When you welcome your inquisitive new kitten into your home, she’ll probably take a little time to get used to her new surroundings. It’s best to let your kitten explore, and discover things in her own time. Even so, there are still plenty of things you can do to help your kitten settle in.
Decide which room your kitten will live in for the first few days. Make sure the room has a door or some other way of shielding your kitten from the hustle and bustle of daily life, including children and other pets.
High places and hiding spots
In the wild, your kitten’s big cat cousins like to patrol their territory from a high vantage point. This keeps them out of the way of predators, and helps them spot potential prey without being seen. If possible, choose a room where your new feline friend can hide easily, and where she can get up high. By encouraging your kitten to recreate this kind of natural behaviour, you’ll help her settle in more easily.
Cats naturally choose a quiet, secluded place to go to the toilet. So it’s a good idea to place your kitten’s litter tray in a corner opposite the door. Don't forget to have tray liners and a scoop ready, and remember to clean out the tray regularly. Cats like to keep themselves clean, and if the tray is dirty your kitten will probably choose to go somewhere else!
Food and water bowls
In the wild, big cats never eat in the same place as they go to the toilet. So it makes sense to position your kitten’s food and water bowl as far away from the litter tray as possible. Your cute little kitten will also thank you for using shallow bowls, because the low sides won’t bang her sensitive whiskers.
Cat baskets should be comfortable, warm and easy to clean. If you do provide one for you kitten, however, don't be surprised if she makes her own choice about where to sleep. That independent nature is just one of the many things you'll grow to love about your new feline friend!
You'll need a cat carrier not only for your kitten’s first journey home, but also for later trips, such as to the vet or cattery. There's a wide range of different types available, so pick the one that you and your kitten are happiest with.
Scratching is a natural behaviour. It keeps a cat’s claws in good hunting condition, and also creates both scent and visual signals designed to mark territory. Give your kitten a scratching post, and watch her exercise her instincts just as nature intended!
Other useful things
• Grooming equipment suitable for your breed
• Cat flap
• Fast-release collar, lead, name tag and bell
When you first bring your kitten home, keep the house as quiet as possible, and don't be surprised if she starts out a bit timid. Show your kitten where her room is, and let her explore by herself. Leave a door slightly ajar so your kitten can come and go as she pleases. Your new arrival will soon let you know when she’s ready to explore a little further.
Finally, remember not to let your kitten outside until she’s been vaccinated. Even after she’s had her jabs, it's best to keep your kitten indoors for the first two or three weeks.