Learn how to bond with the NEW MEMBER
Congratulations! If you’ve got a new kitty home or have finally made the all-important decision to adopt one soon. But at the same time you need to understand that what a major responsibility you are going to take. Here’s how to make a purrfect homecoming.Kritika Manchanda
Pre-arrival preparations: There are quite a few pre-arrival preparations that you would have to do. Be sure of the room that you want the kitty to be in. Although it is quite normal for a kitten to choose her favourite spot in the house, so you need to be prepared for that. Place clean drinking water and a litter tray. You can also spread a blanket or a sheet and leave some toys and small pillow in one corner where there is less movement. Talk to your vet and some friends, who already have a cat, about their experience. Get to know more and more about them so that you can easily handle the new member! An important thing to keep in mind is that your new companion would need some hiding places as well. A small cardboard box, under the bed, behind the couch – it can be anywhere.
Give them space: A new kitten means a new friend and family member. When you understand that they have their own needs and a unique identity, you are sorted. Respect their temperament, they are very intelligent and adapt to new situations very well. But cats and kittens need a lot of time on their own. Yes, they do expect pampering and attention, but in measured quantities. I know it is irresistible to pick them up in your arms, but you have to control that urge. Cats don’t like to be held or cuddled. So, as a responsible pet parent, you need to give your cat their much needed ‘space’.
Handle with care! Prepare yourself and each family member well in advance about bringing home a kitten. Children should be very careful while handling them. Help children understand that kittens are fragile and even slight mishandling can be dangerous. Adult’s supervision is highly recommended, and don’t leave the kitten alone with the children. Always remember ‘Gentleness Rules’! You need to be gentle and patient always so that your new family member feels at home. What matters most for kitty care is not the duration but the way you care for them.
The magic touch: ‘Patience’ is the key word. Don’t be in a hurry to get it all right from day one. Instead of directly picking them up, encourage the kitten to come near you and spend some time. You can use dry kibble or treats for this. Lightly pat and brush her when she comes near you. This slow introduction would help the kitten build trust in you and also give them an opportunity to have faith in you.
Gaming time: Kittens are active and love to indulge in play sessions. Get various toys and take time out for regular play sessions. This quality time that you spend with your pet would be greatly beneficial for both you and them. Apart from physical growth, games and toys also help in mental development of the kitten. After a successful play session, you can reward her with her favourite treat. And once the session is over, give her time to relax.
Indoor-outdoor balance: A new kitty should preferably be kept indoors for the first two weeks when you get her home. When you finally let her out, be sure you keep an eye on her. Let her sniff around, explore the area and play for some time. After a few minutes, call her name so that she knows that it is time to go back.
Introduction to a new cat: The process should be done slowly and cleverly. Slow introduction gives them time to know each other and avoids personality conflicts. Once the new kitten feels a little relaxed and at home, you can rub a small towel on the new kitten and leave it around the house. This would allow the resident cat to sniff it and be aware of the new one’s presence. For cats, scent is more important than a face-to-face meeting. The final step is to get the new member meet the existing member. Don’t expect them to be best of friends from that very instant, give them time to know and bond with each other. These simple yet effective tips would surely go a long way in helping you and your family to develop a strong bond with a new kitten. And yes with your affection, care and love this relation would be purrfect!