Introducing A Kitten Into Your Family: A Beginner’s Guide

by Jessica Sweet
Owning a cat is a rewarding experience that can have a number of surprising benefits, and for those who want a pet they’ve raised themselves a kitten is the best option. To help you to find and introduce your new kitten into your family, here’s my guide for those who’ve never done it before.

Take The Time To Find The Perfect Kitten

When buying any new pet, it can be easy to simply point to the cutest animal and decide that’s the one you’re taking home, but it’s important that you take the time to select the kitten that’s right for you. Each breed of cat has unique personality traits, so it’s important that you research the types of cat available before you start visiting kittens. Visit a range of breeders, shelters and individuals offering kittens and spend time with a number of different animals before you make your decision.

As well as the colour and general appearance of your kitten, you also need to take into account how much maintenance it will need, and how large it will grow. You should also examine the kitten’s personality and look out for any specific traits you want, like docility, adventurousness and curiousness.

Prepare For Your New Arrival

After you’ve selected your new kitten and arranged to collect it, you need to prepare for its arrival. Make sure you have everything you need, including a comfortable bed (even if they do choose to sleep in the box it came in), toys, brushes, bowls and a collar.
You’ll also need to clean your house and make sure it’s tidy and safe before your new pet arrives. This means keeping anything your kitten could chew, like wires, safely out of the way, and creating a safe and clean space for your kitten to play and adjust to its new surroundings in.

Make Important Decisions Before You Take Your Kitten Home

There are many different ways you can keep a cat, including keeping them indoors all the time, allowing them to roam as they please or even putting them outside in a specially designed pen. Make sure you know how you will be raising your kitten before you bring them home so you can set the rules from the moment they arrive.
Another consideration is if there will be any areas of your property that will off limits, such as certain pieces of furniture or specific rooms. Cats are naturally inquisitive creates that love to explore, so if you do want to keep your new pet away from anything then you need to make sure it’s completely secured before you pick them up and bring them home.
Finally, you should try to pick the name you’d like to call your kitten before you take it home so that you can start getting them used to hearing it as soon as they get to your home. This will make them remember it quicker and help them to become a fully-fledged member of the family as soon as possible.

Take Things Slow

Bringing your new kitten home is an exciting experience, but it’s important that you take it slowly and don’t rush your kitten into feeling at home. Give them plenty of time to settle in before you introduce them to any other pets or children so that they can feel safe in their surroundings before they’re thrust into another new experience.

Be gentle with your kitten during their first few days in your home so that they don’t feel scared and associate their new abode with positive thoughts. Try to keep loud noises to a minimum so that your kitten doesn’t get frightened and can settle in peacefully.

Teach Your Kitten The Skills They Need Early

Young kittens often don’t understand how to use their litter tray to relieve themselves, so it’s important that you start to teach them as soon as they arrive. This will save family members getting distressed when they have to clear up cat mess.
Start slowly and place your kitten in the tray at specific times in the day, even if they don’t want to use it. This will encourage them to use the tray at certain times. Getting them into a routine early will be useful for the rest of their lives.
It’s also important that you teach your cat not to bite or scratch people. If they do, then gently tell them off and make it clear that this action is not accepted. When they behave in a way you like, reward them with treats and cuddles, so they come to understand what behaviours are good and which aren’t.

Find A Vet

Throughout their lives, cats need to be kept healthy, and this means taking them to the vets, either when they’re sick or just when they need a check-up. Find a vet who’s local to you and will be able to take your kitten on as a new patient.

When you initially visit the vets with your kitten you need to get them a microchip, so that if they get lost then they can be returned. Have your name, address and phone number included on the chip so you can be contacted if anything happens.

It’s important that you remember that a cat can live up to 20 years, so you need to start as you mean to go on and make sure that your new addition is comfortable and happy from the moment it arrives in its new home. Follow these tips to enjoy a great relationship with your new kitten.

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