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Bringing Home Your Holiday Kitten

Bringing Home Your Holiday Kitten

Be prepared to welcome your new holiday kitten home.

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Will Santa be placing a kitten under your Christmas tree? Or are you thinking about welcoming one as a holiday surprise?

Although a new kitten on Christmas Day would be a wonderful surprise, it can be stressful for the pet, causing it to become over-excited and confused. This confusion may create problems in getting your new pet off to a good start. A frightened kitten may dart outside when the door is open and may or may not be found. You may not have adequate time to begin housebreaking your kitten immediately and to help it adjust to its new surroundings. Both time and patience are needed to establish a routine for a new kitten.

If possible, pick up your adoptee no later than the weekend before Christmas. This will allow time to help it become accustomed to its new home and family before the hustle and bustle of Christmas day. If this is not possible, or if the days prior to Christmas promise to be hectic, try to arrange to pick up your new pet after Christmas when household activities are calmer.

Ask that your pet not be fed before you pick it up. This will help prevent car sickness during the drive home. To help establish a bond of trust, give your newcomer its first meal after it has settled into its new environment. It will quickly learn that it can depend upon you for its food.

Ease your pet into its new home by gradually introducing it to friends and neighbors. Don't overwhelm it with a crowd. Let it meet one or two people at a time. Avoid introducing your new kitten to other animals until the newcomer has all its immunization shots.

Do your shopping for your pet in advance so all its needs will be met when it joins your household.

Here is a list of basics a newcomer requires:

  • Brush
  • Collar
  • A carrier for kittens
  • Food and water bowls - heavy, non-tippable and easy to clean
  • Litter box and litter box filler
  • A scratching post
  • A bed large enough for the pet's comfort
  • Appropriate toys for kittens
  • Nutritionally complete and balanced food especially formulated for growing kittens - be certain the label states that the product has undergone feeding trials

    For new pets, as well as pets who are established members of the family, please remember that the holidays can be stressful for them. More people, more noise and changes in their daily schedule may frighten or confuse them. Securing your pet in a quiet area during a holiday party is easier for your pet and for you.

    Pets, like people, may be tempted by holiday goodies. Allowing them to have holiday treats and sweets can lead to digestive upsets.

    Keep plastic bags away from a new kitten as well any adult cats in your household. Cats are attracted to bags and could smother inside a plastic bag.

    Kittens are notorious for chewing. Yarn, Christmas tinsel, ribbons and other "chewables" are attractive to a playful or curious kitten and may cause internal damage if swallowed. If you cannot supervise your newcomer, keep it confined in a safe area.

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