Preparing to bring a kitten home is an exciting time. You can ensure a smooth transition into your kitten’s new home by properly preparing for the introduction. Here is an approximate timeline to follow to make sure your new friendship is off to a great start:
Before heading home
Take your kitten to the veterinarian for a complete examination to ensure your cat is healthy and determine if any vaccines or medications are needed. Your veterinarian will look for external parasites like fleas, ticks and ear mites, or internal parasites like roundworms and tapeworms, so you don’t inadvertently expose your household to these parasites. Your veterinarian can also implant a microchip to help increase the odds of a happy reunion if your kitten ever gets lost.
Once your new kitten is home, there are some steps you can take to help them get used to their new home. Instead of giving them the run of the house, set them up in a single room. Being in a confined space will allow them to settle into their new environment and figure out where the food, water and litter box are located.
If you’re bringing your cat home to another animal, it’s important to allow your pets to get used to each others presence first. Bringing a kitten into a new environment can be stressful for them, which increases their chances of getting sick. Upper respiratory illnesses (URIs) are the feline equivalent of the common cold. Unless you are careful, you could have a household full of sneezing and coughing cats! Wait until your veterinarian has given your new kitten a clean bill of health before introducing them to each other. This will help lower everyone’s stress levels, especially yours.
It will likely take some time for your kitten to feel comfortable in his/her new home. Have patience and be supportive during this time by visiting with your new companion frequently. Supportive interaction can include petting or playing, or simply being in the same vicinity as your kitten as you do other tasks like watch TV or talk on the phone.