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CATS - ADOPTION

Content Image Welcoming your new kitten
Published 2010/12/09

The thought of bringing home a new kitten can be exciting and overwhelming at once. Here are some kitten-specific suggestions that will help make your new friend's welcome a warm and lasting one.

The most desirable age to adopt a kitten is between 8 and 12 weeks of age. Kittens obtained after 12 weeks of age may be more difficult to handle. Your kitten will need time to adjust to its new environment, and understanding this is the first step in getting off to a positive start.

Place your kitten in a small, quiet place with food, water and a litter box. As it becomes more comfortable, you can gradually allow it access to other rooms in the house. Talk quietly to your kitten and gently pet it. Set a regular time and place for feeding your kitten.

If you play with your animal and take care of him for at least one hour a day, your animal should quickly become at ease with you and his new home. If you have young kids, you must make them understand that a kitten is not a toy, but a living animal that must be treated with care and respect. By giving your kitten toys to play with and a scratching post (instead of your furniture) your kitten will become a great companion.

Cat carrier

Bring your new kitten home in a cat carrier to familiarize it with this useful invention early on. Cat carriers become a safe and familiar place for your kitten when you visit the vet or travel, and can keep your curious kitten out of trouble when its necessary.

Litter box

Most kittens will understand how to use the litter box if they spent the first few weeks of their life with their mother and litter mates. You can help your kitten to understand what is expected by placing it in the litter box after feeding. Kittens do not need a full-size litter box and might do better in a box with lower sides (about 1 inch or 2.5 cm).

Litter box training

Watch your kitten closely. When it begins nosing in corners or squatting, place it in the litter box. Gently scratch the kitten's front paws in the filler, so it begins to learn that this is the place to deposit and bury waste. If your kitten has an accident, wipe it up with a paper towel and place the paper towel in the litter box. Then place the kitten in the litter box and repeat the process of scratching with its front paws.

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