Kitten adaptation in new home
Having a little kitten in your home is obviously a lot of fun and joy but it puts some responsibilities on you as well.
It does not matter if you bought, adopted a kitten intentionally or someone gave it to you as an unexpected gift, what matters is that he is a new member of your family now who needs your love, care and attention. You need to pay to him as much attention as you can, call him by his name. By clicking this link you can find a list of cat names out of which you can pick a right name for your new pet.
It is quite possible that a kitten will be sad, stressed and a little bit shocked within 2-3 days after you bring him into your home. It might take him up to 1 week or even more to fully adjust. Try to give him more attention by playing with him or petting him. If he feels a little uncomfortable in your house and hides in places like closet – leave him alone, do not disturb and just give him some time to adjust. It is recommended to limit his space in the beginning by just one room, keep the door closed all the time and after you notice that he is well adjusted in this room slowly give him more and more space in the house.
There are few things you need to consider when bringing a kitten into you home.
Things you need to buy - Necessities:
Dry food (Kitten formula)
Wet canned food (Kitten formula)
Vitamins for kittens
Bowls (Metal or ceramic – do not buy plastic ones)
Cat Litter (scoopable)
Litter box (the best option is to buy a large with high sides, it should made of high quality plastic which doesn’t absorb odors)
Litter scoop (to remove clumped waste out of litter box)
Multiple cat toys (balls, mice, strings, feathers etc)
Scratch post or Scratch board
Cat shampoo (it will be needed in the future)
Things which are not that necessary but can be very useful:
Cat carrier (needed for visits to veterinarian or when you need to take your cat with you somewhere)
Catnip or Catnip spray (great for training your cat to use a scratch board)
Lint/sticky Roller (to remove cat hair from clothes or furniture)
First days in new home: Toilet Issue
As I mentioned above the first thing you need to do after bringing a kitty into your home is to limit his space. Being in absolutely new environment he is stressed a lot and you need to guide him a little bit. Pick a room in the house which does not many hiding places with cracks your kitten may crawl into and where kitty will be in the open most of the time. Keep the door closed several days until you are certain that the kitten learnt where his litter box is located. Then gradually open more space for him until he will have access to the whole house or apartment. Then put litter box somewhere in the passing area but in the corner and put kitten into it. Kittens are litter box trained when leaving the cattery and going to new homes and they understand perfectly what it is and what it is needed for. If you see that kitten doesn’t use litter box for a while you need to remind him – put him back into it. As I mentioned before moving into new home might be very stressful for a kitten and he might not go to bathroom for up to 2 days – it is absolutely normal. You do not need to worry, everything will fall into place within a week. After you see kitty using litter box (and only litterbox!) regularly you can slowly move litterbox to the place where you want it to be placed permanently. An important thing you need to remember – never put litter box next to kitten’s bowls with food and water!
You can find more information about how to train you cat to use litterbox here.
Kitten’s nutrition should be well balanced. For kittens which are 2-3 months old stick to the following ratio: 70-80% wet canned food, 20-30% dry food. When the kitten grows older slowly start changing the ratio to 70% dry food and 30% wet food. The food should have room temperature, little warm - never give your cat food right out of the fridge.
Today in pet stores you can find a huge variety of cat food products and it is hard to make a right choice. As always I will recommend to read the list of ingredients of any product you want to buy. You want to avoid products which contain grains and different sorts of additives to make cat food more appealing for your cat. It is strongly recommended not to feed your cat with dry/wet cat food which contains grains – cats are carnivorous animals and not supposed to eat any kind of grains.
There are some recommendations for cat food brands:
1. Orijen – dry
2. Evo - dry
3. Wellness core - dry
4. Natures variety instinct - canned
5. Blue buffalo wild delights - canned
6. Acana - dry
7. Nutrience grain free – dry
- Purina, Whiskas, Royal Canin, Iams and other brands which can be found in most grocery stores in pet supplies departments.
You can check this page for detailed reviews of best cat foods 2017.
And always remember to buy cat food according to cat’s age. Kitten formula should be given to kittens under 1 year of age.
Good quality brands make both dry and wet foods which contain everything your cat needs but if you prefer to feed you cat with real meats you absolutely can. Cats are predators by their nature and their main diet should consist of meats like beef, chicken, turkey, rabbit, fish, liver, hearts etc.
Strongly prohibited to feed you kitten with following foods:
Pork – It has a lot of fat and can’t be properly digested by cats, also contains bacteria which is poisonous for cats
Fresh water fish – contains small and sharp bones
Dairy products to kittens older than 6 months – causes upset stomach
Onions (in any form) – toxic for cats
Salty and smoked foods
Dry and wet canned cat foods made by such brands as Purina, Whiskas, Royal Canin, Iams etc ( you can compare it to the same as eating chips every day – it tastes very good but has nothing good at it. It is made of low quality ingredients and contains grains)
To find more information about feeding schedule you can read the article about Nutrition of British Shorthair cats.
Kitten eye care.
Sometimes due to lack of knowledge new kitten owners are very worried when see little discharge out of their kitten’s eyes. While kittens are little their eyes are very sensitive and get watery very easily. It is normal for many breeds, for example such as Persians, British Shorthair, Scottish Folds. It happens due to the structure of their faces and short noses.
You need to wipe your kitten’s eyes regularly every day with a cotton disk smeared with boiled water or with special eye care tissues you can find in pet store. It is very important not to use the same disk or tissue both eyes – use a new disk/tissue foe each eye!
When you kitten gets older his eyes stop getting watery or it happens very rarely.
Kitten in home: Claws
You need to clip kitten’s nails regularly. It is important for two reasons: first – the kitten will not be able to scratch furniture in the house, second – it is good for kitten’s health. In the wild cats wear out their claws by climbing trees or other high objects but in the house conditions it is not possible so you need to help your loved pet. While cutting your kitten nails be very careful – do not cut sensitive part (it has slightly different color). When cutting kitten’s nails position nail clippers perpendicular to nails, cut from top to bottom.
Kitten in new home: Scratch post/ Scratch board
You should get a scratch post or scratch board if you about to bring a new kitten into your home. You can spray a scratch board with a catnip spray or put some loose catnip on it – it will attract kitten to it. Show your kitten right away where scratch board is located.
Here are few recommendations for training your kitten to use a scratch board:
Usually cats do not like closed cat houses or boxes/kennels and do not spend much time inside them;
The best choice for cats is structures which have a lot of shelves, tunnels and posts wrapped with sisal rope;
Cats like high raised shelves the most – the higher the shelf the better;
It is better to pick a cat tree or cat house considering your interior design and place it somewhere in the corner away from passing areas so it is more convenient for you and for your cat;
Kittens and kids
If you have a little kid in the house it is recommended to explain him or her right away that kitten is not a toy and he/she needs to treat it very carefully.
If you have a kid/kids and want to get a kitten but have not made a decision about the breed yet you should consider breeds which get along with children very well, very friendly and playful and will not harm them by scratching or biting. British Shorthair kittens are perfect for kids. You can find more detailed information about the British Shorthair here.
Both – kitten and kid – should feel safe regardless if they are by themselves in the house or interact with each other.
If you made your choice, explained everything to your kid all you should do is to be a good example for your kid. For example, do not play with a kitten by tossing a kitten up in the air or by tickling him with your foot. Otherwise your kid will look at it as it is normal and might seriously injure a little pet while you are not watching or when you are not around.
Kitten behavior in new home: Be prepared!
Even though you get a purebred aristocratic British Shorthair cat, after bringing him home you should always remember that he is still a little kitten. And even though the kittens are litter box trained and scratched board trained sometimes “little surprises” can happen. Always remember: you should never scream at your kitten nor beat him. Just keep in mind that kittens under 1 year of age are still like little kids and occasionally things like destroyed curtains, scratched furniture or broke glass can happen as well as unexpected puddles. Please be patient and persistent in your goals. All kittens are like babies, they require attention, care and training.
Kitten in new home: Safety
When you bring a new kitten into your home you should make sure that he will be safe there. Make sure you remove or hide all sharp objects which can be dangerous for your kitty. Clean all small things like needles, nails and buttons.
Be cautious about open balconies and open windows especially if you live in high-rise apartment or condo. The best choice is mosquito nets.
We wish your kitten to grow beautiful and healthy and always make you happy!!!