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First-Time Pet Owners: Essential Tips For When You Bring Home A Kitten

Whether you’re adopting or buying from a breeder, bringing home a new kitten is an exciting experience.

Kittens are undeniably cute and extremely playful, but you need to make sure you’re prepared when your new family member comes home, as it can be a very scary time for your little friend.

Your kitten will be from 7-9 weeks old, depending on when they’re weaned, when they come home; making the journey and arrival home smooth and as stress-free as possible will help you bond.

Follow your kittens lead when you get them home; if they want to hide, let them and if they want to explore, keep a close eye on them but give them space to get accustomed to their surroundings.

If your kitten is more confident than most and wants to play immediately, go for it, it’ll be a great chance to get some bonding time in from the moment they get home.

Be prepared for it to take a few days before they’re comfortable around you, though, as some kittens take longer to come out of their shells.

First-Time Pet Owners: Essential Tips For When You Bring Home A Kitten

Insurance & Vets

Before your kitten comes home, make sure you have pet insurance and have registered with a local vet; this will save you stress later when it comes time to arrange vaccinations or spaying/neutering. 

Many insurance companies offer four weeks free for new kittens to keep you covered for any early issues your kitten may encounter.

The stress when settling into a new home can cause kittens to suffer from gastrointestinal problems, and you may need to take a few trips to the vets to avoid anything serious developing.

Kittens can also develop eye infections easily. Again, this is usually due to stress; vets can help you navigate how to clean their eyes or give eye drops and supply you with antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

Scent

An excellent way to reduce your kitten’s stress is to get them familiar with your scent before they come home; leave a blanket or use a t-shirt with them for a few days to get used to your scent.

When your new friend comes home, they will already have a sense of comfort that they are accustomed to.

Tabby kitten in a Pet Travel Carrier.

Transport

A suitable carrier will be needed for the journey home and future vet checkups.

Add to the scent comforting by putting another blanket or used t-shirt in the carrier before you pick up your kitten; this will make the ride in the car less stressful and reduce the anxiety with the new surroundings when you get home. 

A small kitten eating kibble out of a metal food bowl.

Food & Drink

Set up a food and drink zone in the room your kitten will be sleeping in before you bring them home.

Kitten friendly Time For Paws food is a fantastic choice for first-time kitten owners as they have a range of options to suit even the fussiest little furball. 

Some breeds of cat, such as the Savannah, are known for only drinking running water, so do your research before your kitten comes home to know if a bowl will be suitable for their needs.

If you do need running water, then Time For Paws has you covered there, too, as they offer a great quality water fountain and replacement filters for your kitten.

Finally, don’t forget the treats when it comes to food and drink; these will prove crucial in helping to train your kitten in staying off certain surfaces or coming to you when you call their name.

Kitten Proofing

Kittens can and will get into everything; you’ll be surprised at the spaces they manage to squeeze into when you’re not looking.

Take the time to cover any wires, block any holes under the cabinets and move anything you don’t want them getting into before they come home. 

Young black and white kitten playing with an orange ball

Toys

Kittens love to play, and you will need plenty of entertainment for them.

You will need toys your kitten can solo play with and toys for you to interact with them; typically, you need to have a minimum of two play sessions with your kitten a day for around 20 minutes, but more is better.

Don’t forget the scratching posts; your furniture will thank you later.

Young gray striped kitten laying on a white sheet

Home Alone

Contrary to popular belief, kittens and cats are not ok to be left alone for long periods at a time.

A typical workday will be fine like it is with dogs, but don’t leave your little furry friend home alone for days at a time as it causes immense amounts of stress.

Kittens and cats don’t show stress in the same way as dogs and often come off as aloof if they’re unhappy, which is why many people assume they’re ok to be left alone for 24 hours or more.

In the same way as dogs, however, you are likely to notice destructive tendencies if they are left alone for too long, as this is a common manifestation of stress for both cats and dogs.

Molli Taylor

Tuesday 10th of May 2022

my teen just took in a cat that had kittens, so i passed this onto him.

Deb Pelletier

Sunday 6th of March 2022

A family member just got a kitty and said it's like taking care of a baby. Thanks for the information.

Thomas Gibson

Friday 26th of November 2021

Thanks for the post. Very informative.

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