Everything You Need to Know Before Adopting a Kitten
Deciding to get a new kitten is such an exciting time. There are some things that are important to do before bringing this kitten home, though. Mainly, making some preparations will make bringing your new furry friend home as stress free and enjoyable as possible.
While everyone knows that you need to have some supplies for your new kitten, not everyone thinks about the other important preparations needed for a new pet. Things like finding a good vet and setting up a safe and comfortable space for your new kitten are just as essential as cat food and toys.
In this article, we will be explaining everything that prospective kitten owners need to know before adopting a kitten. This will include tips on things that you will need to do before bringing your new kitten home as well as how to acclimate your kitten to their new family and home. Let’s get into it.
Before even going to pick up your new kitten you should make sure that having a kitten fits in well with your lifestyle. Contrary to popular belief, kittens need to be around people. This means never leaving them alone for extremely long periods of time. So, if you are going to be doing a lot of travel or are currently working very long hours, then it may not be the best time to adopt a kitten.
If you have decided that you are ready to adopt a kitten then you are definitely going to need some supplies. Here is a list of some things that you will need.
- Food and water bowls
- Cat food
- Cat toys (a variety)
- A cat carrier
- A comfortable place for your kitten to sleep
- Things for your kitten to scratch (scratching posts, mats, etc. )
- A litterbox, scooper, and cat litter
- Cat treats
- Grooming items (brush, nail trimmers, etc.)
- Kitten safe cleaning products
- Places for your kitten to climb (cat trees, cat ledges, etc.)
Having these things already set up in your home will make your kitten feel more comfortable when they get home. Plus, it will also make bringing them home much less stressful for you.
Decide Where You Want to Adopt Your New Kitten From
There are several different routes you could take when asking this question. The three main options are a shelter or general cat rescue, a breed rescue, and a breeder.
If you want a cat of a very specific breed, then you are likely going to have the most luck getting your cat from a breeder or breed rescue. When choosing a cat breeder it is best to do your homework to ensure that they are reputable, and breeders also tend to be the most expensive. However, you may need to wait a while for a cat from a rescue, and they may not be a kitten.
Meanwhile, shelters and general cat rescues often have kittens available for adoption. You are just more likely to find domestic shorthair and longhair kittens than anything else. Shelters can be an amazing option to help save a cat who may be overlooked otherwise. There are even some shelters called “cat cafes” where they allow the cats and kittens to roam freely in a closed room so you are able to see how they interact with their environment and get a feel for their personality. Whatever decision you make, trust your gut and make the best decision for you when adopting a kitten.
It is a good idea to kitten-proof your home before your new kitten comes home. This will help keep your new kitten safe and healthy. If you are choosing to keep your cat in an enclosed room for a while, you can focus on kitten-proofing this room and working on the rest of the house later. Kitten-proofing an area should include the following.
- Covering up outlets
- Putting electrical chords in areas where your kitten can’t reach them
- Removing hazardous plants
- Removing items with hazardous chemicals (cleaning products, paints, etc.)
- Removing items that could harm a kitten (small objects, sharp objects, etc.)
Before bringing your kitten home it is a good idea to have a vet already lined up. This way if something happens you are already an established patient with them, and you can just take your kitten to the vet without hassle. If you and your new kitten are in the Memphis, Tennessee, area, McGehee Clinic for Animals is a great animal hospital to bring your new kitten to for anything they may need!
When adopting a kitten, it is a good idea to ask the shelter, rescue, or breeder what veterinary care your kitten needs and when. Depending on the kitten’s situation you may need to get them vaccinations, preventative medications, or veterinary treatment for a condition. You may need to get your kitten spayed as well. Luckily, most shelters will already have all of these things covered prior to adoption.
Once your kitten is comfortable with you and seems confident, you can start to introduce them to new people and pets. It is important to do this with one new person or animal at a time, so you do not overwhelm the kitten. When introducing your kitten to children it is a good idea to teach them how to properly handle a young kitten as to keep everyone safe and happy.
As for other cats, let your kitten and cat meet through a gate or door first, then allow them to meet face-to-face if they both seem confident and interested. For dogs, introduce your kitten to your dog with the dog on a leash. This way you can easily remove the dog if needed.
It is a good idea to have your kitten in a safe, closed off room at first, especially if you live in a large house. This will help your kitten gain confidence and feel more at home.
Once your kitten has warmed up and is comfortable and confident in their space, you can just let them roam throughout the house. This is because a large environment is less likely to overwhelm a kitten after a few days.
Not all kittens will warm up at the same rate. Take your time and allow your kitten to warm up slowly. Your kitten will thank you for it, and you will both be happier in the long run.
There are many things a pet parent needs to consider when preparing to bring home a new kitten for the first time. Use this article as a reference while you are preparing for your new kitten to come home and you should be a very ready pet parent come the big day!
If you are located in the Memphis, TN, area, McGehee Clinic for Animals is here for you and your new kitten. Our services include vaccinations, spays and neuters, wellness exams, and everything else your kitten could need. Give us a call at (901) 682-5684, or Request an Appointment today.