Bringing home kitty
Before you bring home your new buddy, we recommend that you have the following items ready:
Food and water bowls
Food (canned and dry)
Litter box and scooper
ID tag with your phone number (www.idtags.com or get one from pet store)
Hard plastic carrier
Brush or comb (depends on your cat’s coat length and type) https://www.mypetneedsthat.com/best-brush-for-cats/
Enzymatic odour neutralizer (especially ones specifically for cat stains/odours)
Variety of toys (both types that s/he can play with on his/her own and interactive toys)
Feliway diffuser and/or Rescue Remedy
Cat tree or some type of apparatus that your cat can climb (preferably by a window).
Make sure your home is “cat-proof”
A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will serve to teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, watch to ensure the kitten isn’t chewing on electric cords, and pick up random items like paper clips (which kittens may swallow) or ribbons or tinsel.
Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan.
You probably have a plan in place for getting your family to safety in case of an emergency. Adjust this plan to include your pets. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list.
Here are some hints to help your kitten adapt to your home.
Minimize Stress: Stress negatively affects the immune system. Kittens are especially susceptible to diarrhea and illness, so it is important to minimize the amount of stress your kitten receives. Keep your kitten healthy by allowing her to sleep as much as she wants, avoid over-handling and introductions to friends, and don’t take your kitten to public places. Remember to exercise your kitten when she’s awake because exercise can help boost the immune system. Just remember not to overdo it!
Don’t feed milk: Cow’s milk is designed for calves, not kittens. Your kitten cannot digest cow’s milk very well, and the resulting diarrhea can quickly cause life-threatening dehydration.
Feed canned food: To ensure your kitten is eating and to prevent dehydration, start your kitten off with canned food twice a day mixed in with some dry food to help maintain tooth and gum health. As s/he grows strong, you can adjust the wet amount of wet food if your cat doesn’t like it but never eliminate it from their diet. Remember not to make any sudden changes in your kitten’s diet. Doing this will upset your kitten’s digestive tract and can lead to diarrhea.
Keep the litterbox nearby: Active kittens may ‘forget’ where the litterbox is located so be sure to confine your kitten to a small room for the first few days. Gradually increase the amount of space your kitten can explore. Once allowed to roam the house, take your kitten back to the litterbox on a regular basis until you’re sure s/he knows how where to go. You may also want to consider adding a second or third litterbox. Kitten’s bladders are tiny and they may not be able to make it back to the litterbox if there is only one in the house.
Kitten-proof your home: Just as you wouldn’t leave a toddler unattended in your home, a kitten should be supervised at all times. If left alone during the day, confine your kitten to a bathroom (keep the toilet lid down!) or bedroom. Be aware of dangers such as electrical cords, drapery cords, and small objects that can be swallowed.
Follow up with your veterinarian: Seek vet care immediately if your kitten is listless, stops eating, has diarrhea, or is showing signs of upper respiratory illness (runny nose, sneezing).