Kittens are incredibly cute, playful & fun. Put two kittens together and they’ll spend the whole time wrestling, fighting and scratching each other in a playful manner without actually hurting one another.
Whether you bring home two kittens or just one, you’ll take over the role of a guardian. It will be your duty to keep your kitten happy, safe and look to provide a seamless transition into your family. Here are five tips to that can help make this transition as easy as possible.
Any plaything with parts that can come off and that the kitten can swallow can put it in danger – from rubber bands to jewellery, Christmas or birthdays decorations to balloons and other such items.
The young animal will find anything hanging or swinging irresistible. That includes your curtain or blind cords and even loose electric cables. They can get dangerously tangled or choked by any such things and should therefore be kept safely out of its reach for its safety.
That’s why you have to keep an eye on this young pet. You don’t want him to chew on your phone’s cord or electric cables as these can give it a terrible electrical shock. Bundle your cables together using a cord manager and keep them safely out of the kitten’s way.
Plus, this is not the time to keep poisonous plants at home. With the curiosity and agility of the young cat, it might bite such a plant with terrible consequences.
Other safety measures would include keeping the toilet lid down; and bathroom, kitchen cabinets, washer and dryer doors in the laundry area closed. Otherwise the kitten might climb into a warm dryer to take a nap, or walk around the kitchen playing items like detergents.
Practise all these cautionary measures before arrival of the pet to make the environment safe and habitable for it beforehand.
Some animal ailments can be contagious. You don’t want your new cat to acquire some disease from the other pets. That’s why the resident pets should be disease-free by the time the kitten joins them.
If you have another cat in the home, it’s common for it to be curious about the new kitten. It will sniff around the doorway if you keep the young pet in a secure room. You dog will equally be curious about the new member. They will have to interact eventually.
Once the kitten is home, give your resident pets extra attention and allow it to meet the kitten once it feels comfortable. Let the pets meet briefly to ease their anxiety. The initial encounters won’t always be smooth, but it gets easier over time.
Dogs in particular can get really aggressive, so take care not to leave the dog with the kitten alone. The idea is to let the animals learn the scent of one another and get used to it.
Kittens learn acceptable behaviour especially during the latter days spent with their mom. That’s why the better age for adoption is between 10 and 12 weeks old. At that age the kitten is likely to be more accustomed to human contact and resilient enough to be independent of the original family.
Separating a six-week old kitten from its siblings and the mom causes stress. The kitten may become reluctant to interact with people. Better to adopt an older kitten who will interact more with people.
Kittens require different food than that of grown cats. Get them a good supply of protein to facilitate their muscle and tissue development,They also need fat for a steady supply of fatty acids.
You can get specially formulated kitten diets from your local pet supply store. Be sure to supply the kitten with these nutritional requirements steadily until s/he hits one year old.
Your veterinarian should examine the new kitten within the first two days after you get the animal. The vet usually takes a faecal sample of the animal to check for worms. They’ll also examine the pet’s ears for presence of fleas and ear mites.
Your new kitten may require deworming and vaccination. All these will be administered based on the animal’s required treatment schedule. The vet will determine the best timelines for each of these. Neutering may also be an option to protect your kitten from various form of cancer and other conditions that may often arise as they grow up.
Though there will be other things like training and systematic grooming of the pet, these five tips cover the biggest part of our work when bringing a new kitten home.