11 tips to prepare for a new kitten

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

Thinking of getting a cat? Kittens are so adorable, right? Of course you’re getting one! When you do, remember, the change of surroundings can be tough on the little creature, who has just left a mother and siblings to come to a new home. Therefore, you need to take care of a few things to make sure she or he is comfortable. Kittens are also extremely playful and can scratch and tear up anything from clothes to books while they’re larking about. So keep these few points in mind:

  1. Keep your cat confined to a small space, such as just one room, for the first few weeks. This will help her get used to your home but not lost in it. It also helps when toilet training as it keeps the cat within close proximity to the litter box.
  2. Cats instinctively choose to go to the toilet in a secluded place, so keep the litter box in the kitten’s main living area but in a corner of the room. Change it often as cats will not go in unless it is clean.
  3. Again, a cat’s instinct is to eat far away from the place she uses as a toilet. Her food and water bowls can be placed in the same room but in another corner, away from the litter box. Always keep fresh water available.
  4. Kittens love snuggling in boxes as it makes them feel secure. Take an old carton or some other box and place it on its side with a blanket inside for a comfy place where your kitten can go to nap or hide.
  5. For the first few weeks, you may want to temporarily remove curtains that your cat can reach as she’ll be likely to try to climb (and rip) them to get up high. Be prepared to rescue your kitten from other high places such as bookshelves.
  6. Move all hazardous substances that she could eat by mistake (medicines, poisonous plants, and harmful foodstuff) from within reach of the kitten, as well as fragile and breakable objects. Also make sure small objects like buttons, marbles or other bits of plastic or metal are not around where the cat could accidentally swallow them.
  7. Make sure you lock cupboard doors as well – cats can easily make their way into unlocked closets. And don’t keep glass objects like vases and showpieces in open racks as kittens can climb up shelves of any height.
  8. In addition to cupboards, cats are adept window openers. So secure any openings that could be an escape route for curious kittens.
  9. In order to distract them from sharpening their claws on your rug or upholstery, keep a scratching post and a few toys for them to dig into.
  10. Your cat will need a place to sleep. Look for a cat basket that is easy to clean and bedding that is soft, warm and washable. However, don’t be surprised if your independent-minded cat decides to pick another spot.
  11. You will also need a cat carrier or a cage, for times when you need to leave your new kitten alone in the house, or to transport her to the vet, etc.

Remember that the first few days at home can be daunting for your kitten so don’t force her to play and let her take time to relax and get used to her new environment.

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