The Purr-fect Start: Preparing For Your New Kitten
It’s no secret that kittens make wonderful pets. Animal lovers all over the world adore their cute and cuddly appearance and often mischievous demeanour, making cats one of the most popular pet species in the world.
However, settling in a new kitten takes a lot of work. Cats may be more independent than dogs, but owning any pet is definitely a huge responsibility; a fact which rings doubly true for young animals. Fortunately, a little forward planning can help reduce stress for both you and your feline friend, ensuring that your new kitten gets the best possible start in their new home.
Decide Where Kitty Will Come From
Getting the right kitten for you is very important. Your first step should be to work out where exactly your new kitten is going to come from, with rescue shelters the safest and most humane option. A cat from a shelter will have been looked over by veterinary staff, giving you at least some indication of her health before you make a commitment. Also, by adopting from a shelter you are helping to reduce the huge number of unwanted pets that animal charities care for.
Your other main option is to buy from a pet store or breeder. Although this can seem like a viable option, opening up the possibility that you could get a purebred cat, you should be very wary of the breeder system. Some purebred kittens are sourced from kitten mills, where they may have lived in poor conditions. Also, purebred cats can be highly susceptible to congenital diseases and many have very poor immune systems.
Get Your Supplies In
It’s definitely a good idea to get your pet supplies in before your new kitten arrives, as kitty won’t appreciate a lack of food or a litter tray in her new home! Fortunately, you don’t even need to leave your house to buy essentials for your cat these days, with many companies selling pet supplies online.
At the very least, you’ll need a litter tray, litter and a scoop for your new kitten’s toilet arrangements. You’ll also need separate bowls for food and water, as well as food and water to put in those bowls. Kittens will play with just about anything if you let them, so some decent cat toys are a must if you want to prevent them attacking your carpet or wallpaper in the name of fun. Don’t forget a bed and brush, too as your kitten’s naptime provides you with a good opportunity to get her used to being groomed. This is especially important if you have a longhaired cat.
Make a Kitty Den
Your new kitten will likely be stressed out and not a little scared during her first few hours in your home, so it’s usually best to introduce her to your new place one room at a time. It’s a good idea to set up a cat den: a little place of sanctuary where she can go if she feels threatened or wants a break from all the attention she’s likely to receive! Spare bedrooms are ideal for this purpose, although a large box can also suffice if you don’t have the luxury of a spare room.
Start by kitten-proofing your den. Put plastic covers over electrical sockets, ensuring that there are no temptingly exposed wires and remove any furniture that you don’t feel would be improved by claw marks. You can then put your cat’s bedding, toys, litter tray and food in the room and await the arrival of your new houseguest, safe in the knowledge that they have everything they need.