Cats are cute, but kittens are cuter. There’s no arguing with that statement -it’s just a fact! Kittens are tiny, adorable balls of fluff, and that makes them extremely attractive as pets for your home. Millions of kittens are adopted every year, and they’re a great source of companionship and entertainment to the people who welcome them into their homes. No wonder so many are interested in introducing a kitten to your home.
That doesn’t mean that they come without issues, though. Your first few weeks of kitten ownership can be very stressful – and that goes for your new friend as well as you and your family!
We understand why people choose kittens over older cats. Not only are they adorable, but they’ll be with you longer, you can watch them grow up, and they’re energetic and playful.
The lure of kittens is so strong that we’ve even seen them used as an attraction to draw people to online slots websites. That might seem a bit unlikely but log on to any slot website of your choosing, and you’ll find games with titles like ‘I Love Kittens,’ ‘Not Enough Kittens,’ and the slightly more on-the-nose ‘OMG Kittens.’
When a humble household pet can convince thousands of people to part with their money playing online slots, it tells you everything you need to know about their appeal!
4 Helpful Tips for Introducing a Kitten to Your Home
Our first piece of advice to anyone considering adopting a kitten would be not to do so unless you’ve had an adult cat first. An adult cat will be less energetic and a bit more predictable, but it will also teach you a lot about how to care for a cat and all the tiny nuances of cat behavior. If you haven’t had that experience first, starting off with a kitten is likely to hit you like a tornado!
Assuming you aren’t new to hosting cats, here are a few handy tips for introducing a kitten to your home.
1 Provide Them with A Safe Hiding Place
One thing you need to provide before introducing a kitten to your home is a safe hiding place. Cats of all ages periodically hide from their owners for a while. It isn’t a game they play – cats actually need to hide in order to lower and maintain their anxiety and stress levels.
Kittens and cats also sleep a lot, and they feel vulnerable if they’re exposed when they’re sleeping. A kitten recently separated from its mother, is likely to feel even more vulnerable than an adult cat would.
A safe hiding place – one where they’re protected by walls or barriers on all sides – gives them a safe space. For example, a felt cat cave makes a wonderful hiding place! They’ll set up camp in there, and they’ll come out of it and engage with you on their own terms when they feel ready to do so.
Don’t try to discourage them from hiding – they’re adjusting to the new world you’ve given them, and it’s a scary place at first.
2. Get Some Feline Furniture
In your kitten’s first few weeks at home, you won’t be able to let them outside. You might never let them outside at all – whether or not you’ve decided to keep your new pet as a house cat is very much up to you. Whether they’re indoors temporarily or permanently, they’re going to need to find a way to burn off excess energy.
Kittens have far, far more excess energy than cats. They need exercise, and if you don’t give them somewhere to do it, they’ll use your furniture. We don’t just mean your chairs and tables either – we’re talking curtains, shelves, kitchen units, and just about anything else they can drag themselves up or over!
A scratching post and a cat climbing tree are the absolute minimum you should be looking for in terms of cat exercise provisions – but the more you can fit into your space, the better.
3. A Secluded Litter Box Is a Must
When introducing a kitten to your home, you need to provide a secluded location for their litter box. Cats are proud, dignified creatures. They don’t feel any more comfortable about using the toilet while people are looking at them than you would.
If your kitten’s litter tray is in an illogical place from their point of view, be prepared for them to decide to use another part of your house as a toilet instead.
Your best bet is to use a litter tray that has a cover and to put it in the corner of a room instead of out in the open. Once you’ve chosen a location, don’t move it.
Kittens are generally smart enough to work out what a litter tray is for just by looking at it, but they’ll only use it if they agree with you that it’s a good place for them to answer calls of nature.
4. Get Ready For Grooming
With your kitten now removed from its mother, you’re now the only caregiver in its life. It needs to get to know you and learn to trust you, but this process won’t happen overnight. Your best option for bonding with it is to replicate the way that cats and kittens bond with each other in the wild – through grooming.
Invest a lot of time in cuddles and strokes, and consider buying a cat comb so you can groom its fur to a healthy shine. The more you carefully groom your kitten, the more it will come to understand that you mean it no harm and that you’re there to look after it.
You’ll know when it’s come to this conclusion – it will start trying to groom you in return by licking you and kneading your arms and legs with its paws.
This is one of the most obvious ways of a kitten showing you love – so instead of yelping when you feel its claws in your leg for the first time, grin and bear it and say ‘thank you’ instead!
Final Thoughts on Introducing a Kitten to Your Home
When it comes to introducing a kitten to your home, there are lots of things you need to consider. These are some basic tips, but it’s important that you follow them if you and your new addition are to get off on the right foot (or paw).
Consider taking a few days off work to welcome them into your home, too. Bonding takes time and effort – the sort of time and effort you can’t invest if you’re always at work – but it’s one of the most rewarding processes you’ll ever go through.
Kittens are hard work – and if you’re trying to tell yourself otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a fall – but the hard work is always worth the end result. A happy cat will be your friend for life!