Try to arrange to collect your kitten at a weekend or when you have a few days off, as this will allow it plenty of time to settle in. Your kitten should have had a series of two inoculations against Feline Infectious Enteritis and ‘Cat Flu’, the last one being given at twelve weeks. Therefore, expect to collect your kitten at thirteen weeks old. Remember to take your cat to the vets for boosters, every twelve months to ensure full protection throughout its life. You should also consider having you kitten vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV), particularly if it will come into contact with other cats. Discuss with this with your vet if the breeder has not already vaccinated the kitten against this potentially fatal disease.
The breeder should provide you with its vaccination record, a copy of the kitten’s pedigree, transfer form and a sheet listing the diet and feeding times the kitten is used to.
If you have any questions concerning the care of your new kitten, do ask the breeder as he/she should be glad to offer advice.
When you arrive home, make sure that all doors and windows are shut, and that the chimney is blocked. Confine your kitten to one room until it gains some confidence. Make sure that a litter tray and water are present before opening the basket. Handling gently, take the kitten from the basket and show it the water and litter tray, before letting it explore its new surroundings.
The kitten will be a little nervous and loud noise will frighten it, so it is important the children understand the need to keep quiet. Babies and toddlers are best in another room until the kitten has gained a little confidence.
If another animal already lives in the house, introductions are best left until the next day when the kitten will feel more secure. Allow the kitten to explore the house, prior to introductions, and also let the other animal enter rooms where the kitten has been, prior to introductions. This helps both parties to get used to each other’s smell. Introductions should be closely monitored, and be prepared for resentment from both sides, especially the long-standing pet, who may feel his territory threatened. This may take a week or more to pass, and try to be understanding to the pet, whilst protect the kitten.
Please take signs of illness seriously. A temporary loss of appetite shouldn’t last more than the first day. If you are worried, then speak to the breeder and if necessary, consult a vet.