We live in a plug and play society but your kitten is not a plug and play device. It is very important to allow time for the little one to get used around you and their new environment. This could take from minutes to several months but it is worth it as you will gain the trust of a lifetime companion. So, the day finally came and your new kitten is finally home. How exciting! The question now is how do I get the kitten used to his new home? Here is how.
Do it safely
Perform a general risk assessment. Make sure that their new environment is kitten safe. No poisonous plants, pieces of plastic or visible electric wire for example.
Do it gently
Gently introduce your kitten to the new environment. Give them the freedom to explore and sniff their new room, toys, litter, scratching post and new items. If they hide, sit quietly in the room and gently talk to them rather than forcing them out from their hiding spot. It is completely natural for kittens to hide initially in a strange new environment. Don’t force any interaction in the beginning, and make sure everyone in the family is aware of this rule. Let them come to you.
Do it slowly
For the first few days, limit them to just a couple of rooms to prevent them from feeling overwhelmed. As they become more confident, you can introduce them to other areas of ‘their’ new house.
How about introducing your kitten to children and the family?
Because they are still young your kitten will be highly teachable. Once they feel confident with you, you can gradually introduce other members of the family to them. While it is easy to get excited, it is important to remember to introduce people at their pace – it can be overwhelming for them to meet everyone at the same time. Children are bound to be excited about the arrival of a new kitten. Before your little ones meet the kitten, encourage them to be gentle and calm. It is important that the kitten comes to them initially and they’re shown how to interact gently with them. Use food as a reward for something you approve of.
As your kitten becomes more comfortable, they’ll enjoy the playfulness of being around children. They love anything from paper balls to activity centres to elaborate scratching posts. Naturally, kittens use their teeth and claws – making sure that you play with your kitten with appropriate toys instead of your hands and feet is important, particularly as their teeth and claws get bigger! Avoid using your fingers to encourage a cat in your direction too. In a nutshell teach them that toys are for play and human hands and feet are not for them to pounce on. Also don’t forget that your Kittens are still young, if they were humans they would still be toddlers, therefore, the kittens require a lot of sleep and will need to be left alone to rest, especially as they get used to their new home.