You've been waiting for days, weeks or months and finally, the big day has arrived! In a short time, your new baby will be among you, in your home, so it's time to check if everything is ready for this day that already looks unforgettable!
The essential trousseau
Like many of us, I'm sure you've already bought and furnished almost everything for your little wonder. You've probably already thought of almost everything, but let's go over the essentials.
First of all, the first thing to keep in mind is that your kitten, this adorable and cute little ball of fur, is also and above all a little feline in power! From a very young age, he will need to expend his overflowing energy. For this purpose, there are countless cat trees of all kinds, wall runs, climbing towers... This furniture, essential to your little protégé, is nowadays very modern and design and does not come to denote and swear in our interior as it was the case before, what a godsend for the decoration lovers! There are thousands of models, of all sizes, all colors, different materials and for all budgets. Personally I like the big cat trees but I also have smaller ones for my babies. Be careful, our little panthers, although very agile, are not safe from a fall and this one can be dangerous especially in their first months.
The second thing not to forget are the scratching posts... And yes, whether we like it or not, scratching is a normal, natural and instinctive thing for our four-legged friends. No matter their breed, their age or the "education" we give them, our dear companions will do their claws so we might as well offer them scratching posts to try to spare our furniture, walls, sofas...
By scratching, the cat marks its territory by depositing pheromones in strategic places. Moreover, he often takes advantage of it to stretch himself and this habit quickly becomes a moment of pleasure. There are also a large number of scratching posts. Very often cat trees are equipped with them but I advise you to invest in 2 or 3 additional scratching posts that you can position throughout your rooms. The cat likes to stretch, think of installing a large scratching post (on a wall for example), I have names of online stores to give you for those who wish it, do not hesitate to come to ask me.
Third essential, and not the least, the litter box! The cat is by nature a very, very clean animal that takes care of itself and is a bit manic! When the kitten arrives in your home, it will already be clean and familiar with the litter box (at least if it was not adopted too early - As a reminder, a kitten must spend at least 12 weeks with its mother). Choose a litter box that is large enough for him to turn around and scratch easily. Concerning the models, there are all kinds... From the simple plastic box that you will find in any store for less than 5 euros, to the robotized models for which you will have to pay sometimes up to 600 euros. Here it is a question of taste and budget, the main thing, according to me, being the size and the location of the latter, do not put it in full passage, prefer a quiet place and far from the dining area of your cat.
The litter box must be changed as often as possible, at least once or twice a day, to avoid diseases and bad smells and also to respect the cleanliness of your pet. A soiled litter box is often the cause of the uncleanliness of some cats. If you have the possibility, I advise you to put two litter boxes at the disposal of your little protégé.
Fourth important point: the sleeps. The cat likes comfort, warmth, softness... If you want to please him, multiply the "cocooning" corners in the house and in height if possible. There is no need to spend a lot of money on expensive cushions, soft plaids will do the trick. Our cats spend an average of 12 to 16 hours a day in the arms of Morpheus, so let's offer them sleeping places where they will feel comfortable.
Fifth point not to be neglected, the eating area. Nothing extraordinary but it is useful to remember that your cat's food bowls should not be close to his litter box.
Choose ceramic bowls, they are easy to clean and disinfect. Some cats suffer from allergies and reactions with plastic bowls, so I advise against them whenever possible.
Concerning water, I am a fervent fan of fountains! They encourage cats to drink and filter impurities continuously, you can find them for about 20 euros.
Sixth and last point, the toys of your baby. This may seem secondary and yet they are important in the life of your little protégé, especially during its first months. Playing is a way for the kitten to spend its energy, to learn to control its gestures and to gain confidence in itself. Some small toys are filled with catnip, a euphoric catnip that they love above all, they will rub and purr... A great moment of pleasure in perspective!
Be careful, a little caution on all the "low-cost" toys made of multicolored plastic with tinted feathers... It often happens that some pieces come off and this can quickly become very dangerous for our four-legged friends. Also, don't leave the feather dusters at his disposal, he might tear off the feathers and swallow them, which could cause health problems such as an intestinal obstruction.
Don't hesitate to play with your kitten, in addition to being beneficial for its well-being, it will allow you to bond with it and share moments of happiness.
The first meeting
This is it, you're there, this wonderful moment of meeting your baby has finally arrived.
The ideal, if you can and if the breeder accepts it, is to go directly where your baby grew up. Each breeder acts differently, here I welcome the families for about two hours around a small snack, this gives us the opportunity to exchange and especially it allows the baby to get acquainted with his new family gently.
Don't be too friendly with the kitten, let it feel you, come and go, talk to it and pet it without separating it from its siblings. Keep in mind that this moment, which is wonderful for you, is going to be stressful, frightening and hard to handle for this little being. He'll be leaving his mom, his siblings, his humans and his home, so take it easy. Departures are always heartbreaking, but babies always get used to it very, very quickly for our greatest happiness.
Once you leave the kennel and are with your baby, continue to talk to him gently and pet him during transport. He needs to feel safe and secure and it's up to you now to reassure him.
A new home
What a feeling when we see our baby step on the floor of our house for the first time... We have dreamed of this moment so much!
Again, be careful, don't go too fast, it's all very scary for him.
When one of my babies leaves me, he leaves with his trousseau and a little blanket on which he, his mom and his siblings have played and slept for at least two weeks. This blanket is filled with the smells of his little world and it will be very important to him.
The first days, I advise you to leave your little protégé in a single room (it is often the parental room that is the lucky one). Give him time to get to know you, share moments of tenderness, games, calm... If your breeder gave you a small blanket, place it in a quiet corner of your room, where your baby will feel safe.
Don't be intrusive at first, let him discover his environment and come to you, just as you did when you were at his breeder's. Just show him his litter box, his meal area and let him understand what is going on.
When you see that your hairball is at ease, you can leave the door open for him. It's very important to leave the door open because if he's stressed, this is where he'll take refuge and find his peace. At the beginning everything will seem big and scary but with your love, your sweetness and your presence, your baby will very quickly find his place in your family and in a few days (sometimes less) you will have the impression that he will have always been there... Kittens have an incredible faculty of adaptation as long as you do things correctly and leave them long enough with their mother: 12 weeks minimum!
When a cat is already present
When you decide to adopt a second little fur ball, the recommendations are the same as those we just mentioned, except for a few small details...
First of all, multiply the dodos and cat trees if possible. Each cat should be able to isolate himself at his convenience and have his own little corner. If possible, keep sleeping areas as far apart as possible. The same recommendation applies to scratching posts and toys.
Regarding litter boxes, it is generally recommended to have one litter box per cat plus one. For two cats, the ideal is to have three litter boxes. The advice seen above, especially on the maintenance of litter boxes, is obviously even more important with several cats.
The eating area will also be multiplied (except the water fountain which can be used for several cats) and well separated at least for the first time.
When you arrive home with your new baby, leave it in one room for at least 24/48 hours. Let the cat already in the house feel the carrier so that it understands that another little feline will be sharing its territory. The meeting should take place when the kitten is comfortable in its new home and you should be present at that time. At no time should you force the cats to see each other, do not force them to smell each other and do not lock them in a small room.
Open the baby's room and let him go out and discover his environment while staying beside him, discreetly.
Cats are territorial and independent animals. It is very likely that your cat will fire and spit on your kitten. This is quite normal, this intimidation will last for some time, the hierarchy will be set up naturally. Don't intervene and let your cat do it as long as there is no physical aggression. If this happens, or if you feel that your cat is becoming threatening to your kitten, put the kitten back in its room and try again later, always under supervision.
I now have nine cats at home and there has never been a problem. Some of my present cats spit on my newcomer, but that only lasts for a while. You must not rush things and take the time to do it right. Other cats just feel it and that's all. Every cat is different, so you have to act in the interest of each one.
Little by little, your kitten will be accepted by your cat and often, faster than you would have thought. Give your kitten time, respect each other's needs and give equal attention to each other. A kitten is very cute, but that doesn't mean you should neglect or temporarily abandon your cat, who has been around for several years.
When you have the possibility, the ideal is to have two cats. It's even better when you can adopt them at the same time (kittens from the same sibling or having grown up together). The cat is an independent and territorial animal but with the life that we impose to them, the company of a congeneric is always a considerable plus.
If you have any questions or remarks, don't hesitate to leave a comment under this article or to tell me directly, I am easily reachable through social networks.
I wish you a lot of happiness with your new little fur ball, enjoy every moment because time passes at a crazy speed...