How to introduce your kitten to a new home
A change of environment is always stressful for kittens, so it will often take a few weeks for them to feel relaxed in their new surroundings. Don’t forget that your kitten will be without its siblings, mother and everything around will smell different.
Ideally you should get your kitten when you know you are going to be around for at least 72 hours with him/her.
On first introducing your kitten to its new home, it is important to put your kitten in a quiet room with a bed, toys, somewhere to hide (such as a small tower), a water fountain and at least one litter tray and a scratching post. If the kitten comes with toys and blanket, ensure that you leave these in the room, as they will be a familiar smell, that will be re-assuring.
If you introduce your kitten to its own room at this stage this will be their comfort zone for the rest of their life and will be a place where they will always feel secure.
During the introduction stage you will need to spend time with your kitten in the room and provide lots of attention. Always get down to their level, put out your hand, call their name softly and let them come to you.
Give them plenty of time to adjust and continue to visit them so they can get used to your presence. Take one step at a time, be patient and always work at the kitten’s pace before moving onto the next stage. Play is a good way of bonding because it is less intimidating than physical contact, relieves stress, and provides mental stimulation and an outlet for pent-up energy. It also builds up trust and confidence. You may find it is easier to encourage play at in the mornings and evenings when cats are naturally more active.
After a week or so, your kitten can start exploring the rest of its new home under your supervision. Let your kitten come out of their room of their own accord and keep the door open so they can dash back to their refuge, if they feel the need!
Once your kitten is confident with you and the environment, you can introduce other people / family members. If you have children, it is important to keep them calm.
There is one very important fact to understand regarding your kitten’s diet. That is during the time your kitten is settling in, he is already stressed and the worst thing you can do is to change the diet. When a kitten is bought from a breeder you must follow the eating habit until your kitten is fully settled into his new home. During this period and for at least 10 days, your kitten might lose its appetite. Remember it is a baby after all, with no sibling and no mummy!
So, if your kitten has been weaned on PurrForm, or other raw food, you must carry on feeding its preferred flavour for at least 4 weeks. After that, if you wish to introduce a new flavour, this can be done by doing a slow transition.
Likewise, if your kitten has been on dry / processed wet food, continue this for the first 3 to 4 weeks. After that, if you feel your kitten should have a more species appropriate, high protein, raw diet, such as PurrForm, carry out the transition gradually as per our guide https://www.purrform.co.uk/advice/feeding-tips/ , or call us if you need any further assistance.
Certainly, by giving your kitten a good quality, natural raw food, you will be giving him the best start in life and hopefully will ensure he grows into a happy, healthy cat with many years ahead.