Welcoming a kitten at home: the steps to follow

That’s it, it’s the big day ! You will finally welcome home the little kitten you have been dreaming of for weeks. In order for the process of adoption and acclimatization to your household to go smoothly, it is important to respect the following steps on the day of the arrival of the long-awaited furball.

1. Prepare your living spaces

In order for your kitten to adapt as soon as it arrives to its new environment, its living space must be ready. His future landmarks in this new home of yours are of paramount importance for the little feline.

When he arrives, he must immediately appropriate his environment so that he feels good. It is therefore advisable to opt for final living spaces so as not to disturb him afterwards. So choose carefully the places where you want to install it.

There are 4 living spaces to prepare:

The first space you should dedicate to it in your home is a sleeping area. A kitten sleeps a lot. He will therefore need a cozy and quiet place where he can rest at will.

The ideal is to choose a space away from places of passage as well as its litter. Do not hesitate to arrange the space by choosing very soft cushions or very soft blankets.

It will be necessary to teach your kitten cleanliness. To do this, make things easier by placing his litter box in a quiet and airy place of the House. When he has to do his business, he will go more readily to his litter box if he feels good there. The best thing to do is to place it in a place far from his bowls food (you could eat next to your toilet, you?).

For a kitten to quickly learn to do in its litter, it is also recommended to clean it completely at least once a week (plastic box + change of sand). On the other hand, it is necessary to remove the stools as well as the places of sand soiled by the urine every day so that the litter box is always clean and the kitten wants to return to it.

cat litter
Credits: Lightspruch/iStock
  • A place dedicated to food

The eating area should be easily identifiable for the kitten. Most of the time, cat owners install it in the kitchen. The ideal is to choose a place that is convenient for you and easy access for the little feline.

You can anticipate his first meal and already have two bowls: one containing croquettes and the other containing water. The water bowl must be changed at least once a day so that the kitten always has access to fresh water.

Most kittens are generally very playful. If a small space is provided in the house for the baby cat to play and climb at will, he will be all the happier.

For example, install a cat tree or make a playground. You can also place some toys in the room.

2. Secure the premises

Very curious, kittens love to leave explore the surroundings or conversely hide in the smallest hole they can find. Be careful to secure all the spaces in which your kitten will live. For this, make sure that each corner is devoid of danger for the little cat. A kitten likes to play with everything that comes under its paw, so it is necessary to be very careful.

start with close all windows and possible exits to prevent it from escaping or falling unintentionally. Block all the corners where it might get stuck (behind furniture, under furniture, etc.). Also make sure that the plants you have in your home are not toxic to him. At last, protect electrical wires protruding or any other potentially dangerous object or installation.

3. Gently release it

Your brand new companion has finally arrived. He waits wisely in his transport box that you had bought beforehand and in which you put him for the time of the journey to your home. Now is the time to introduce him to his new home.

For this, show extreme candy. After placing the box in the place you want him to discover first (the kitchen can be a good choice so that he knows immediately where to hydrate and eat), open the door and take a few steps away. Some kittens come out of their crate right away, others are too frightened and prefer to curl up in the back, in safety. In both cases, let it be.

4. Let him explore his new surroundings

Once the kitten is out of its crate, immediately show it where is the water and food. Do the same with his litter by scraping the sand with your fingers so that he understands its usefulness. Above all, do not close the door of his crate, the latter can be used as a refuge if he feels worried.

To put him at ease when exploring the different rooms of your home, don’t be too intrusive. Let it evolve freely while keeping a certain distance. You can try playing with him to relax him, but don’t shower him with kisses and hugs just yet.

If your kitten is too frightened, take it slowly. Let him explore a closed room first. Then, once you see that he feels safe there, give him access to another room. And so on. But above all, never force him into a room. When he feels like it, he will go, don’t worry. Don’t forget that patience and gentleness are the key words when adopting a kitten.

cat meows
Credits: RalchevDesign / iStock

5. Introduce it to family members (humans and animals)

This step is very important for the smooth running of the following events. Indeed, the kitten you welcome into your home will have to live with people and animals who already have their little habits. It is therefore essential that they get to know each other quickly.

Regarding the presentation to humans, it must be done gently. Tell family members, especially children, about the right behavior to adopt. It is essential avoid noise, shouting or sudden gestures during the first meeting.

When introducing, talk to the kitten on a your calm and steady to reassure him. This gives the kitten confidence and lays the first foundations for its development and its relationship with you. Your voice and presence are also a first landmark for him. Do not leave him alone with the other members of your household.

The introduction to other animals in the house is a stressful step for everyone, but necessary. Indeed, your faithful four-legged friends may feel some tension about the arrival of a newcomer who will disrupt the entire organization of the home.

Once all the previous steps have been completed, the ideal is to bring your animals and your little kitten together in a closed room. A room with a high space where your kitten can take refuge in case of fright is recommended. Sit in a corner of the room and let them do it.

Whether with a cat or with a dog, the meeting can be a little tense. Animals will naturally have a certain mistrust towards each other, but this is normal. You have to give them time to get to know each other and get used to it.

Once the growling, spitting, or any other form of aggression has subsided, you can get them out of the room. The first contact having passed, you can let them evolve together in the house.

6. The first night at home

A kitten’s first night in its new home can be terrible for it. Let’s not forget that this is a baby cat who has just been taken away from his mother and his family of origin. He therefore has every reason to be disturbed, even completely terrorized.

For things to go as smoothly as possible, install him in the room you have prepared for him beforehand. Relax him a little by giving him a few caresses and playing with him, then leave the room and close the door behind you. The feeling of being in a confined and reduced space can help secure it.

Above all, don’t give in to the temptation to put him to sleep in your bed, even if his meowing tears your heart apart. He must understand that his place is in his bed, this will save you a lot of trouble later.

Note that a kitten can take several days, even Several weeks, to adapt to his new family. So don’t panic! Be patient and gentle and let time pass.