KittensYour new kitten deserves the best!
Time and energy spent on health care and training now will be repaid a thousand times over in the next 20 years.
Your kitten's space
Before you bring your kitten home, prepare a small room or space that will be his or her own for the first few days or weeks. A smaller area to explore will help your kitten get comfortable with his or her new home. To help your kitten feel secure make sure there are plenty of hiding places. If there isn’t furniture to hide beneath place cardboard boxes on their sides or provide towers, igloos or tunnels.
When you bring you kitten home put the carrier in the room you’ve prepared. Open the carrier door and let your kitten come out when he or she is ready. After your kitten comes out leave the carrier in the corner as another hiding place. Your kitten may hide at first, but will explore when no one is watching, becoming more comfortable with his or her new home.Don't try to pull your kitten out of its hiding place. Use food and play to lure him out and gain his trust. Your kitten will want plenty of attention from you— you are his or her new mother, littermate and playmate!
Cats don’t like to eat next to their litterbox so place the litterbox on one side of the room and separate food and water dishes on the other. Make sure that your kitten can get in and out of the litterbox without help. Every day, scoop out the litterbox and provide fresh food and water. Change the contents of the litter box every couple of days and rinse the box with boiling water. Don't use a string disinfectant or liner in the box.
Providing a warm, comfortable bed is essential. Purchase a pet bed or line a box with something soft. A teeshirt that you’ve worn will help your kitten get used to your scent.
The first veterinary visit
Schedule your kitten’s first veterinary visit as soon as possible, preferably before you take him or her home. Check our blog for hints on making car rides and vet visits less stressful. We will give him or her a full physical examination, test and treat for parasites, and check the vaccination history and microchip. We’ll also discuss the most appropriate diet, toys, training, age to desex, bedding and litter habits for your particular kitten. We want the best and strongest start to your life together.
After your kitten has been to your veterinarian, becomes comfortable in his or her room, and develops a regular routine of eating, drinking, and using the litterbox, let him or her venture into the rest of your house.
Kittens require two to three times as many calories and nutrients as adult cats. It is essential that they have a high quality kitten dry and wet diet. We recommend the Hill’s VetEssentials Kitten diet. Introduce other flavours and textures in small quantities so that your kitten is not fussy later in life. Strips of different meats and small bones like chicken necks prevent dental disease.
Avoid cow’s milk because it gives most kittens and cats diarrhea.
Cats learn how to socialise with each other from their mother and littermates and ideally should remain with them until 10 weeks of age. Regular gentle human contact in the first 12 weeks ensures positive human interaction and bonds kittens to their carers. Kittens bred in homes where they interact with people all the time make the best companions. If you purchase your kitten from a breeder we recommend that you visit the facility to assess how much the kittens are handled and their general living conditions.
Introduce your kitten to other pets with care and under supervision. Always have a dog on a lead at the start.