Congratulations! You’re a KITTEN PARENT!
First orders of business:
Boop the kitten nose often.
Snuggle kitten and profess your love at least 10 times per day.
Bask in kitten’s cuteness and snap 1,000 photos of kitten sleeping.
While perfecting all of these important tasks, you should also be studying up how to raise a well-adjusted and preferably obedient kitten!
Not to worry… we have the top practical tips you should keep in mind so your kitten learns how to be the very best adult cat they can be.
Socialization is key in the early months.
Your kitten is a part of the family now, so it’s important to get them used to things or people they might be exposed to often as a permanent household member. Invite visitors over (especially children, if you want your kitten to be used to interacting with them) to assist in exposure to people other than you. Have them play with your kitten, hold them, pet them, etc. The more socialized your kitten is, the more they will be able to adapt to situations as an adult cat.
Preventative care is important.
Of course, you are taking your kitten to the veterinarian for those early month checkups, but what about your plan moving forward? Give yourself the kick start your cat needs to live a long and healthy life and look into a preventative health care plan with your veterinarian. Cats tend to disguise medical issues very well, so while one may think they can skip a year of wellness checks for a younger cat, it’s not a good idea. Talk to your veterinarian about a short-term plan for now, and adjust that plan as your kitten gets older and according to their specific needs.
Handle with care… but definitely handle.
Desensitizing kittens to being handled is the best way to ensure they don’t mind it when they’re adult cats. This shouldn’t be hard to do since all you want to do is snuggle that cute little ball of fur anyway! Be sure to practice handling that might be useful when your cat is older– like touching their paws just in case the veterinarian needs to do so at some point, as an example. The more you practice, the more well-adjusted your adult cat is likely to be.
Play with kitty… but use TOYS!
It is so easy to fall into the habit of waving your hands around and letting your kitten bite your fingers in a playful manner, but try to fight that urge. Cat toys exist for a reason, and your kitten will love them! You don’t want to set the precedent that biting hands is okay, even in a playful way, because you don’t want your kitten taking advantage of that when they are an adult cat. Utilize toys to teach them what is okay to bite, chew, etc. and what is NOT.
Show them the lay of the land, but don’t overwhelm them.
It’s a great big world out there for kittens, and that even includes just your house. When you bring your kitten home, you might feel eager to let them explore the entire house. Kittens can become overwhelmed with too much space initially, so section your house off and allow them to get used to their new environment a little bit at a time. Consider starting with the area that you plan to keep their litter box in.
With these tips in your tool belt, you’ll be off to a great start!