Ready to bring your kitten home?
Getting a new kitten is exciting! Here are some tips to make the best transition possible for your new family member.
You’ll need supplies to set up a safe, secure, home base for your kitten to adjust to the space, sounds & smells of its new home. This can be any a room, such as a spare bedroom or bathroom (keep toilet lid closed!). As long as it can be kitten-proofed for safety and so the kitten can't get under any furniture & become trapped or hide. Electrical cords and breakable objects should be removed or fully secured. Tie up any blind cords, they will play with them and can become entangled. If you have houseplants, make sure they are non-toxic if nibbled.
Supplies you’ll need:
litterbox, UNSCENTED kitty litter (see list & links below), and scooper to clean the box. our kittens are trained to use both covered & uncovered boxes. Just make sure the walls aren't so high that the kitten can't easily get in!
food (see list & links below) and bowls (stainless steel, glass or lead-free ceramic are best)
toys (see list & links below)
a cuddly cat bed (a fluffy towel or fleece blanket will work but there are a lot of cute cat beds around!);
even more toys
a scratching post or cat tree wrapped with sisal rope (our cats' favorite material!)
grooming tools: a soft brush (we use the kind for newborn human babies, they are gentle on thin curly coats & skin); nail clippers (regular small human clippers are fine); cotton balls for ear cleaning and face washing
a carrier for the trip home & to the vet (hard-sided carriers are safest for transport, and are cleanable in case of carsickness)
our kittens are microchipped, so a breakaway collar and tags are optional
Cats, as small predators, instinctively need to know their home territory very well in order to feel safe. They need to know where their food and water and litterbox are, and they need to know where they can hide or escape to if they feel insecure. An entire apartment or house can be overwhelming if introduced all at once. Sometimes new kittens might hide under beds or furniture and be hard to reach. It will be much less stressful for your cat to learn about you, your family, and your home a little bit at a time. This is even more important if there are multiple people and/or other pets in your household.
When you bring your kitten home, first let it out in the home base room you have prepared. Keep this room closed off, and let the kitten explore that area first. If the cat seems very timid, you can leave the room for a while and check back later. If you really want to stay in the room, get a book and read softly out loud. Cats like this! When the cat is ready to come out, stay where you are and let him come to you. Talk in a soft, reassuring tone, pet him if he seems interested, but do not try to pick him up. Leave the open carrier in the room so that he has a safe retreat if he wants one. Give him time to learn that he can trust you.
Introduce other family members slowly. Have them come into the room one at a time to pet and play with the cat. Have younger children sit down, then show them how to gently hold and pet the cat and offer treats. Make certain that children understand that they are not to chase the cat, hurt or bother it while it eats, sleeps, or uses the litter box. If there are no other pets, you can let the cat begin to explore the rest of the house in a few days. If you need to introduce to other pets, there are some great tips on how to do that, easily googled on the internet. This is one of my favorites: https://www.jacksongalaxy.com/blog/cat-mojo-how-to-introduce-two-cats/
Copy and paste the links into your browser.
Here are the excellent quality LITTERS we use and prefer:
Dr. Elsey's unscented multi-cat clumping
EverClean unscented clumping
Scents can be intrusive to a cat's enhanced sense of smell and can put a cat off using the box. The above choices are low-dust and long lasting. Litterboxes that are kept clean daily, do not hold a smell :)
We use and love our Litter Robot automatic cleaning boxes, and their customer service is great:
Here are the FOODS we have fed & recommended.
We will discuss with you specifically what your kitten or cat is eating when it goes home with you, as sudden food changes can upset a tummy:
Instinct dry kibble, freeze dried treats, and canned
When we leave dry out for our adults, this is currently our brand of choice. Kittens love it too! The canned options are also highly favored. Available at most pet stores.
Royal Canin makes a variety of dry & wet foods for all life stages
Our kittens transition to eating solid foods on the Mother&Babycat formula.
Darwin's frozen raw (home delivery)
Our kittens transition to eating solid foods on this brand.
Stella & Chewy freeze dried raw
Our cats will literally break into the cupboard, chew through the bag to get this food. Easier for many people to store and work with than the frozen raw. Available at most pet stores.
RadCat frozen raw
This food is amazing, and to be honest our cats prefer this brand to all others. We feed Darwin's mostly for the lower price point and the convenience of monthly home delivery. RadCat is available in the frozen section of many pet stores.
Fegnion frozen raw
We have not fed this, but it comes recommended from friends that we trust, especially for cats with protein sensitivities who need single-source protein foods (they do not mix proteins, i.e. no fish in their chicken, no pork in their turkey)
When we have to use a grocery store brand, we prefer Friskies canned
(pate only; the slices & gravy are heavy on carbohydrates & sugar)
Here are some of the TOYS our cats love:
A basic selection to get you started!
Go Fish interactive feeder
Play-N-Squeak mice & bird toys are the best!
Freddys is hands down our favorite supplier of kickers and catnip plushies!
Chastity makes beautiful wands and teasers
We also like Tiger Teasers
We get all our cat beds from Shelly!