Tips for First Time Kitten Owners by Chantal Frenette

Adopting a kitten can be an exciting time for the whole family, whether it’s your first pet or a new addition to the family. There a few things however that need to be considered before adopting a new bundle of fur. Keeping your new kitten safe and happy takes effort and patience from everyone in the family. Here are some important factors to consider from the team at Acadia vet:

  • Adopting a kitten who has been with its mother until the age 8-12 weeks is always best. Any earlier and it can make the kitten fearful of human interaction.
  • Provide all the comforts a growing kitten requires. You will need to provide him with a good quality kitten food and a warm place to sleep that is in a quiet area of your home, away from household traffic.
  • A little kitten needs to be handled with care and all family members should be taught how to handle and hold a kitten properly. Should you need any help in holding or handling your new kitten, the team at Acadia Veterinary Hospital is happy to offer instructions. Introduce all members slowly and one at a time, letting the kitten approach them.
  • Take time to kitten proof your home. Hide wires that they can get tangled in, anchor drape or blind cords. Please ensure the dryer door is closed at all times, kittens love to climb in and sleep there. If something would be harmful for a toddler, it’s the same for your kitten.
  • Help him adapt to other pets in the household. Take time to introduce them one by one and slowly. It may take a few days to a few weeks before they can all become comfortable with each other. Never leave a kitten alone with a dog. The kitten can claw at the dog’s face or the dog can become aggressive with the kitten. Reward pets for calm behaviour.
  • Provide safe but fun and entertaining toys. Please avoid anything with buttons or bells or anything small and detachable that he could swallow. Small stuffed animals to attack and a ball too large to fit into her mouth will provide hours of kitten fun.
  • Provide a scratching post, cats have a need to scratch and enjoy scratching. Providing your cat with its own scratching post will reduce the chances of your cat using your furniture or carpet.
  • Your kitten should visit your vet within 2-3 days of arriving to ensure he/she is in good health. The veterinarian team at Acadia can educate you and help you decide on a proper wellness and vaccination plan; as well as discuss with you the benefits of getting your kitten spayed or neutered.

A new kitten can be a magical time for the whole family. By researching and preparing for its arrival, you can then ensure the kitten will have an easier transition into its new household!