Becoming a carer to a new fur baby is such a beautiful and exciting time. Getting to know your new family member can also be intensive, challenging, demanding and chaotic. They can’t straight out tell us their needs.
This may be a common time for pet carers to seek Vet help, so here are some tips from VetAssist to make the settling in as seamless as possible:
Before night one, have a think about where your cat will sleep. Ideally, they need a secure, quiet, draft-free place that feels safe. This is a place they can retreat to whenever they are wanting to be alone as well. Having them safely contained in an area means they are not wandering around at night. These areas need to have perches and room for a litter box, as well as space for your kitty to feel comfortable.
It’s also worth noting that kittens sleep a lot! They need their sleep for growth and brain development, just like we do. It’s crucial that kittens and cats are not disturbed when they are sleeping.
Play is important for kittens as a part of daily life, it’s a great opportunity for training as well. It’s important not to accept being scratched or bitten during play - if this starts to happen, stop the play immediately and use the word “NO” firmly at the same time. Allow them to perform hunting behaviour with their toys - never your hands or legs.
Your kitten needs to have lots of activities to do during the day, especially if you’re out. This might include food searches (either with food dispensing toys or bowls with bits of food in them scattered various locations), climbing towers and vertical space; even a large stuffed toy to cuddle.
It can take a number of days for a kitten to settle in, even weeks for an adult cat. Their first contact with you needs to be gentle and initiated by them, so let your kitten make the first move.
Introduce them gradually to your home and any new playmates, if you already have pets. Start by letting them into a small area of the house first. Then, as their confidence in their new life grows, expand into bigger areas. Before you know it, they’ll have the whole place covered!