Caring for Your New Kitten
Bringing home a new pet can make a wonderful addition to any family, but there's something extra special about welcoming a new kitten to your home. Kittens can be brought home from any point after they reach 8 weeks old and they can be quite a big responsibility as they still have a lot of growing and learning to do. This is why it's imporant to know where to start when it comes to helping your new kitten grow into a happy and healthy cat. From kitten worming to finding the perfect kitten food for your new bundle of joy, we at Pet Drugs Online, we have everything you need to love them well from the very beginning.
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Welcoming a Kitten
There is nothing quite as joyous as welcoming a new kitten into your home and starting your new lives together. However, there is far more to getting a new pet than simply bringing them home and it’s important you have all the necessary supplies ready and prepare your home for the new arrival!
A new kitten (while adorable) can be a bit of a handful, which is why it’s important that you have everything they need to feel at home before you bring them home. Here is a kitten checklist of all the essential things you’ll need to welcome your new pet into your home.
- An appropriate pet carrier — you’ll need this to bring your new kitten home as well as to take them to the vets when necessary.
- Food and water bowls — It’s a good idea to get a minimum of two bowls for food and water and more if you are planning on giving a mix of wet and dry food.
- Appropriate kitten food — it’s always best to find out what they have previously been eating so you can transition them slowly onto a new diet.
- Bedding — You want your new kitten to be as comfortable as possible!
- Toys — Kittens are bundles of energy, and they’ll need something to keep them entertained and encourage their natural instincts to chew and chase.
- A scratching post - to encourage natural scratching behaviour and protect your furniture.
- Litter Tray - so they have a designated spot to go to the bathroom when needed.
Make a Safe Space
Once you have all of your essentials at the ready, it’s time to find a space in your house where your new kitten can adjust. This should be a room that doesn’t have a lot of traffic during the day, so your new pet can begin adjusting to the new sights and sounds in a safe, quiet space. Set up everything your new kitten will need from the checklist here to start with (you can always move things once they’re more comfortable).
Remember, this may be the first time that your kitten has been alone without their littermates, so some separation anxiety is natural. If you are worried about separation anxiety, you can ease the transition for your new kitten with a cat calming aid such as the Feliway Classic Diffuser which releases pheromones similar to those released by the animal’s mother to help soothe and calm them. If using a diffuser, this should be plugged in a week before your pet’s arrival.
As your pet begins to grow in confidence and becomes curious of their surroundings, you can begin to let them explore your home until they are fully settled in!
Register with a Vet
Bringing home your new kitten is a lifelong commitment, and that means ensuring they have all the necessary healthcare they’ll need through their lives. This is why it’s essential to register your new pet with a vet as soon as you’ve brought them home. This way, you can be ready for all the milestones to come, including vaccinations, microchipping and spaying/neutering. Your vet will also be able to give you the best possible advice when it comes to flea and worm treatments for your kitten as well as answering any unexpected questions you might have.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should You Worm Your Kitten?
Kittens should be wormed every two weeks until they are twelve weeks old, and then monthly until they are six months old. Once your kitten is six months old, they can start on an adult worming routine, which may be monthly or every three months, depending on the chosen wormer. Always make sure the worming treatment you are using is suitable for kittens, and if you’re not sure, speak with your vet for recommendations.
What Age Should You Get A Kitten?
The absolute youngest a kitten should be before you take them home is 8 weeks. This is to ensure that your kitten has been properly weaned and has received all the benefits of their mother’s milk. However, many breeders will only let kittens leave between 12-14 weeks old to ensure proper weaning and socialisation between the kitten and their littermates.
When Can Kittens Eat Solid Food?
Kittens can transition to adult food as soon as they become an adult and have reached their appropriate adult weight. This can vary between breeds, with larger breeds needing more time to grow into their full size. Generally, this transition can begin anywhere between 8-12 months of age. Always speak with your vet before making any major changes to your pet’s diet.
How Many Hours a Day Should You Be with Your Kitten?
Bringing home a kitten is a commitment, and you should be prepared to spend at least two to three hours per day with your new kitten to allow for proper socialisation and bonding. This can easily be broken into smaller, 15 minute chunks if necessary.
Kittens should not be left at home on their own for longer than four hours until they're six months old, after which they are usually okay to be left for up to 8 hours. Once they are fully grown, cats can be left for 24-48 hours so long as they have access to fresh food and water.
How Long Does a Kitten Stay a Kitten?
Kittens are considered being an adult cat physically once they reach 12 months of age, although they are still developmentally growing until 18 months old.