Looking after your new kitten

Kittens are lovely but having one also means certain responsibilities and commitment.

We have put together a guide below with some key points for bringing home your new kitten.

If you do have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact our Veterinary Clinic.


Arriving home with your new kitten...

When arriving home with your new kitten, it is important to let them adjust to their new surroundings, prior to you introducing them to other animals and people in the house. Ensure that doors and windows are closed and the kitten knows where their litter tray, food bowls and bed are.

A kittens bed should be in a safe place which is warm, dry and comfortable.

Introducing your kitten to other pets and children...

With kittens the introduction to other members of the household should be gradual. Children need to let the kitten come to them, rather than just pick it up. Playing stops when the kitten chooses and then it should be allowed to go back to its bed and be undisturbed. Be aware that kittens can scratch and play-bite when they are around young children.

Again with introducing kittens to a dog it needs to be done carefully. An ideal way is to have a mesh pen in which the kitten can sit safely till they become accustomed. Dogs not used to cats should be kept calm and on a lead. This can take sometime, patience and rewarding the dog for behaving well.

With quieter dogs or dogs used to cats, they can be introduced using a strong cat carrier. The dog again should be kept initially on the leader, placing the carrier on a higher surface to allow a controlled introduction. Do not leave the new kitten alone with other cats or dogs until they are well established in the household.

Toilet training for kittens...

Kittens usually learn to use a litter tray by copying their mother. You need to show them where the litter tray is and put the kitten on it after meals, waking for a sleep, or when it is sniffing, scratching or beginning to crouch. If your kitten starts to mess elsewhere in the house, try to confine them to one room with a litter try until it starts to learn to use it regularly.

Reasons your kitten may be reluctant to use the litter tray;

  • Its not clean enough – remember to regularly empty it
  • The size is too small, as the kitten gets bigger and turns into an adult it needs to be able to turn around in the tray without getting dirty.
  • You have cleaned it with a strong smelling chemical which is too strong
  • Its to close to their bed or food bowls
  • Try using a different litter it may not like the texture of the one you are using.

To start to get your kitten to go outside more, gradually move the litter tray towards the door. Spread a few handfuls of cat litter onto well dug soil in the garden, this will enourage the kitten to dig there. Don’t remove the litter tray from your home until the it has started using the garden.

Kittens and toys...

Play time for kittens is a important part of their life, it also helps create a bond between you both.

A scratching post can be helpful in protecting your furniture in the home, especially if your kitten is unable to go outside. Kittens will play with anything that is light and small, toys which come filled with cat nip tend to be popular.

Find out about worming, fleas and your kittens vaccinations on our dedicated pages.

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  • What an amazing group of people. Really caring and always fully knowledgable about the health of my two dogs. I love my dogs so much that their care is important to me and I am confident that the team at Dragon Vets have my pets interests at the heart of the work they do.

    Dog Owner, Newcastle
  • I cannot thank the team enough at Dragon Vets for taking such good care of Wilma when she was poorly. The staff were amazing throughout and the vets knew exactly what she needed. Keep up the great work.

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    Mark Nicholson – North Shields
    North Shields