Nothing is quite as heartwarming (or entertaining) as welcoming a new kitten into your home. Just like taking care of a human infant, though, it can be a little overwhelming. Before bringing home your furry bundle of joy, be sure you know the basics of new kitten care.
Preparing Your Home
It is important to make sure that your home is ready to welcome home your new pet. Prior to the arrival of your new kitten, be sure to:
Kitten-proof your home – Kittens are nothing if not trouble-makers. Be sure to stow away potentially dangerous objects, especially string, ribbon, and small toys. Do a little research to be sure that any plants in the home are pet-friendly and be sure to secure electrical cords safely away from curious teeth.
Plan the introduction – Decide how you will introduce your new pet to existing pets or small children. It is often best to keep your new addition in one room at first so that other pets can slowly get used to him or her being there. Supervise all interactions closely at first.
Gear up – You certainly are going to need some basic supplies for your kitten. Be sure to get some food and water bowls, kitten food, a litter pan and litter, some type of scratching pad or post, and plenty of toys to keep your curious cat busy.
Putting the Best Paw Forward
Be sure to get your kitten off to the right start by taking the time to encourage good habits. Most kittens litter train quite naturally, however you want to be sure that you have a smaller, shallower version to allow your tiny terror easy access.
Place your kitten in his or her litter box after feeding to encourage its use. It is also important to provide at least one litter box per cat in the home, plus an additional one. Every level of the home the cat has access to should have at least one litter box.
New Kitten Medical Care
Just as new babies need to visit the pediatrician often, your new kitten will need to come see us at Westlake Animal Hospital as well. We would love to see your new pet in the first few days you have him or her so that we can get acquainted, answer all your questions, and get a wellness care program in place.
Kittens receive a series of vaccinations, typically starting around 6 weeks of age. We recommend boostering these vaccines every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age in order to ensure proper immunity. What vaccines your kitten receives will vary on his or her lifestyle and risks.
You will also need to think about spaying or neutering your kitten We typically perform this procedure around six months of age. Doing so prevents many health and behavioral problems down the road. This is also a great time to consider microchipping your pet.
Westlake Animal Hospital is just as excited as you are to welcome your new kitten. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about bringing home your new family member and give us a call right away so we can get to know your adorable new pet.