Chances are your entire family is going to be excited about bringing in this new kitten or cat to your family. But you’ve got to remember your new feline addition doesn’t know to be excited. He or she just knows to be nervous. That’s why you want to make the transition as calm and smooth for your new pet as possible. For starters, try to remain calm when your cat first comes home. If you have children, discourage them from chasing, holding, or trying to give the cat a lot of affection for the first few days. Let the cat get settled first.
You should also remember that cats are extremely curious. Because cats should be kept indoors for their health and safety, you want to make sure there are no escape routes to the outdoors your cat might find while snooping around its new environment. Keep in mind that cats can make themselves pretty small if necessary to sneak out so don’t take any chances. Posting notes on all of the doors to remind family members and guests to watch out for a potentially escaping kitten is also a smart idea.
Because your cat is going to need to feel comfortable riding in the car when you take him or her home, invest in a pet carrier and add some blankets, toys, or anything that smells like the cat’s previous living quarters. This is going to make her more comfortable. Always have your cat in the carrier while traveling by car. She will feel safer than if you let her roam freely around the car. Plus, a curious cat could cause you to have an accident.
For the first few days, you’ve got to resist that urge to cuddle and love your new kitten. She needs to feel safe and comfortable before you overwhelm her with your affection. And cats tend to be a lot more cautious than dogs.
When you first arrive home, take the carrier to a room in your home. It’s a good idea to use your own bedroom so the cat can become comfortable with the adults in the home first. Plus, children have a hard time resisting the impulse to hug the kitten. Inside the room, place the carrier on the floor and open the door. Have the cat’s food, water, and litter box inside the room as well. You want to confine the cat to this small space before opening up the entire house to her. Remember not to pressure or coax her to come out. When she feels comfortable, she will emerge from the carrier and begin a thorough investigation of the area.
Try to minimize the cat’s contact with your children or other pets for a few days. Then you can begin slowly introducing them. Make sure that your kids stay calm around the cat and talk in a quiet voice as to not startle her. As far as the introduction to the other animals, this should be done slowly and always in a very controlled way. You want to make sure they are going to get along well before you allow them to have complete access to one another.
When you are expanding your kitten’s access to the rest of the house, make sure to carefully kitten-proof it. That means eliminate anything that might look like a toy, including window blind cords and electrical wires. If there are any places you do not want your cat to go, spray them with a lemon-scented liquid. Give your kitten some safe toys to keep her occupied and out of trouble.
Now, you are ready to fully enjoy the presence of your new family member.
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