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Welcoming your new kitten into your home requires a lot of love, patience and preparation. With the right equipment and our expert tips, you can make your cat's introduction to your home, family and other pets go smoothly.
Here's a list of items that will help you and your new kitten get off to a great start:
Provide a comfortable sleeping area to discourage your kitten from using the furniture. Check pet stores or make a bed:
Step 1: Find a cardboard box with the sides intact. (A small box is good for a kitten; a larger cat should be able to stretch out while lying down.)
Step 2: Cut out a door opening on one side of the box.
Step 3: Line the box with an old blanket, a small pillow or a cushion covered in a washable fabric.
Step 4: Place box in a warm, quiet spot.
Cat toys, like toys for small children, are wonderful amusements and should be chosen carefully. Use these tips:
When you bring your new kitten home, at first she may miss her family. She may wake up and meow during the night. Pick her up and comfort her by speaking soothingly and stroking her gently. If this doesn't calm her, try these two tips:
Introduce your cat to your home gradually by following these helpful hints:
Show your children how to properly pick up a kitten and how to play with their new pet. Teach them that cats don't like to be teased or have their ears or tail pulled. Always supervise your children's interaction with your new kitten, especially when they have friends over to play.
Before you introduce a new kitten to the household, be sure she (as well as your resident pets) is disease-free and has been recently checked by your veterinarian. Older, settled-in pets may resist sharing their domain, and it may take a month or more before your new kitten is an accepted member of the family. Follow these steps for smooth introductions:
Step 1: Put your new kitten in a separate room away from other pets for the first day or two, and leave her travel crate open in the room. The familiarity of the crate may make it a safe haven. (Resident pets will become aware of her presence from her scent.) If you have another cat, he may prowl around the doorway and show signs of aggression.
During this period, spend extra time with your resident pet to relieve any anxiety and minimize tension. Confine him to his favorite part of the house while the new kitten is allowed brief journeys out to explore your home. When your new kitten seems comfortable, allow the animals to start viewing each other.
Step 2: Allow your pets to meet. Stay in the room while they get acquainted. Let them sniff out each other's space and one another. Make sure each pet has an easy escape route in case one or the other wants to leave. Some hissing or growling is to be expected.
Your cat's inquisitive nature can be dangerous. Follow these recommendations:
Many cats will nibble on your greenery, and some plants may be toxic if eaten. Avoid purchasing the following plants, and check gardening and home-safety books for additional lists and pictures of common toxic plants:
Teach your children the correct way to pick up a kitten and an adult cat:
Step 1: Never grab or pick up a kitten or an adult cat by the scruff of the neck. Place one hand under the chest, just behind the front legs. Put your other hand under the hindquarters to support the cat's weight and lift with both hands.
Step 2: Hold your cat in the crook of your arm, gripping firmly to prevent her from getting loose.