• Dr Grant Hampson

Welcoming your kitten home!



Welcoming a new kitten into the family is extremely exciting for all involved and we are here to help you in your exciting new journey.



Your kitten checklist:

  • A new cat bed

  • Kittens will change where they sleep quite frequently so you may need more than one.

  • Food and water bowls

  • The general rule of thumb is to get one bowl per cat in the household, plus one extra.

  • Puzzle feeder

  • These are a great way to keep your kitten entertained!

  • Litter trays

  • As with food and water bowls, it is great to have one per kitten/cat, plus an extra one. Even if your cat is going to be outdoors, your kitten will thank you for having an inside bathroom.

  • Plenty of toys

  • You can pick up plenty of different toys from your local pet shop. It is important to actively play with kittens, throwing balls and playing with.

  • Scratching Posts/Cat tree

  • Scratching post and spaces to climb encourage exercise and entertainment.

  • Cat Carrier

  • Buy a nice stable carrier, try and choose one that your kitten can fit in when they are fully grown.

  • Grooming Brushes

  • There are grooming brushes designed for the type of fur your cat has. Long haired cats need grooming every day to stop the formation of knots.

  • Blankets

  • Giving your kitten a blanket they can get used to can help reduce anxieties on short journeys, such as to the vets or for when you leave the house.

  • Insurance

  • Pet insurance is an important safety net to help protect you against unexpected costs related to your pet. There are various levels of pet insurance cover to choose from across different pet insurance companies. There are lots of resources out there to help you choose the right insurance.



Socialising your kitten:


Socialising kittens is really important to help build their confidence and to gradually introduce them to new experiences. New sounds like hair dryers and washing machines, can be a scary experience for kittens, so it's key to introduce these sounds slowly. Gently accustom your kitten to being picked up and stroked, always move slowly and use a soft voice when talking to them.


If you are introducing them to another family member, another cat, a dog or a child, it's essential to start slowly with short bursts, always be around for these first introductions and never leave them unattended. Older cats can take a little while to get used to new family members, so allow them to have their own space and don’t force an interaction, they will come around eventually.


Feeding:


For the first week it is advisable to us the same food they were on with the previous owner. Once your KatKin food arrives you can follow the detailed transitioning guide.

  • Start by adding a spoonful of KatKin into your cats old food, removing a similar amount of their old food from their bowl.

  • Slightly increase the amount of KatKin you feed the next day, whilst also similarly decreasing the amount of their old food. Try mixing the two foods together.

  • Gradually increase the amount of KatKin and decrease the amount of their old, they should be half on KatKin by around day 3/4 and fully on KatKin by day 7.



Using the Litter Tray:


Kittens are little copycats and often learn by watching others, this even applies when using the bathroom. They learn how to use litter trays by watching their siblings or mother do it first. If you are litter training your kitten, place them in the litter tray and gently scratch the litter with their front paw. Do this a couple of times a day. Ensure the litter tray is kept somewhere that is quiet, away from where they eat, is always accessible and is always clean.


Visiting the vet:


Your kitten may have already had one of their vaccines already. Second vaccines are usually due 3-4 weeks following their first one, and this might be the perfect opportunity for your kittens first visit to the vets. If your kitten has had both of their vaccinations already, after a few days of settling in, booking them in for a health check is a good idea.


Make sure you take your kitten to the vet's in a cat carrier. Often kittens do not enjoy getting into a carrier, so a tip from us is to place the carrier open in a commonly used space a couple of days before you are going to let them get used to it. Make the carrier a positive experience by treating them when near it, or playing with them in or around it.


Your kitten will need regular flea and worming treatment and there are lots of options on the market, discuss these options with your vet.


If you follow all of this advice, you're ready! Comment below with your experiences with kittens and anything you wish you'd known before getting one.


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