Bringing Your Kitten Home

There are several things to remember when bringing home your new kitten. It is important to start things off on the right track so you can enjoy many years of companionship with your new feline friend.

Kittens need to be trained to use the litterbox, although it comes very natural to most little ones. They should initially be confined to one room with the litterbox when left unattended. This will allow them to be near it and adjust to using it routinely for elimination. Most cats prefer clumping, unscented, clay litter. The box should be large enough for them to circle around in, as many do this prior to eliminating. An under the bed storage box works well for many cats, because they are larger than most litter boxes and the sides are appropriate height to allow easy access. Most cats prefer the box to be uncovered, in a quiet place, away from lots of activity. A good rule of thumb is there should be one litterbox per cat plus one, and preferably one on each floor of the home. This is to lessen the risk on inappropriate elimination by any cats in the household.

Play is a very important part of learning and development for your kitten. They learn many things, like bite inhibition, through playing with their littermates. If you adopt a cat that is less than 10 weeks old, it is possible the kitten will choose you as his/her playmate. It is important to target the play towards toys, like feathers on a stick, to avoid scratches and bites that are natural parts of their game. Kittens spend large parts of their days playing with other kittens, and stalking and hunting objects. It is important to provide your kitten plenty of outlets for play, like toys. scratching posts, and to even consider hiding food treats around the house to encourage activity and hunting for food. With kittens, two is often better than one, so they can play with each other.

If you are introducing a new kitten to an existing cat(s), it is good to keep the new addition confined so they can adjust to each other’s presence with the door in between them. It is good to feed them on each side of the door so they can associate good things with each other’s presence. The introductions should be done gradually, and it may take several weeks for the hissing stop. If there is overt aggression on either side, then a longer confinement period is advised, and you should contact us for more detailed advice on how to proceed with the introductions.

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