A kitten moves in! That means an exciting time is coming for you, full of new experiences and happy moments with the new family member. There will certainly be a few challenges that you have to cope with together with the little velvet paw. Wishing you a great start together, we have put together a few tips and tricks to aid you. By the way, cats are not purely solitary animals. Particularly house cats that cannot go outside profit from having a companion. Watch out, however, the cats have to get to know each other! Not all cats like each other. To start with, everything in the new surroundings is unfamiliar for the kitten. Start your preparations some time before the new four-legged friend moves in to make settling in easier. After the kitten arrived, give the new family member lots of time to explore the new surroundings. Avoid to press the kitten and wait until your new friend comes to you on its own motivation. There will be still so much time leftto get to know each other.
Make your home safe before your little friend moves in. If there are rooms in your home where you do not want the cat to go at all, this must be made clear right from the start and adhered to consistently. Kittens are very inquisitive and want to climb up everywhere. Particularly young kittens often cannot see where problems might arise. They want to examine everything closely. Often things are toppled over or thrown down. So it is best if you store your favourite things out of reach for some weeks. Unfortunately, tilted windows present a danger that is often underestimated. If a cat gets caught in the gap, serious internal injuries can be the result. You can insert special protective grilles to prevent this. House cats love to nibble on fresh green. Therefore, find out if your indoor plants are poisonous and offer cat grass as a healthy alternative.
Cats like to keep the places where they sleep, eat and relieve themselves clearly apart. Keep this in mind when preparing your home for the kitten. Your new family member will sleep about 10 hours a day. This is especially important for the development of growing pets. Create suitable places to lie, e.g. a little bed with a soft plush cover or cuddly caves for hiding. Places with a view e.g. on a scratching post or on the windowsill are very popular. A bed for your radiator offers your kitten an extra warm place to feel good. In addition to that, food and water bowls are necessary purchases. Products made of stainless steel or ceramic are the most suitable as they can be cleaned easily and rarely slip. Place the food bowl in a quiet location. It is best if the bowl has a low rim, and it is important to clean it after each feed or at least once per day. Things become really exciting for your kitten if you use dry food as a feeding game. This addresses the natural hunting instinct of your cat and provides suitable activity. Our velvet paws often drink too little. This can lead to health problems. So, place bowls with fresh water in different locations. Many cats drink enough if they are offered moving water from a drinking fountain.
If kittens are raised in good conditions, the mother cat will teach her kittens to use a cat litter box from the age of 5-6 weeks. However, do not expect your kitten to always get there in time. Especially at the beginning, the nearest cat litter box should be quite close. For fully grown cats, the rule is: number of cats +1 = number of cat litter boxes. Place the cat litter boxes in a quiet location that is accessible at all times. Frequent cleaning is important. Velvet paws are very clean pets and have a well-developed sense of smell. They do not want to use unclean litter boxes. Specialist shops have various types of litter available. If occasionally something misses the mark, a urine stain eliminator comes in useful. Stains and smells are degraded organically and completely disappear.
Cats spend a lot of time cleaning. By doing this, they swallow a certain amount of hair and this can lead to digestion problems. Regular brushing reduces the amount of loose hair. Acquaint your kitten with being brushed early on, so that this presents no problems. At the start, you can give a few small treats or a bit of tube snack. Gentle fur care strengthens the bond between your kitten and you. Often, a regular care ritual that human and pet both enjoy can be established. It is also recommended to give cat malt. This tasty paste helps to prevent the formation of hair balls. Combing and brushing does not only increase the well-being of your pet. There is also markedly less hair spread to the surroundings. Specialist shops have various care utensils on offer. Fur care gloves are a gentle aid for kittens and sensitive pets. By the way, house cats lose hair all year round. With cats that can go outside, this is more pronounced in spring and autumn.
Cats have a natural instinct to scratch. That way they mark their territory among other behaviours. It is best to provide various scratching options in different rooms for your kitten. That protects furniture and walls and provides variety for your velvet paws. If your kitten sharpens her claws again and again where you do not want it, provide a scratching option there, e.g. as a scratching board on the wall. A larger scratching post is a welcome addition to the room where the cat spends most of her time. Particularly kittens love to climb,play and hide to their heart’s delight. House cats also prefer raised platforms where they can enjoy the view. In other rooms, a smaller model is useful. Scratching boards and cardboards for wall or floor are also suitable. If your kitten ignores a new scratching option at first, you can make it more attractive with catnip or other herbal attractants. When creating suitable surroundings for your cat, do not forget the higher wall areas.
Space-saving climbing opportunities are ideal for enlarging the space available to your velvet paw. For this, you can arrange e.g. climbing
steps, hammocks and cuddly caves that can be attached to a wall, which encourage your house cat to find her own ways and viewing locations.
Balconies and terraces are a great opportunity for house cats to get fresh air and new impressions. Protective nets restrict the space and provide safety by preventing falls. If you want your cat to be able to go out without restrictions, we recommend installing a cat flap. However, to start with, your kitten cannot start off into the great outdoors on her own. Your velvet paw should have reached sexual maturity and have
been neutered. A tattoo or a microchip together with the necessary registration in a pet register helps to find your cat again in an emergency.
A collar shows others that the cat has an owner. A safety closure is important. If the pet gets caught somewhere, the buckle opens automatically and prevents strangulation. Reflecting models improve visibility, e.g. for approaching cars drivers.
Creeping up, chasing, pouncing – cats love hunting games of all kinds. Playing rods and balls are just as popular as special toys e.g. with motor, sound or LED. Plan a daily time for playing together. That will be an absolute highlight for your kitten and it strengthens the bond between you. Bring the toys to life and do not make things too easy for your cat. Prey that is hard to get is even more exciting. Should
your kitten attack your hands or other parts of your body, interrupt the game. Things are perfect if the game with your house cat ends in success. This can be a little toy or a snack. It is important that your cat can carry away the prey and play with it. Particulary cats that are exclusively indoors need lots of activity. Why do not try a strategy game where your kitten can paw out treats or dry food from various openings. Hunting and food games also make sense for cats that can go outside as they will feel less inclined to hunt when being outside.
A great opportunity for mental challenge is working with a clicker, e.g. a target stick. A lot of cats see joint activities with their owners
as a welcome change. When the first little tricks have worked, the transport box offers itself for training. In the training, the kitten can be introduced to the box in a positive way and find out that it is a pleasant place of retreat. Wearing a harness can also be trained that way.