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Kittens eating on kitchen counter
Kittens eating on kitchen counter

Bringing a Kitten Home

You’ve made the decision of bringing a kitten home and may be wondering what to do next. Well before the sleepless nights and constant cuddles kick in, you may want to think about how you are actually going to bring them into your home. Fear not, we have been there and know all the tricks in the book to calming your new kitten once they are home. Read our helpful guide for more insights.

Checklist for bringing your kitten home

When bringing your kitten home, you may have more things to remember than you first realised. Luckily we have put together the ultimate checklist for getting a kitten so you can cover all bases. Everyone loves a checklist and if you say no, then you're lying! Let's kick of the list with some fundamentals for when welcoming your kitten home:

  • Separate food and water bowls

  • Kitten food - you'll want to start off by feeding your kitten what they are used to, and soon switch to fresh, the healthiest food for your kitten.

  • Soft and comfortable bed

  • Litter tray & litter they may be used to

  • A sturdy scratching pole

  • Cat grooming kit (brushes to keep their fur soft)

  • Cat carrier

  • New kitten toys

Transporting your kitten home - Cat Carriers

Cat carriers are a necessity when bringing your kitten home. No matter if you are walking, driving or using public transport, you will need one. It can be quite dangerous to bring your kitten home without one, as they can easily escape from your arms, which can be fatal if you’re not careful. Not only will they help you transport your kitten safely from a to b, they will become a key feature in your kitten's life as they grow up. From vet appointments to taking your cat on holidays, the earlier you can get your kitten used to being in a cat carrier the easier it will make any journey.

If you are driving home with your kitten in toe, to make the journey even more comfortable, you may want to:

  • Drive slightly slower than usual to prevent startling your kitten.

  • Fasten the cat carrier in place with a seat belt to avoid any unnecessary movement.

  • Drape a light blanket over the cat carrier to help make your kitten feel secure (do ensure it is not a heavy blanket that could restrict air flow).

  • Put toys or items which smell familiar to your kitten in their carrier with them.

  • Talk calmly to them - no matter the length of journey, your voice may help soothe their worries away.

How to settle a new kitten

Once you have brought your kitten home, it may take some time for them to adjust to their new setting. But this is okay! To help them on their journey to be the fearless cat they can be, here are our top tips:

  • Give them the freedom to explore the new space - to them there will be lots of new smells, textures and items they will want to discover.

  • If they hide, be prepared to talk to them gently, instead of forcing them out of the spot. It's part of their instincts to hide in strange new environments, so be patient.

  • You may want to limit them to a couple of rooms in the house initially while they build up their confidence.

Kitten introductions

Introducing your new kitten to other family members early on can help build their social interaction and behavioural skills. Whether you fly solo in your home or have children, other pets and family members to consider. Bringing a new kitten home can be exciting for all. But where do you start with introductions? A key thing to remember is to go at your kitten's pace. They are only little and the world around them may already feel big without adding children and other pets to the mix. Taking the slow approach when introducing a new cat to your home is always best.

Children and family members - Once you feel your new kitten is comfortable with your company, you may want to start introducing them to other family members. One thing to consider is children are bound to be excited at the fluffy cuteness your kitten brings, but with that may come small hands which can easily be hurt if they’re not careful. Demonstrate first how you would like the child to be gentle and calm before allowing them to hold or stroke the kitten. It is always wise to be present for any interaction and not leave your kitten unattended.

Dogs - If you already have a dog in your household you may already be mindful of the first interaction between the animals. Gradual progress is key here. Kittens can often be more energetic than older cats which may not bode well if you have an excitable dog too! Consider taking your dog for a walk before the first interaction, as they may be calmer and more tired which could help both parties.

Other cats - Introducing your new kitten to another cat may actually be the most difficult out of the three. Cats can be very territorial and while some like the company of other cats, you can find most are happy to live apart. Similar to the other two introduction methods, slow and gentle is key. The best advice is to help set up your new kitten in their own space before introducing them to your existing cat. Which means separate food and drink bowls and litter trays.

House training a kitten

Teaching your kitten to use their litter tray can be quite simple. More often than not, by the time you bring your kitten home, they may have already learnt how to use the toilet, which is an added bonus. On the other hand, you may need to provide some encouragement. Our top tips to house training your kitten are:

  • Choose the right litter tray & cat litter - ideally it is something they are already used to or comfortable using. You can always ask their previous owner what they were using.

  • Ensure it is not close to where they eat - privacy is key people.

  • Keep the area clean - While the litter tray should be cleaned at least once a week, it is advised that you give the tray a scope twice a day.

  • Encouragement to use the tray - if your kitten isn’t using the litter tray, don’t punish them as this can make them fearful, which may make the problem worse. Instead carefully guide them to use the tray and we are sure they will get the hang of it in no time.

When can kittens go outside?

Kittens can go outside, with your supervision, once they have completed their full set of booster vaccinations. This can be around the 4 month mark. Letting your kitten outside for the first time can be be both exciting and daunting to your kitten. Here are some tips to keep them settled:

  • Choose a time of day when it might be quieter outside e.g no kids or loud noises.

  • Take them outside before a meal so you can attract them inside with their food. If you have any questions on kitten food you can use our helpful guide.

  • You can walk outside with your kitten to make them feel at ease.

  • Leaving the door open to your house can allow them to feel calm, should they want to return inside from their adventures.

Although you may have already it on your list when bringing a kitten home, you want to check:

  • Your garden or open space is kitten proof.

  • Learn your kitten’s favourite things, to help when enticing them back into the house.

  • Ensure they are microchipped and have a well-fitted collar for identification.