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Welcoming your new kitten

Advice on how to welcome a kitten into your home

Kitten looking down

There is nothing more adorable than a kitten, one of the most popular pets in Britain they make for loving companions. Moving away from its mother and litter is often a traumatic experience, so setting up the right environment for its arrival is essential. A good start will be the beginning to a happy life for both you and your kitten.

The team at Waitrose Pet have put together some top tips and a new kitten check list to help you welcome a kitten into your home.

Cute kittens

Before your kitten arrives

  • Kitten lying down

    1Before you decide to get a kitten make sure your home is suitable for a cat. For example if you are renting always check you are permitted to have pets with the landlord, or if you live near a busy road you might want to look at getting an older cat who would be more prone to staying indoors.

    2Get a cat carrier, they are essential to insuring the safe transportation of your kitten to their new home.

    3By their nature cats are inclined to explore, they love to climb and like heights. Make sure you secure loose blinds, cables and dangerous objects your kitten could get caught in.

    4There are certain flowers and plants, such as lilies, which are lethal to cats. Make sure you remove these from the paths of curious kittens.

  • Kitten in the vets

    5Contact the breeder/kennel you are getting the kitten from and ask if you can give your kitten a toy a week or so before you collect it. The toy will comfort your kitten when you bring it home as it will have familiar scents from its old home on it.

    6Research your local vet and make an appointment to bring your kitten in for a check up and vaccinations. Ask your vet about microchipping your cat. It is relatively in-expensive, but offers you peace of mind when your cat begins to explore the outside world.

    7A trip to the vets can be very expensive; insurance can help you with any unforeseen costs. John Lewis has a selection of pet insurance packages to suit various different situations.

  • Kitten sleepy

    8If you are introducing a kitten into a home where there is another cat it is worth considering a feliway cat calming diffuser, it contains a product which helps calm cats in stressful situations.

    9Put together your new kitten check list to make sure you have all you need before your kitten arrives.

Top tips for your kitten's arrival

  • Kitten

    1When you collect your kitten make sure you have your cat travel case in the car so you can transport your new pet safely.

    2Kittens love to explore, but a whole new home may be too much to take in all at once. If you have a spare room put the kitten’s bed, food, water and toys in it. Secure the room from loose cables, or anything the kitten could get caught in. This gives your kitten a safe, secure place from which they can begin to explore its new home.

    3Place the travel case in the room you have designated for your kitten and open. Never tip the case or try to coax the kitten out, they will be naturally curious and will come out in their own time.

    4It is important to supervise young children with new kittens. Teach them to be gentle, patient and quiet around the kitten. After the kitten has settled into their new home you can encourage gentle, supervised play.

  • Kitten lying against pillow

    5Make sure there is food and water down for your kitten and show them where their bed is. It is important to place the kittens food and litter tray in separate locations.

    6Place the litter tray in a quiet corner and show your kitten where it is. Cats are, by temperament, very clean animals and will want to use the litter tray naturally. However different cats like different textures of cat litter so it is worth trying a few to find the one your cat likes.

    7The first night away from their mother is a stressful event. To help sooth your kitten you could wrap a clock in a blanket and put it in its bed, this mimics the mothers heart beat and can offer some comfort to a distressed kitten.

    8It is important to keep your kitten indoors until you have visited the vet to receive all suitable vaccinations. However it is advisable to keep your kitten indoors for the first few weeks so it can adjust to its new surroundings.