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Bringing a new kitten home

The prospect of a new kitten is exciting, but before you bring them home, be sure to buy everything they will need in advance, such as a cat carrier, kitten food, food/water bowls, a cat bed, a scratching post and cat toys. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable your kitten will be in their new surroundings.

Neuter, vaccinate and microchip your new kitten. If you are adopting a kitten then these procedures may have already been carried out at the animal shelter. Consider adopting a kitten in spring when kitten season is in full swing and animal shelters are overrun with kittens. Neutering your own kitten will reduce the number of unwanted kittens taken to animal shelters each year.

Make sure your home is kitten friendly. Kittens are curious and will want to investigate every aspect of their new surroundings. Keep house plants out of reach and avoid lilies as they are toxic to cats. Small objects that can be swallowed and cleaning products should be kept out of reach. If you have an open fire or wood burner put a guard up to protect curious paws.

When you bring your new kitten home, confine them to one room initially, with access to plenty of food, water, toys and a comfy bed. Introduce your kitten to other rooms in the house gradually, giving them space to explore their new surroundings in their own time.

If you have older cats at home that you will be introducing your new kitten to, it’s important to do the introductions slowly and make sure you have enough resources such as food and water dishes, litter trays and beds to go around. Using a kitten pen can be a great tool to introduce your kitten to your existing cats without them having direct contact initially. Take a look at some of our other tips on introducing a new cat to your existing cat.

Keep your kitten inside for a few weeks before introducing them to the outside world. The first time you let them out, accompany them into the garden and make sure they have easy access back into the house through a cat door.

Socialising your new kitten with other people early on in their lives is important so that they learn to trust other people. Introduce your kitten to friends and family and make sure any children handling your kitten know to treat them with care.

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