Are you thinking about buying a kitten for the first time? Cats can be great companions, but those little bundles of fluff do take a lot of looking after! Here’s your guide to caring for your new kitten.
Preparing Your Home
Before the kitten arrives in your home, you first need to make sure your home is properly prepared. There are some things that all kittens do instinctually, and there’s nothing you can do to stop them. One of those things is scratching. All kittens scratch away at whatever they can, so you need to prepare for this behaviour. There’s nothing you can do to stop a kitten scratching, so buy a scratching post for them to use.
You’ll also need a litter tray and cat litter. Dealing with cat litter isn’t the most pleasant job in the world, but it’s one that needs to be done. If you want to make the job a bit easier, get an automatic kitty litter box. They don’t require you to clean them out all the time.
Helping Them Settle
Your new kitten will probably be shy at first, this is completely normal. They need time before they’re comfortable in their new surroundings. They’ll probably find somewhere to hide and stay there until they’re sure their environment is safe. You should just let them get on with this behaviour.
They’ll eventually become a bit more adventurous, that’s when you can try to bond with them. The best way to build a relationship with them is through food. Offer them treats, and they’ll come towards you and grow to trust you. You should keep them in the house for the first few weeks while they settle and after that you can introduce them to the garden.
You should have two bowls for your kitten, one for water and the other for food. The water bowl should never be empty, make sure you’re topping up the water level throughout the day. The last thing you want is a dehydrated kitten! You should also be careful to give them enough food.
You should change their food about 3 or 4 times a day and monitor how much of it they’re eating. Ordinary shop bought cat food is what you should feed them. Each tin will come with instructions, so just follow them. Don’t feed them too much though, you should aim to get their diet balanced at an early age, so they don’t become obese.
Your kitten will need to get used to the feeling of being brushed, so it’s a good idea to start grooming early. It can also help the two of you bond, so it’s useful for multiple reasons.
To start with, groom them for short periods of time and if they don’t take kindly to it, offer them treats to keep them in position. The kind of brush you use will depend on the breed of cat you have and whether it’s short-haired or long-haired.
Having a new kitten is an exciting time, make sure it all goes smoothly by using this guide to help you!