Bringing home your new kitten is a very enjoyable part of kitten ownership, I have put together some tips to help make a seamless transition from our home to yours. Provide a quiet, comfortable room away from other pets that may be in your home. Have a comfortable spot for your new kitten to rest, toys to play, a litterbox, fresh water, and a bowl for dry cat food. Allow your kitten to remain in this room for about a week and then take him/her out to main room for longer periods of time until finally, he/she is settled in. This process usually takes about a week. During this time please keep all other pets away from your new kitten. Please have your veterinarian picked out and your first appointment already booked when you come to pick up your kitten.
Here is a list of supplies you will need to purchase before bringing your new kitten home.
If you are a first-time kitten owner, there are a number of essential supplies you will need to purchase before bringing your new kitten home.
Essential Kitten Supplies List: The Basics
We feed our cats and kittens Royal canin cats foods (wet and dry). We recommend Royal canin kitten dry food (PICTURE BELOW) to be left out at all times, let your kitten free feed on this along with fresh water. We feed canned food daily, in the evening, start with half of a small can and eventually go up to one can, your kitten will let you know when to add the whole can!!
Multiple Food and Water Bowls
These should be either stainless steel or ceramic. Plastic bowls are popular but can cause skin inflammation (“feline chin acne”) in many cats. We love and recommend flowing water dishes as they encourage kittens to drink plenty of water.
Litter Boxes, Cat Litter and Scooper
Remember, the general rule of thumb is that you need one litter box per cat plus one. One cat will need two boxes, two cats will need three boxes, etc. We use Arm and hammer litter, any variant is okay. We recommend a small litter box with NO COVER to start while your kitten gets used to his/her new surroundings. We recommend adding “cat attract litter additive” to your litterboxes during the first month of your kitten transitioning into his/her new home. Sometimes moving into a new home with unfamiliar surroundings can confuse and intimidate a new kitten, accidents occasionally happen during this major transition, this does not mean that your kitten is not litterbox trained . Adding cat attract assures a seamless transition for your kitten and your family.
USE THIS TYPE OF LITTER WITH AN UNCOVERED LITTER BOX AS SHOWN TO START OUT. VARIANCES MAY BE ADDED AS YOUR KITTEN GROWS ACCUSTOM TO HIS/HER NEW SURROUNDINGS.
- START KITTY OFF IN A SMALL ROOM, AWAY FROM OTHER ANIMALS A bedroom or even a bathroom will work well for this purpose. A small room will give your new cat a chance to get used to the smells and sounds of your home without being overwhelmed. It will give you a chance to make sure kitty is eating, drinking, and using the litter box properly. Never, ever introduce new animals to existing ones right away — it’s a recipe for disaster!
- GIVE YOUR NEW KITTY A CHANCE TO RELAX It can be hard to resist wanting to pat or play with your new cat right away, but remember that even though you are the best new home your cat could hope for, change is always stressful for cats, so your best bet is to give kitty a chance to settle in for a few hours or even overnight before spending a lot of time interacting.
- MAKE SURE YOUR FIRST INTERACTIONS WITH YOUR NEW KITTY ARE POSITIVE Have everything set up for the cat before you let him or her loose in the room so that the noise and movement of set up won’t add to kitty’s stress. Have your first interactions be about really yummy food, a great new toy, treats, and lots of kind words and gentle attention. Let your kitty know he or she is safe and that lots of good things await!
- KITTEN-PROOF THE ROOM Check the room carefully for small objects that can be ingested, heavy things than can be knocked or pulled down, cords that can be chewed on, spaces that kittens can get into but may not be able to get out of easily, etc. Kittens can get into lots of trouble, so look around and make sure everything is safe for them!
Cats need scratching posts to play on and to sharpen their claws. These will also protect your furniture by offering kitty an alternative! One large cat-tree for climbing coupled with one smaller post is sufficient. Remember, ragdolls are not as destructive as other breeds but they do sharpen their nails at times.
PLEASE BRING A CAT CARRIER WITH YOU WHEN YOU PICK UP YOUR KITTEN. TWO KITTENS MAY TRAVEL TOGETHER IN ONE KENNEL.
ALWAYS put your cat in a carrier for travel to and from the veterinary clinic. It is not safe to carry your kitten in your arms. If a loud noise spooks her, she may get away from you. It is also a good idea to make the carrier into a bed and leave it out at home for the kitten to get comfortable with.
Essential Kitten Supplies List: Extras
I do not buy kitten/cat beds because my cats have never used the ones that I bought! They find their own “beds” within your home. They do LOVE cat condos.
Our cats and kittens favorite toys include laser light, feathers on a stick type toys, small balls that roll around and catnip toys.
Essential Kitten Supplies List: Grooming Needs
A brush or comb with wire teeth work best
Cat Nail Trimmers
No need to bath your new kitten (unless you are showing him/her), there are plenty of dry shampoos for cats at your favorite pet supply store to help keep your kitten fresh and beautiful, I recommend brushing about once a week and nail clipping about every two weeks.
EXAMPLES ONLY….MANY GOOD PRODUCTS AT YOUR PET SUPPLY STORE
We will provide demonstration of how to trim cat toenails safely upon request. All kittens should be microchipped during one of their veterinary visits if they have not been done by our vet prior to departure.
We have had requests for helpful hints on introducing new kittens to current pets. We have put together this information, I hope it helps. Remember our kittens are very well socialized and will readily welcome your pets as new friends, the real focus is how your pets accept newcomers and their personality traits.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all it took to introduce a new cat to your resident pet were a brief handshake and a couple of “HELLO, My Name is….” nametags?
But, since we’re dealing with cats, not people, it’s just not that simple.
You can’t force your pets to like each other. We don’t have a crystal ball to predict whether or not your pets will be friends, but we do have techniques that will increase your chances of success. Most importantly, try to choose a cat with a similar personality and activity level to your current pet. An older cat or dog might not appreciate the antics of a kitten.
Go slow during the introduction process to increase your chances for success. Don’t throw your pets together in a sink-or-swim situation and just hope they’ll work it out. That’s a recipe for the fur to fly!
The nature of cats
Cats are territorial, and in general they don’t like to share. A cat who’s unhappy about a newcomer may express their displeasure by fighting with the other pet and marking territory(peeing on the floor, wall or objects).
Cats also dislike change, and a new cat in the house is a huge change. These two character traits mean you could have a tough (but not impassable) road ahead.
Some cats are more social than others. An 8-year-old cat who has never been around other animals might never learn to share their territory (and their people) with other pets. But an 8-week-old kitten separated from their mom and littermates for the first time might be glad to have a cat or dog companion.
All of this means that your current pet and your new cat need to be introduced very slowly so they can get used to each other before a face-to-face meeting. Slow introductions help prevent fearful or aggressive behavior from developing. Below are some guidelines to help make the introductions go smoothly.
The introduction process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, or even a few months in extreme cases. Be patient.
Giving good impressions
To allow time for the newcomer to adjust to you and their new situation, keep them in a small room with their litter box, food, water, scratching post, toys and a bed for several days to a week.
- Feed your resident pets and the newcomer on each side of the door to this room, so that they associate something enjoyable (eating!) with each other’s smells. Don’t put the food so close to the door that the animals are too upset by each other’s presence to eat.
- Gradually move the dishes closer to the door until your pets can eat calmly while standing directly on either side of the door.
- Try to get your pets to interact with a toy. Tie a toy to each end of a string, then place it so there’s a toy on either side of the door. Hopefully, they’ll start batting the toys around and maybe even batting paws.
- Be sure to spend plenty of time with your new kitty in their room, but don’t ignore your resident cat.
The old switcheroo
To animals, smells are far more important than appearances, so you want to get your pets used to each other’s scent before they meet face-to-face.
- Swap the blankets or beds the cats use, or gently rub a washcloth on one cat’s cheeks and put it underneath the food dish of another. If there are more than two animals in the house, do the same for each animal. When the pets finally do meet, at least their scents will be familiar.
- Once your new cat is using their litter box and eating regularly while confined, let them have free time in the house while confining your other pets to the new cat’s room. It’s best to introduce your new cat to a room or two at a time and increase their access to other rooms over a few days. This switch provides another way for them to experience each other’s scents without a face-to-face meeting. It also allows the newcomer to get familiar with their new surroundings without the other animals frightening them.
- You can do this several times a day, but only when you’re home to supervise. If you have to leave the house, put your new kitty back in their room.
- Next, after you’ve returned the cats to their designated parts of the house, use two doorstops to prop open the dividing door just enough to allow the animals to see each other.
- Repeat the whole process over a period of days—supervised, of course.
Slow and steady wins the race
It’s better to introduce your pets to each other gradually so that neither animal becomes afraid or aggressive. Once the cats are face to face, though, there will be some kinks for them to work out.
If you’re really lucky, your cats may do some mutual sniffing and grooming, and you’re on your way to success. They may sit and stare at each other. You can provide distraction by dangling toys in front of them at the same time. This may encourage them to play together.
They might sniff each other, hiss and walk away. That’s to be expected. This may go on for a few days or so, and then you’ll probably find them both sleeping on your bed.
Breaking it up
If you’re not so lucky, they may be very stressed. They may only posture and make a lot of noise. But, as soon as there are signs of increasing aggression (flattened ears, growling, spitting and crouching) make a loud noise by clapping your hands or throw a pillow nearby to distract them. If the standoff continues, very carefully herd them into separate parts of the house to calm down. This could take up to 24 hours, and the cats may take out their stress on you.
If the cats fight repeatedly, you may need to start the introduction process all over again and consider getting advice from a vet or animal behaviorist.
Note: Never try to break up a cat fight by picking one up. You’re bound to get hurt.
There are other things you can do to help ease tension between feline roommates.
- Have your cats examined by your vet before introductions to make sure they’re all healthy.
- Have one litter box per cat plus an extra one.
- Try to keep your resident pets’ routine as close to what it was before the newcomer’s arrival.
- Make sure all cats have a “safe” place to escape to.