Are you going to get a kitten? Congratulations! A cat is a wonderful companion and you will have a beloved family member. By being prepared, you can ensure that the cat gets off to the best possible start in its new home.
Cat-safe and prepare your home
Before you pick up your new family member, you should cat secure your home and create a comfortable environment for the cat. Set aside poisonous plants such as tulips and lilies, nett in any balconies, remove fragile things and make cuddly sleeping places for the cat (yes, several – a kitten needs a lot of sleep!). Get claw boards, cat food, a water bowl, litter box and some toys.
Get the cat
The breeder should have drawn up a purchase contract that you both agree on, this must be signed when you pick up the kitten. Remember that the kitten should not be separated from its mother until it is 12 weeks old. Ask if the kitten has been examined by a veterinarian, vaccinated and dewormed. If not here’s a new product just for you! Carry the cat in a transport cage and perhaps even bring a thin blanket to cover the cage if the cat becomes anxious. Paper or a towel can also be good to bring with you in case an accident should occur in the transport cage.
First time at home
The first time in the new home is often scary for the kitten who is in a new place with new people for the first time. Open the door to the transport cage but do not force the cat out but let it explore its new environment at its own pace. It is not uncommon for it to take a day before the cat dares to leave its hiding place (behind the sofa is a favorite). Be patient and make sure it is quiet at home. Show the cat where to sleep, eat and defecate. Gradually introduce the cat to new sounds, visual impressions and scents. Do not forget to play with the kitten to strengthen your bond, preferably at dusk when the cat is most active.
Let go of the cat
Are you planning to have an outdoor cat? Wait at least 3-4 weeks before letting the cat go out for the first time to make sure it feels and is safe in its new environment. Keep the cat under surveillance at first, maybe you can try to go with it on a harness and leash? Keep in mind that cats become sexually mature at 5-6 months of age and that it can be a good idea to neuter the cat if you do not want kittens.