The day has finally arrived when you can fetch your kitten home!
You will feel nervous or excited – maybe a mixture of both! This is natural especially if you have not had a kitten before. You are making a commitment to nurture another little being after all, hopefully for the best part of the next 20 years (if you are blessed).
[On a personal note, as a breeder, the writer has always preferred to buy and sell kittens in pairs as siblings are a comfort for each other but of course I realise that everyone is not in a position to do this but I have definitely found it always makes integration easier and many breeders I am sure agree with this sentiment].
You will require a secure pet carrier that should be comfortably lined. A waterproof pet pad might be a good idea, placed on top of any bedding chosen for the carrier, if you have a fairly long journey and take a spare in case of a toilet incident. A thoughtful breeder is likely to supply you with a bit of material that can accompany the kitten home in the carrier – the familiar scent of its birthplace is a comfort.
A rug or blanket to cover the carrier may make the kitten feel more secure in the car. Remember, journeys to a new home can be stressful for a kitten. Speak in soft tones in the car if you have a travelling companion, if you are alone you may wish to speak in soft encouraging tones to the kitten itself to reassure it. Even if you have a companion, you may wish to speak softly and encouragingly to the “baby”. It will get the kitten used to your voice or voices. Do not have a car radio blaring out if that is what you usually like – common sense is important. Their hearing is much more sensitive than ours.
Arriving home please do not expect your kitten(s) to be ready to play! More than likely it/they will hide under the nearest piece of furniture. If you have a quiet room where you can put the kitten for the first couple of days this would be excellent. If you live in an older home, please remember to block off any fireplaces in case the kitten should make a dive for cover up the chimney!
Visit for short periods of play and interaction, feed it and leave it to sleep there to get used to the “smell” and rhythm of its new home. Gradually leave the door open and allow the kitten to explore if it will; its curiosity will normally win out as it gets more confident. Once the kitten(s) have the freedom of the house, please be aware on opening front and back doors or windows where your kitten is.
Normally the Breeder will provide you with every assistance as the well-being of their kittens is important to them. They will usually supply you with a list of food the kitten has been brought up on. Maintain this menu pro tem, sudden changes of diet may cause upset tummies and this is to be avoided.
For the present it is also advisable to remain with the litter the breeder has been using until you find one you and the kitten like.
Provide scratching posts and climbers. It will pay you in the long run because it will train the kitten(s) to keep off the furniture, or at least spend less time on the furniture! The internet is a good source to find a selection of cat climbers and beds. Make sure you provide the kitten with toys, ones you can interact with him/her as well as those for personal play time. However, as most responsible manufacturers will warn on their products' packaging, all play time should be supervised in the interests of safety.