Adopt a Cat > Kittens
Adopting a Kitten
Taking your new kittens home
You may not have had tiny kittens for a while or it may be your first time, whichever it is you will always be surprised by their energy and the suddenness of falling asleep just where they happen to be, no matter what they are doing!
When you first get them home, start off in the kitchen or a small room with their food, water, litter tray and toys so they have time to get used to the new area and know where everything is. Once they are settled and allowed to explore further around the house, remember to always keep their litter tray where they can see it - for those first few days your home will seem enormous to them and they may get confused, always make sure you are nearby to help them if they get lost or stuck somewhere.
You will have been advised by the TVAW fosterer what food your kittens have been used to eating. It is important to continue with this food initially to avoid upset tummies, you can start to gradually introduce new food by mixing it with the old little by little over time.
Kittens need to eat small regular meals, usually four a day, for the first three months. This reduces to three means a day at about five.six months old and finally two meals a day when they are adults. A mix of wet and dry food is good for variation, and leaving a small bowl of kitten biscuits to snack on fills their tummies if they are hungry. Fresh water is essential and should always be available.
Your kittens will have been wormed and started flea treatment in their foster homes. We recommend registering with your local veterinary practise as soon as possible and enrolling them on a programme for regular flea and worm treatment.
Kitten vaccinations can begin at nine weeks. Neutering is essential, your vet will recommend when they are ready but is usually done at around five to six months. We strongly recommend microchipping.
It is good to get kittens into a routine of being groomed at an early age, especially long-haired kittens, so they grow up enjoying it, allowing you to help them keep their coats clean and healthy and to minimise fur balls.
Provide your new kittens with plenty of entertainment including a scratch post and a variety of toys. Active play helps stimulate their intelligence, is good for their overall development, is a great way to bond and is a lot of fun!
Introducing your kitten to other animals in the house
If you have other cats or dogs take everything slowly and quietly. Let your kittens gain confidence in you and their new surroundings before introducing them to the other feline or canine members of your family. They will know that your new kittens are there and will be able to get used to their smell in the house before coming face to face with them. Try to let them out of the room to explore the house when your other animals are not there.
If you have a dog try introducing them with the kittens in a pen where they can see out but still feel secure and have the dog on a lead. Progress to sitting quietly with the dog on a lead and the kittens loose - the kittens will have sussed out bolt holes by then and will investigate, knowing they can run to safety if they want to.
The great outdoors
We recommend keep your kittens indoors for a minimum of six months and certainly not before they have been vaccinated and neutered. When you let them out for the first time do so just before a meal when they will be hungry and so less inclined to explore too much. If possible walk around the garden with them a few times before you let them have free access to outside. (Some people put their kittens on a lead for a while but not all cats will accept this.)
We cannot cover all aspects of cat care here but we hope that these notes will help you to settle your new kittens into your home as quickly as possible. If you have any problems or queries please do get in touch with the foster home where you obtained your kittens or ring one of the numbers on the homing agreement. Normally kittens will settle down quickly but if you have serious problems contact TVAW and we will try to help you to overcome the problem. If all else fails we will take the kittens back into care for rehoming. Please do not pass the kittens on to friends or relatives without discussing it with us first.