New kitten owners – What you need to know

When bringing a new curious kitten into your home, or when rescuing and rehoming a kitten, it’s always best to let them explore and get used to their new surroundings in their own time. However, there are a few things to consider and think about to help your kitten settle in.

Things to buy:

Purchase a cat carrier

This is one of the first purchases you might need to make in order to bring your new cat or kitten home. Cat carriers are also very useful for trips to the vet and there are plenty of styles to choose from. Choose one that suits you and check for positive reviews. Cardboard boxes do not make safe cat carriers, they are easily damaged and can quickly become a hazard around claws!

A collar, name tag and bell

Kittens are adorably mischievous and love to explore. A collar and name tag will help keep them safe. A bell on the collar also comes in handy so that you can hear where they are, and find them if they get stuck somewhere they shouldn’t. That reminds us, we would always recommend that a collar is quick-release or has a snap opening, and two of your fingers should fit underneath it when fastened.

Toys, beds and scratching posts

Scratching is part of a cat’s natural behaviour, it keeps their claws healthy and helps them to mark territory. Giving them a scratching post helps them practice this natural behaviour and keeps them happy in their new territory.

Toys also help cats to follow their natural hunting instincts and can help you to build a new bond with your pet.

A cat bed or basket should be warm, comfortable and easy to clean, but don’t be surprised if they make their own choice about where they sleep!

Setting up your home:

Choose a main room

Your kitten will want to explore without feeling overwhelmed, so while they get used to their new surroundings it’s best to choose a single room for the kitten to get used to for the first few days. A room away from the hustle and bustle is best, although not too quiet that they might become lonely.

Give them high places and safe spaces

Felines love to patrol their territory. This means they make the most of high vantage points and enjoy areas they can hide in easily to stalk potential prey. Making sure they have access to these areas will help them to settle and explore.

Set up a litter area

Cats prefer to go to the toilet in quiet, secluded areas, so a space away from an entrance is ideal. Tray liners and a scoop are also handy tools to help clear out a litter box. Cats are very clean animals, so a scoop is a great way to keep a litter tray clean between clear outs. If you are training your cat to toilet outside, a cat flap is a must!

Food and water bowls

The best place for food and water is far from the litter area. In the wild, big cats never eat in the same place as they go to the toilet. Shallow dishes are also a great idea for a new kitten because their whiskers are very sensitive at that age. Cats prefer ceramic, glass or metal bowls, as plastic can often taint the water inside them.

Make a vet appointment:

One of the most important things to do is book a vet appointment to organise your new kitten’s vaccinations, health checks and microchip or, if your cat is a rescue, see if vaccinations or microchips need renewing or updating.

It’s important that you do not let your new kitten outside until they are vaccinated and always follow your vet’s instructions. It’s also a good idea to get your cat microchipped before its first outing, that way you’ll have complete peace of mind should they wander too far.

Your vet is the best person to recommend tips for general care too, including the very important decision to get your cat neutered and when is the best time. So, take this opportunity to get professional advice about how best to care for your new friend.

We hope your cat is very happy in its new home.