How to Help Your New Kitten Feel at Home

A kitten waiting to be adopted to it's new home.

Adopting a kitten is definitely the easy part. It’s bringing them home to their new environment that can have challenges. There are many variables at play, and once you resolve one issue another can pop up in its place. In other words, you have to constantly stay in front of potential problems. Luckily, it’s super fun to spend time with a kitten and their cuteness makes any extra effort 100% worth it. To help you prepare for the amazing experience of living with a feline, the team at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital has some tips and tricks to help your new kitten feel right at home.

Impulse or Carefully Planned?

Most of the time, a new kitten can easily and quickly integrate into their new home. But there are certain considerations that must be handled promptly to keep them safe, happy and healthy.

Kitten Proofing Your House

Even if you bring home a new kitten before you ensure your home’s safety, you can still create a safe space for them. Since one of the best ways to introduce a new kitten to their new home is in stages, this strategy will help you clear out unsafe objects or remove fragile items. 

Safely contain your new kitten in the smallest room in the house. Install water and food bowls, scratching post, cat tree, bedding, litter box, toys, and their crate/travel kennel. Be certain that cords are off the floor and remove any hazardous objects. Spend lots of time with them in their first room. 

Expanding the Floor Plan

Before you invite them to explore the rest of the house, it’s time to put away any objects that could become problems for you or your new kitten. Also, any toxins, such as household cleaners, plants, human foods, and medications should be carefully stored. 

This process can take several days, or even a week or more. Don’t rush your new kitten to adapt too quickly to their new home. Allow them the time and space to settle in on their own terms. In other words, don’t force them to become a cuddly cat before they’ve learned that you can be trusted with their vulnerability. 

Your New Kitten Checklist

We recommend learning about the ways cats communicate. Their body language speaks volumes about the many ways they feel about various stimuli. Signs of fear or stress can include dilated pupils, cowering/hiding, shaking, whipping the tail, and pinned ears. Try to respond to these signals with patience, care and support. Remove whatever appears to the trigger. 

Try to establish a bond with your new kitten by playing with them and providing loads of attention. Keep expectations realistic, and take cues from them about what they want or need.

New Kitten, New You

You might be surprised at how obsessive you might become over your new kitten. Be sure to use some of that energy toward their health and wellness. Kittens should be fully vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered, and on a schedule for year-round parasite prevention. They also benefit from an age-appropriate diet, annual wellness exams, and attention to their teeth

If you have any questions or concerns about the health or behavior of your new kitten, give us a (916) 624-PETS (7387). Our veterinarians at Rocklin Ranch Veterinary Hospital are always happy to help.