How to Bond With Your New Kitten
Bringing home a kitten as a new member of your family is an exciting and joyful experience. Even though kittens can definitely be a challenge because they’re so energetic, no matter what your kitten’s personality is like, it’s important to spend time with her so that she can learn your rules and so she can realize that you’re going to be her new best friend.
We want to make sure that this relationship starts off on the right paw. That’s why we’ve put together a few tips that can help you bond with your new kitten so that she’ll learn to trust you and love you forever.
Related: 6 Valuable Tips for New Cat Owners
Give Your Kitten Her Own Room
To help your kitten feel safer and at ease, choose a small room that she can stay in so she can get to know her surroundings in a calm and quiet environment. The room should have everything that your kitten needs to feel right at home, including a warm and cozy cat bed, food and water bowls, a litter box, a scratching post, and some kitten-safe toys (avoid leaving strings, small balls, and small objects in the room, as these are choking hazards). It’s also a good idea to keep your other pets out of the kitten room until she becomes acclimated to the space.
In the event that you don’t have a spare room for your kitten, you can instead set up a similar area anywhere else in your home where your cat can be warm and safe. You only need to isolate your kitten like this for the first day or two, but make sure that you regularly check on her and spend plenty of time with her so that she can get to know you along the way.
Take Things Slow
Because kittens can be scared of their new surroundings and the new people that they’re around, it’s a good idea to keep her near you as much as possible. The key, though, is to be near her without forcing her to interact with you. For example, you may be in your bedroom with your kitten, letting her play and safely explore while you watch TV. This will prove to her that it’s safe to be around you while giving her safe space.
Of course, you want to pet your kitten and interact with her as much as possible, but try to find a balance, and avoid forcibly picking her up and holding her, as this could cause your kitten stress. Allow her to be left alone when she needs to be, let her hide if she’s frightened, and be reassuring as you encourage your kitten to come to you.
With gentle consistency and patience, your kitten will quickly become comfortable with snuggling up to you and letting you hold her, especially if she was already socialized before she was adopted.
Play with Your Kitten
If your kitten were still with her siblings, she would be playing with them throughout the day, so one of the best ways that you can bond with your new furry friend is by playing with her.
Purchase a few different types of cat toys, such as balls, stuffed toys, a wand with feathers on the end, etc. Use these to interact with your cat and to simulate a hunt so that she can practice “taking down prey.” Make sure you let her win every now and then, and you can also give her some treats to recreate the act of winning a hunt.
Avoid letting your kitten chew on and scratch your hands, as this behavior will be hard to break if she thinks it’s okay to go after hands as a form of play. And when she’s older, with bigger claws and teeth, it won’t be cute or fun anymore.
Kittens grow up quickly, so enjoy the experience of having an adorable little fur-baby running around the house and snuggling up for a nap with you. Before you know it, your tiny kitten will be full-grown and probably so confident that she’ll be calling the shots.
Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.
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