Introducing a New Kitten
"Your kitten's first days at home, meeting the family..."
Time for the big day! Here are some tips for introducing a new kitten. With a little preparation, it should be smooth sailing.
Try introducing a new kitten when you have some time on your hands. It's important to be home, on hand, in case you're needed.
Weekends and holidays are best, if you usually work away from home on weekdays. Mornings are good, for the same reason.
Have the home quiet. He will be scared at first. Give him some space from young children, and no other pets should be introduced for a while. The kitten will want to hide at first. He will soon build confidence, and explore the home when he's ready.
If you've been visiting your kitten at the cattery, maybe you've left a towel or blanket behind on one of those visits. Now, you can put it into his bed. As he settles into his new home he has those familiar smells for comfort.
We set up our kittens in the laundry room on the first day. It was the only room that could be totally theirs. They crept out of the carrier cautiously. I didn't do any laundry for a while! Once they were super comfortable with that room, they bravely ventured further each time, on their own terms.
Introducing a New Kittens To Dogs
Do you have a dog? Introducing a new kitten to a dog can be much easier than you might imagine. Mature, calm dogs generally don't have much interest in kittens. And kittens have no fear! They will happily chase the tail of, and snuggle with a nice dog.
When I was younger, I had a Sheltie named Bonny. She was in her prime, meaning very active! She ran a lot. We added an awesome red tabby kitten to the family. Boy, they chased each other all over the house, day and night. I had to name him Clyde! They remained very bonded for their whole lifetimes.
Of course, not all dogs are created equal. Only you know your pet! If your dogs is well-meaning but young and rough, you'll need to supervise until the kitten is sturdier and old enough to jump out of the way.
If you suspect your dog would not be compatible with a kitten, you're probably right. Trust your gut.
Introducing A New Kitten To Other Cats
Again, this is partly dependant on the personality of your older pet. Maine Coons are particularly laid back and non-territorial, and generally see no threat from cute fuzzy kittens. They seem to know their own kind! Still, introducing a new kitten should be handled with care.
Obviously, you can't prepare your adult cat for the new arrival. Try to have your older cat confined to a closed room when you enter the house. Then place your kitten in his confined place, with his own food, water and litter box.
Lastly, let your cat loose and watch her behavior. She will probably smell the kitten and know exactly where the kitten is. If she sits by the door curiously, great! If she sticks her paw under to play with the kitten, lucky you!
If she's not impressed, that's ok too. Just give it time. If you rush it, there's no going back. Once you are sure your older cat is not stressed about the situation (and this could take a while!) it's time to let them see each other.
Hold the kitten up and let the cat see him. Use your judgment to decide if the cat can come and sniff the kitten. Take it from there! It all comes down to reading your cats reactions, understanding if she's stressed, and generally being in tune with her.
During your first days with your kitten, you may notice he has a case of the sniffles. This can happen, due to stress. Just wipe his eyes or nose, and it'll clear up.
Also, some new owners notice diarrhea in kittens. Don't be alarmed! Diarrhea in kittens can happen. Contact your vet, you may be able to take care of it with an over-the-counter drugstore remedy, if he recommends.
When bringing home a new kitten, fleas may come with her. This is not uncommon, it happens to the best of breeders. This is because flea medication can't be given to nursing cats or newborn kittens, up to a certain weight.
If you've brought home kittens with fleas, call the vet. Some good flea medication will take care of it quickly.
Introducing a new kitten is very exciting! Make sure to lavish plenty of attention on your older pets, too. Enjoy this special time with your kitten and remember to take lots of pictures!