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Bringing Your Kitten Home

Congratulations! You are now the proud adoptive parent of a brand new ball of fluff and you can’t wait to welcome your new kitten as a member of the family. Just as bringing a new baby home involves a lot of preparation, so does the welcoming of a new kitten.

Your young kitten will be making a transition from our nursery where he or she is comfortable, to a new and even a little scary (albeit loving) environment. There are many steps that you can take to make this transition as smooth as possible for your kitten.

White Tea Cup

Pre-Kitten Arrival Shopping List

Before bringing your kitten home, you’ll want to stock up on some necessities. Check with us at Boutique Kittens to find out what kind of food we feed our kittens and adults. It is recommended that you continue to feed your kitten this brand for several weeks after adoption, before very gradually switching to a new food, if you choose. This will avoid any unnecessary tummy troubles or loose stools to bother your kitten as he or she adjusts.

Buying the same brand of kitty litter that we use at Boutique Kittens is a good idea as well, as the sight and texture will be what your kitten is accustomed to, and this familiarity could possibly prevent a few accidents.

Here’s a list of some other recommended kitten gear that you may want to have on hand before the big day:

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Cat Carrier
Your Boutique Kitten will come with his or her very own carrier as part of their travel package. We make sure to pad the bottom of the carrier for both comfort, and as a precaution to accidents. Inside your kitten's new carrier will be a blanket with the scent of his or her mother and litter mates and an assortment of their favorite toys. We recommend you remove the door from the carrier once you arrive home and leave the carrier accessible so your new baby will have a place to sleep if he or she desires.

Dishes, Food and Water
Your kitten should be provided with fresh food and water, preferably in metal or ceramic dishes. Be sure to monitor them closely to make sure that they are eating and drinking, though they might do neither for a few hours after you first bring them home.  We recommend both food and water dishes be emptied and washed daily to prevent bacteria and germs from accumulating.  It is important to welcome your kitten home to a familiar diet.  Everything you need is in the Life's Abundance Healthy Start Pack [click here to order].

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Litter Tray/Scoop
You’ll want to have a litter tray ready and waiting and introduce your new kitty to it immediately. There are several different types to choose from and many people like the covered variety, as it prevents litter from scattering to the four corners of the room at the first scratch of a paw. If your kitten does have an accident, wipe it up with a paper towel and then place the paper towel in the litter tray. After a little repetition, this will show your kitten that the correct place to use the potty is in the litter box. Don’t punish your kitten, as this will only cause him or her to not go in front of you.  Kittens are very sensitive to odors so scooping twice a day will encourage regular use of the litter pan.

Grooming Set
A brush, a comb, and nail clippers will come in handy. You won’t be using them during the first week, but after your kitten is all settled in, you’ll want to establish a grooming routine.

Cat Tree
A good, sturdy sisal rope or carpet-covered cat tree can be a huge asset to any cat lover’s home, as the scratching post will stand up much better to needle-sharp little claws than your nice sofa or curtains. Make sure to get one that is at least 2 and a half-feet tall with a heavy base that won’t tip if your kitten gets a little enthusiastic.  At Boutique Kittens we also introduce our kitties to the cardboard scratchers.

Make Sure Your Home is “Kittenproof”

Since your kitten is still technically a baby, you’ll want to make sure that your home is kitten-proofed before he or she gets there. Keep all dangerous cleaning chemicals, pesticides, or antifreeze up and out of the way, or behind child-locked cupboard doors. Child locks can be picked up cheaply at any grocery store and you would be surprised at how dexterous kittens can be when it comes to opening cupboard doors.

In addition, any plants that may be harmful to kittens, such as those listed below, should be kept out of reach.

  • Bulbs (includes Amaryllis, Hyacinth, and especially Lily of the Valley)
  • Lupine or Bluebonnet
  • Rhubarb
  • Azalea, Rhododendron
  • Tobacco
  • Buckeye or Horsechestnut
  • Spurges or Euphorbia (this includes the common groundcover, Snow on the Mountain)
  • Black or Bitter Nightshade, Climbing Bittersweet, Horsenettle
  • Milkweed
  • Larkspur
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One way to know for sure that your home is kitten-proofed is to stoop to their level, so to speak. Get down on the floor and check out your home from their point of view. Make sure to take care of things that might look like “toys” to a kitten: electrical cords, dangling cords to blinds, and other fun things that could also prove dangerous.  Prior to your kitten's arrival you can rub lemon juice on exposed cords that may be a temptation.

Your Kitten’s Safe Room

When you bring your kitten home, have his or her own special place (ideally a separate room) set up and ready for them. Having a space apart from the rest of the family, and any pets that you may already have, serves two purposes. First, your kitten will have a smaller area to accustom himself or herself to. Leaving your kitten’s carrier in his or her “safe room” allows them a closed-in space that they can sleep in, return to if they feel frightened, or use as a lair that they can hide out in until they feel comfortable about coming out to explore. Just don’t forget about them in there – they’ll need a lot of cuddling and socialization with you to build up their confidence!

White Persian kitten

Quarantining your new kitten is not a necessity if you have no other pets, though having a safe room is still a good idea. However, if you do have pets already in your home, you should keep your new kittens separate for at least a few weeks. Boutique Kittens meets and exceeds standard breeder veterinary practices, but there are illnesses, such as Upper Respiratory Infections (URI’s) that have a long incubation period and may not be detected for up to two weeks. Quarantining ensures that all of your pets stay healthy.  This quarantine period will also allow your current pet or pets to become accustomed to the newcomer's smell and presence.  Short supervised visits will help to ensure a successful introduction period.

First Vet Check

Once you get your kitten home, you should schedule a checkup with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Scheduling a well visit for within the first few days of having your kitten at home will give your vet an opportunity to meet your kitten and record the health information to date that you will receive upon your kitten's arrival.  At this time, you will also be able to schedule your kitten’s spay or neuter appointment and administer or schedule the last of your kitten's series of vaccinations.  Any other questions about the care of your new kitten can also be answered at this time.

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Introducing Your Kitten to Other Pets

If introducing your kitten to the rest of the family includes him or her making the acquaintance of your pit bull Fred and two elderly Siamese cats named Ying and Yang, proceed with caution. Your other pets have staked a claim on your home and need to be reassured that the newcomer isn’t there to oust them.

By quarantining your new kitten, your other pets will already have been aware that he or she is there, and had an opportunity to get used to their scent. When the first meeting takes place, keep it short. Let them all get the chance to see what that odd scent in the guest bedroom was, but don’t let your kitten become too frightened or your other pets too aggressive.

From then on, allow the pets to be in the same room together, with supervision, until they’ve all become used to each other. They will work out their issues, given time. This could take a week or more, but exercise patience and be sure to lavish attention and reassurance on your established pets, to stop any jealousy in its tracks.

By following these outlined steps, you will be able to welcome your kitten into your home with a minimum of fuss and stress on you, your new pet, and your established pets. Before long, your kitten will be settled in nicely, and so much a part of your family, it will seem like they’ve been there forever!

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You can learn how to groom your new kitten, by visiting our Cat Grooming 101 article.

Learn about the early stages of life that your kitten will go through to transform from a tiny,
helpless ball of fluff, to a regal and beautiful adult cat in our Kitten Development article.

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