any cat to be excited about the new place, and you should encourage that as well. However, ensure that you do not have any objects in the path that will harm or hurt them. Decide where will be the cat’s home. Close or block the windows for the initial few days where they might be tempted to jump and explore. Remove all the electronic items from the room, including the power chords and wires they will get tangled on. Blind cords could be helpful and act as a separator for you to watch them.
Most owners prefer to have cats in the basement, which is a good thing since it’s an enclosed area. But ensure that they have enough ventilation and light. If possible, give them a proper space for them to live (like in the backyard), and you can see they are getting attached and used to your home easily.
When you buy or adopt a cat, you must take a health check-up before you even bring it home. It is essential for the kittens and also the family members to know them in detail. The examination will give you an idea of if the cat has some deficiency or going through any disease or not. Check its weight, eyes, and ears, and stomach carefully. Until they are six months old, the kittens may not be in a position to explain things out. The vets usually do the complete scan to see if they have any fleas or worms in the body or patches on the skin.
The vet examination is an essential process, especially if you’re going to raise them throughout life. While running some tests, you can also determine if they are allergic to any foods or lack any nutrients in the body. With the results, you can relax and accordingly plan their daily diet, exercises, training method, supplements, skincare, etc. Otherwise, it might freak or stress you out when you accidentally find them someday.
For kittens, vaccination is one of the important aspects. All the kittens must necessarily be vaccines to protect them from common diseases or flu. For instance, most cats are affected by feline leukemia, which is worrisome. With the cat’s vaccination at 9th or 12th week, they can naturally build a natural immunity against this disease. Your kitten will also need vaccination until one year and even during the first few weeks of their adult life. Hence, you have to get the schedule of vaccination from your regular vet for their healthy body and life.
These are the top three essential things to keep in mind even before you bring the kitten home. Once you decide on them, then the process will fall in place.
Here is a simple table that explains the dos and don’ts of having a kitten for the first time
Dos and Don’ts
Reason behind them
|Do consider the age before adopting.
|It is vital to consider the age of the kitten while adopting. Neither adopts too young kittens nor too old kittens. A few days old young kittens are too fragile to handle, whereas it is complicated to interpret the aged cats, especially for first-time pet owners. Also, older cats are more likely to die if not maintained properly, which can be very distressing.
|Do follow vaccination protocols well.
|Vaccination is essential to maintain the health of a cat well. Get some knowledge regarding the vaccinations to be given for your pet even before adopting it to avoid serious complications.
|Don’t hurry to give a bath.
|The common mistake new cat owners make is giving the kittens bath when they are not even 4-weeks old, which is a wrong move because those little ones cannot tolerate the temperature changes. The best period to make a kitten bath is between 12 weeks to 16 weeks. Also, it is crucial to use safe and fur-friendly products while giving a bath to your cat to prevent skin diseases.
|Do concentrate on the food.
|The food needs will differ from kitten to kitten. Most of the diseases and complications come to cats because of wrong and inappropriate food habits. So, it is better if to get a personalized food chart for your cat and follow it properly.
|Don’t ever skip the vet visits.
|Veterinarians play a vital role in feline’s health. So once you buy a cat, the first thing you have to do is to visit a vet and know about your cat’s health condition. Also, have a regular follow up with the vet no matter if your cat appears to be healthy.
|Do mind the shelter and foes.
|Never take your cat for granted and fail to give her a proper place to reside. It will lead to many problems and might even cause depression and other psychological trouble. So, provide your cat with a comfortable and safe place to sleep. Make sure no other creature would disturb or attack your cat as your pet might get harmed badly.
Next, we will see what the kittens will require when they come home. There are not too many supplies, but here are the essential things that you may need to stock up while you bring the pet home:
Feeding and Water bowls
Get your pet cat a fancy feeding and water bowl dedicatedly. If you have multiple pets, set them separately and train them to take them from their respective bowl. Since they are kittens, initially, they might find it challenging to be in a place and have their food, but once you practice them with the bowl, they will be on-time. For the first year, we recommend only stainless-steel bowls, which are strong and durable. When you buy the porcelain bowls, they might drag and drop while moving around.
Many owners forget to set a separate water bowl. But your kittens have a natural tendency to be entirely dehydrated while they play the entire day. It is necessary to place a separate water bowl for them that will keep them active and won’t nag you in between.
It would be best if you always gave the pet a neat and comfortable bed. It is one of the ways for the kittens to feel at home. Especially when you bring them from an adoption center, the first few weeks, they may take time to mingle with the family. They will be highly reluctant since they feel insecure. Having a good bed will give them proper rest and help them to understand their comfort zone at the new place.
Until you know the cat’s preference, do not get them anything fancy like a wicker basket or plush bed. Start with the cardboard made boxes with the proper cushion, which is soft and washable. Later, when you understand their color preference or any characters they see around, you can get them one. While purchasing, always ensure that you get at least three cushions and pillows and stock them up so you can use the other one while you have one of them under cleaning.
Everything set aside; what the new pet owners can’t resist is about the cat’s littering habit. It might be a little scary to see that pee or poop randomly across the room. Hence, from the first day you bring a kitten home, train them to use the litter box. The box must be roomy, and the cat can fit in rightly. Otherwise, it will be a nightmare every day. Your kitty may take some time to get used to it, but it gets harder unless you practice with them.
Remember, the bacteria or organisms evolve from the cat defects that can be dangerous to the family members. Hence you will require some disinfectants and cleaners to remove them. Every day throw the defects away and do not pile them up.
Note: Always wear gloves while cleaning the litter boxes. There are one-time usage gloves that could be very helpful in the situation. Also, properly wash your hands carefully every time you clean the place. Make sure kids or grandparents or pregnant ladies do not touch the defects or even go near them.
As you know, cats are known for self-grooming. They remove the tangles and any small mites in the body by licking themselves. However, a grooming kit is necessary to keep their personality neat and strong. Get a simple grooming kit that has a proper brush to comb their body gently. Make this as routine to brush at least twice a week to maintain the skin color’s texture. If the kit has a nail curler or cutter, it can be used to remove the sharp ends in the feet. There are many grooming salons for the kitten. Still, we recommend purchasing the kit to feel like you are spending more personal time with the kittens. Check the Scaredy Cut Silent Pet Grooming Kit that is useful for domestic grooming.
Importantly cats are afraid of water, and hence they may not want to take a bath. Along with the grooming kit comes a dedicated body shampoo for the kittens. Use them to wash them thrice a month at a regular interval. Hence even when they grow big, they wouldn’t be afraid while cleaning them.
There is a popular assumption that scratching posts are meant for the kittens to sharpen the claws. However, the truth is the post helps them to exercise and stretch out quickly. It is also a way for the cat to get rid of the dead scales from the nails. Until they become adults, these dead scales bother them and irritate their inner skin. Thus, they start to scratch the wooden furniture or thick fabric at home.
When you get them scratching post, it serves multi-purpose. Since the post is tall and sturdy, the kittens can stretch as much as they want and use them to scratch their nails at the same time. As soon as they wake up and before they sleep, ideally place the scratching post in front of them. You can see that they are making it a habit; it also helps you to save your furniture from scratches.
Even though you spend a lot of time playing with the kittens, you have to get them some toys to play with. Just like human babies, cats are also curious about little playthings and objects around them. Hence, getting toys to your kitten will make them occupied and help them to stretch all the muscles and tissues necessary for their growth. As they grow old, you need to upgrade the toys according to their functionalities.
While they are very young, please do not get them toys that can be splintered or torn apart. They may tend to swallow the small parts accidentally, and it may cause some serious trouble. For example, you can get them a celluloid ball, rubber mouse, thread spool, and corks. As they grow a few weeks old, you can get some interactive toys with sound and light. When you are not at home, the cats can engage their time playing with these toys.
Toys are also essential since they help them develop their response speed, cognitive actions, and interactions with people. Their communication will improve, and it allows them to get along even with other pets. Even if you don’t have any fancy toys, the ball of string, rubber bands, and balls made of aluminum could be used during the practice sessions.
These are some of the crucial things you may have to purchase for the kittens when it comes home. The time can’t wait in this case, as cats need to grow up with the things mentioned above. If you want a smooth co-living with your pet cats, you need to purchase them right away.
What should you observe when you bring the kittens?
In the first few weeks or months, you may not see through the things when the kittens are at home. You may be busy playing with them and cannot see even if they are trying to communicate something to you. As babies, the cats want to communicate everything through sound only. As soon as you bring a new pet, start observing their little actions and small noises they make. It may seem like all the sounds looks the same, but they are not. The following table will help you understand your cat communication.
Sounds of kitten and what do they mean:
Different cat sounds
|The well-known meows
|It is the signature sound of kittens. But do you know all are the possible meanings behind the meows? It can mean diverse things, including a welcome greet, an order for you to do something, disapproval of something, or a mere notification for something.
|The cute chirps and trills
|These chirps and trills are also quite common in cats because these are the sounds they use to communicate with other cats or even with people. Whenever your kitty chirps or trills at you, pay close attention as it is coming to tell you something. Usually, cats make chirps and trills to convey to you that they or hungry, thirsty, etc.
|The pleasure purrs
|Purrs are happy vocals. You can find your feline purring whenever your kitty is kneading, scratching, or grooming. This sound usually comes out of pleasure when their pheromones are treated or when they are feeling comfortable. Whenever you pamper your cat, it will purr at you as a reply.
|The horrific growls, hisses, and spits
|These are quite rare sounds. They will be unusually high pitched and will be terrifying to hear. It indicates that your cat is scared or threatening its foe to stay away.
|The alarming yowls and howls
|These are the sounds you should be very conscious of as these sounds indicate that your cat is in danger or pain. So, whenever you find your cat yowling or howling, find what is the reason behind its suffering.
|The naughty chitters and chatters
|The chitters, chatters, and twitters a cat gives out are the signs of excitement. You can find your cat making such actions, especially when birds and flies are around. It either means it is admiring those creatures or wanting to taste them. These chitter chatters will usually be accompanied by jumps as an attempt to catch those flies and birds.
The above table will help you to offer your cats what they need. The cats always wait for you to respond and pay attention to every detail of it.
Next comes the feeding of kittens. By nature, as soon as the kittens are born, they stay with their mother until it’s eight weeks old. But depending on when you adopt or bring them home, the feeding habit will be changed. Always ask the prior shelter authority about the kitten feeding habits. Some of them would not have been introduced to solid foods. Hence you cannot change them suddenly. It takes time for the cat to adapt to the new taste and habit.
Always start with the formula. If you are doubtful or this is your first time bringing a kitten home, then consult the vets. Based on the recommendation, make the formula and feed them. Don’t force-feed or urge them to have completely. Instead, provide slowly and test the formulas. If there is no reaction, it means there is smooth digestion. But if the kittens’ vomit or defecate immediately, it means you are not giving the right food.
Deciding the right formula and food is one of the first things you need to care about the pet cats. Once they get accustomed to the foods that you provide, slowly introduce solid foods. See the reactions every time. Observe if the kittens are developing any rashes or spots or having diarrhea. Sometimes the difference is not seen physically, but they change psychologically. They become inactive or lazy.
Hence get them highly nutritious protein-rich foods that will help them to grow hale and healthy. Adjust the feedings according to the number of calories that they consume.
Raising a kitten may sound challenging. But when you are ready and have these things prepared when they come in. It becomes easier. The most important of all of them mentioned above is to shower the new kitten with love and affection. Give them a dedicated time, and you can see everything will fall in place. Now that you know all about the kittens and what you should do when you bring them home, you will be well-equipped. We hope that this guide will help you to welcome the new kitten home.
All the Best!