If you are considering adopting a kitten, then you should know that your new life with this furry friend begins on the ride home. While we’re convinced that you want to hold and cuddle it, a better approach would be to transport it in a carrier on the drive home.
This solution comes with a double benefit: not only does the kitten accommodate with riding in a confined location, but you are also adjusting it to the many future trips you’ll share together. Let’s explore what else you can do to help your new friend adapt to its new home.
Cat-proofing the house
Once you get home, you should take the kitten to a safe and quiet area, where you have placed a bowl of food and a litter box in advance. In fact, you can set up this room to become the safe and secluded spot where your new pet will spend its alone time when you’re away. Because this space should feature a water bowl, food bowl, the litter box, toys, a scratching post, and a napping zone, choose a location that can easily accommodate all of them.
Take note that irrespective of the age of the cat, they like to explore their surroundings. While there’s nothing wrong with this, make sure the location you select for your kitten doesn’t include tight spaces where it might get stuck. In general, this is more manageable for kittens as opposed to mature cats, if you limit the available routes from the very beginning.
The electrical cables and the items that can be chewed or swallowed represent a special concern in this case. Therefore, remove all objects that can be accidentally ingested – paper clips, rubber bands, threads, and even children’s toys – and cover the cables. Make sure to also check in the areas where they can climb or jump. Once your kitten gets used to its space, you can slowly allow it access to roam the other rooms in your home.
Introducing the kitten to other cats
In most cases, adult cats are quite tolerant of kittens. However, it would be wise to take things slowly and introduce it to the other cats’ feeding and playing areas gradually to reduce anxiety. In the event that your household cats are reluctant to accept the little one, then you could use a synthetic cheek gland scent or a similar product to facilitate the introductions. If you notice any signs of aggression during this phase, then it’s best to come up with a gradual introduction program.
Introducing the kitten to your dog
Because dogs are not always best buds with cats, the introductions should be controlled, supervised and always positive. For starters, to avoid getting your dog too defensive, introduce the new member of your family while keeping the kitten on a leash or in a carrier. Use treats and your dog’s favorite toys to encourage it to stay calm in the presence of the kitten. At the same time, keep a close eye on the feline’s behavior and make sure that it avoids climbing and hiding. This way your kitten will quickly learn its limits and privileges in the presence of the family dog.