Your kitten's first contact with a new family is a very important moment that will affect the success of their integration into their new environment. All the essential accessories should be prepared and ready for your kitten's arrival and contact should be made gradually and slowly.
Many natural feline behavior systems, such as the desire to retreat and hide from conflict, are comprised when your kitten comes to live in your home, so it's important to understand a cat's natural behaviors to ensure their comfort and well-being.
When's the right time to introduce your kitten to the family?
Weekends are generally quieter than the rest of the week, making it a calmer environment for your new kitten. It's important to remember that your kitten has just been brought into an unknown environment, and meeting new people may be a frightening situation. To reduce the risk of any stress, you should:
- Introduce new family members one-by-one
- Control your own enthusiasm and the enthusiasm of others
- Remember to be gentle when handling your kitten
- Avoid passing your kitten from one person to another, so they don't become overwhelmed
- Instead, allow the kitten to approach you when they are comfortable
- Remember to keep your voice low and calm to avoid startling them
- Allow the kitten plenty of time to relax or sleep between introductions
If your kitten is brought up in an excessively noisy or agitated environment, they may grow to be a fearful and timid cat.
Teaching your family how to handle a kitten
Once familiarized with the new kitten, it's important that everyone in the family learns how to handle them with care, and to avoid sudden movements that might be frightening.
The best way to handle a kitten is to:
- Slide one wide open hand under your kitten's abdomen
- Place your other hand under their back legs for support