by Dave Stephenson
So the exciting moment has arrived and a new kitten is destined to come home. The adventure begins the moment the new arrival is picked up. If it is to be a happy and mutually endearing relationship, it pays for the new owner to take a few steps to make sure the kitten is as comfortable and settled as possible during the initial journey home and its early days in a new household. A little tender, loving care will help the kitten establish a routine and familiarize itself with the environment with little or no trouble.
Home sweet home
Choose a quiet time to bring home a new kitten. A weekend may be ideal, when there are some people around, but not too many, and when the owner has the time to devote attention towards looking after the newest member of the household. For the journey home, choose a cat box that will be large enough for a full-grown cat and line it with dark, cozy blankets, which felines find reassuring. It’s best to place the kitten’s bed in a tranquil, safe corner – any potential hazards having been removed beforehand – but it is also wise to bear in mind that cats like to choose their own environment, so the kitten may opt to sleep elsewhere. New owners may have to be patient until the kitten settles down in a location that suits everybody.
Eating and drinking
When feeding the kitten, providing a smaller dish for food and a larger one for fresh water is the ideal combination, spaced about 20 inches apart and the same distance away from litter trays and bedding. It is important to keep a watchful eye on the amount of food a kitten consumes – always check recommended guides for a particular breed and age, as pet obesity is an increasing and distressing problem for animals as well as owners. With this in mind, always use the best cat treats for rewards when teaching the kitten to use a litter tray or helping it to socialize by indulging in cat play.
Of course, kittens are naturally playful. Adding a scratching post and a cat tree, because kittens love to climb, will save unnecessary wear and tear to household furniture and help young cats exercise properly. Playing with a kitten helps it to adjust to and enjoy human company. Toys can be made at home from suitable materials or bought from a pet shop. As the kitten grows and begins to explore the wider world, a pretty collar is attractive and practical for identification purposes. Some come with electronic tags, which are useful if access to a cat flap in a property is to be restricted to the cat that lives there.
Health and Well Being
A healthy kitten is a happy one, and essential vaccinations are needed to protect against infections, as are regular check-ups for worming and dealing with mites. Safety at home must always be a priority – if the kitten goes missing, check washing machines, dryers, wardrobes and cupboards. Curiosity can be a hazardous thing for these inquisitive felines.
Dave Stephenson is a dedicated internet blogger that loves to write about lifestyle and the world, covering topics including family, health, and pets, all the way through to technology, media and travel.