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Bringing home a new kitten is an exciting time for pet parents. It’s also an adjustment, not just for them, but for other pets and the new kitten as well. A smooth, calm introduction to the home is essential for minimizing stress and avoiding potential conflicts with other pets.
Before introducing a new kitten to the home, pet parents should create a safe environment. That may involve setting up an “escape” area and kitten-proofing the house. A comfortable bed, toys, and treats also creates an inviting environment.
Taking a few days off from work can make the transition easier and give the kitten time to adjust. Pet parents should spend at least an hour a day with the kitten so they become familiar with them and knows they’re not alone. They should also establish a consistent routine, so the kitten can learn what to expect.
Pet parents should introduce a new kitten to the different parts of the home, showing them where their safe space, litter box, and food are. That way, they can find their way around and know where to get everything they need. Other rooms in the home should be introduced slowly over the next few days to weeks.
A part of new kitten care involves teaching the kitten how to use the litter box if they’re not already trained. Pet parents should invest in a kitten litter box that’s low to the ground so they can get into it without assistance. Often pet parents will want to purchase enclosed litter boxes, but these will often deter kittens from going inside them because of their tendency to smell even worse. Cat parents should put open litter boxes away from food.
Keeping the kitten in an enclosed area with access to food, water, and a litter box can help avoid messes. A pet parent should place the kitten in the box after they eat or drink and praise them when they use the litter box. Avoiding punishments for making messes will help to prevent stress or fear.
Cats and kittens love to hide when they’re feeling afraid, stressed, or want to get away for a while. Pet parents should provide their new kitten with plenty of safe hiding options, such as a box with multiple escape holes or a multi-level cat tower.
Socializing a kitten will help them feel safe and comfortable in their new home. All family members should use calm, quiet voices. They can earn trust by letting the kitten come to them and playing with them.
Pet parents should introduce the new kitten to other pets slowly. That will help minimize stress and reduce the risk of conflicts. All pets have different personalities, so no two introductions will go the same. Similarly, cat parents with only one cat will want to give them time to space to be by themselves. If a pet parent has any questions or needs additional cat advice for socialization, they can consult with a Fuzzy Veterinarian 24/7 for expert advice.
Pets should feel calm, comfortable, and happy before introductions. Pet parents shouldn't force them, either. Separate safe areas for the kitten and other pets can provide an escape should anyone need a break.
Introducing a new kitten to the home does take time and patience. After all, it’s a significant change for the kitten, the pet parents, and other pets in the house. Making the home feel safe, making introductions slowly, and praising all pets involved for good behavior will go a long way in ensuring a successful transition.