The arrival of a kitten in your home is always an exciting event but it can also be a little overwhelming for new kitten owners when faced with the seemingly endless list of things that need to be done during their pet’s first few weeks of life. To help ensure those first few weeks go as smoothly as possible, we’ve put together a new kitten checklist covering all the things owners need to consider when bringing their pet home for the first time.
Bringing them home
When you first bring your kitten home, it’s best to set them up with everything they need (bedding, food, water, litterbox and toys) in a single room so they can get acclimatized to the sounds and smells of their new home without becoming overwhelmed. Once they settle in, you can gradually widen their area to roam and let them explore different parts of the house. This is also the ideal time to establish where the kitten can and can’t go. If you don’t plan to let your pet into a room when it’s a fully-grown cat, don’t let it in there when it’s a kitten.
Kittens often miss their mum for the first few nights in a new home, but you can make the transition easier for your kitten by putting a piece of fabric or a toy with their mum’s smell in the kitten’s bed, as well as a ticking clock to mimic mum’s heartbeat.
What do I feed them?
With so many changes happening in your kitten’s life, it’s a good idea to try and keep their diet as consistent as possible. We recommend feeding your kitten the same food they were getting before you brought them home for the first week or two. Kittens should be fed a quality commercial dry food specially formulated for kittens, alongside lean meat protein. Tinned and canned food should only be given occasionally as a treat.
At around 4 months of age your kitten will begin teething so you’ll need to provide them with something to chew on such as tough pieces of raw meat of raw chicken necks. 80% of adult cats aged over three have dental disease and getting your cat to clean their teeth by chewing whilst they’re still young can help prevent dental disease when they are older.
Kittens are quick studies when it comes to toilet training and all you usually need to do is show them where the litter box is when they first arrive – they’ll know what to do next!
Sometimes however, kittens can become disoriented in new spaces and this is when accidents happen. Keeping your kitten in a small room with their bed, litter box and food for the first day or so should solve this problem as it gives your kitten time to learn where everything is.
A trip to the vet should be a high priority during the first week of kitten ownership. Your vet will be able to give your kitten a thorough checkup and answer any questions you might have relating to your new pet’s healthcare needs as well as settling them in at home. Your kitten will have a few trips to the vet during the first few months of its life, for vaccinations, worming and de-sexing which Vets on Balwyn can perform once your kitten is between 4-6 months of age.