When you welcome your inquisitive new kitten into your home, she’ll probably take a little time to get used to her new surroundings.
It’s best to let your kitten explore, and discover things in her own time. Even so, there are still plenty of things you can do to help your kitten settle in.
Will your kitten be an indoor or an outdoor cat? By understanding her natural instincts, you can make sure she has a happy life wherever she roams.
In the wild, the territory of a big cat is usually divided into a small home range, with a wider hunting range beyond. Your house will be your kitten’s home range.
Just like her big cat cousins, your little kitten prefers to go to the toilet in privacy. That's why it's important to keep her litter tray in a quiet, safe, place where she can get to it easily and use it without anybody watching.
Make sure her litter tray is some distance from where she eats or drinks.
Noticing when she wants to go
You’ll need to train your kitten in how to use her tray. This is simple: just lift her into the tray as soon as you see that she wants to go. You can also help by placing her in the tray early in the morning, last thing at night and after every meal.
Your kitten is a born explorer. By allowing her to explore her environment, you’ll help her establish a safe and secure territory.
Her naturally inquisitive nature can also get her into scrapes, so keep your eyes open for potential dangers.
You’ll be wanting your adorable little kitten to settle into her new home quickly and happily. A great way to help things along is by establishing a few basic routines, so here are some good habits to get into.
By nature, your kitten likes to keep herself clean and tidy. To help her follow this natural instinct, place her litter tray in a private spot, well away from her food and water. Show her where the litter tray is and she’ll quickly learn to use it.
As the proud owner of a new kitten, you’ll want to make your home as welcoming a place for her as possible. The best way to do this is to understand why your feline friend behaves the way she does.
Just like her big cat cousins, your kitten is by nature a solitary hunter. She believes that she’s responsible for her own survival, and that she doesn’t need a pack to get her out of trouble. Once you understand this basic fact, you’ll see it reflected in all kinds of natural instincts and behaviours.
Kittens really are adorable. Beneath all that cuteness, however, your little feline friend is a highly evolved predator. She may not be living alongside her big cat cousins, but she’s hardwired just the same, with hearing, sight, touch, smell, taste and movement all perfectly adapted to life as a hunter.
At the low end of the scale, your kitten’s hearing is similar to yours. But with high-pitched sounds, her hearing is a lot sharper, extending 1.6 octaves above your range.
Your kitten will spend a lot of her day grooming. Not only does grooming help your kitten look after her coat, but it also controls parasites and reinforces social bonds.
Grooming is a great way to build up your relationship with your kitten, because it mimics the social bonds between a mother cat and her babies.
Kittens love to sleep. In fact, most cats will sleep anywhere from 13–16 hours a day. The reason is simple: meat is a rich source of energy, and sleeping after each meal allows that energy to be conserved.
So, next time you catch your kitten napping, remember that she’s not being lazy. Instead, your feline friend is mimicking the natural behaviour of her big cat cousins, making sure she’s restored and ready for the next hunt!
Your cute little kitten will just love to keep herself neat and tidy – in fact, grooming will take up many hours of her day. Not only does your kitten enjoy it, but it’s good for her too.
Licking her coat helps keep it in perfect condition, controls parasites and strengthens social bonds. If she does it too little, that might mean she’s poorly. On the other hand, there is such a thing as too much licking.
Your kitten's sharp little claws are amazing. They help her to balance on smooth and slippery surfaces, and give her a good, strong grip when she’s climbing and holding on to things. So it’s important that your kitten’s claws stay in good condition.
Going for regular check-ups
Because your kitten’s claws are protected by special sheaths, they very rarely get damaged. However, it's a good idea to check them regularly to make sure they haven't grown too long.
In the unlikely event your kitten should get lost, you’ll want to get her back as soon as possible. That’s why proper identification is important – and it has the added bonus of bringing you peace of mind.
Types of collar
• Choose a collar with an elasticated, fast-release safety section
• When you’re grooming your kitten, take a moment to check underneath her collar to make sure it fits correctly
When holiday time comes around – or if you just need to leave your kitten for a few days – you’ll need to think about the best way to take care of her while you’re away.
Ask your vet, or a friend who also has a cat, if they can recommend a cattery where your kitten can stay. Visit the cattery first to make sure you’re happy with your feline friend’s temporary home.
In the wild, big cats use their senses of smell and taste to check whether food is rotten. They’re also cautious about things they’re not familiar with.
Your cute little kitten shares these instincts, but her natural curiosity means she might swallow something either by mistake or through her normal grooming – if something like paint or tar sticks to her fur, for example. With your love and care, you can help your feline friend avoid any potential dangers!