The kitten room
A separate “kitten room” in the home should be designated for the arrival of the new kitten. Although this is essential if the caretaker has other pets such as dogs and cats in the household, it is also recommended for those who do not.
It helps with adjusting
Moving to a new home is stressful for most kittens and the kitten room will help with the adjustment period (although some kittens are more outgoing than others and can become comfortable with their new surroundings within a short period of time). Confining the new kitten to a smaller room can also help with initial litter box training in the new home.
For how long?
The length of time the kitten spends in the kitten room can vary between a few days to several weeks, depending upon various factors. Whether or not there are other pets such as dogs and cats in the household definitely plays an important role, as the kitten will have to get used to their new friends. The kitten’s personality (outgoing or timid) should be considered too, as well as any quarantine period recommended by the veterinarian upon the new kitten exam. Once the kitten is introduced to the rest of the house, this room can also be used as a safe room in which to keep the kitten at night or when no one is at home.
What do you need?
This room should provide a safe and quiet environment where the kitten will feel secure (such as a spare bedroom).
It should contain the following:
- a litter box with appropriate litter and scoop;
- a food and a water dish (or water fountain). These should be placed at the opposite corner of the room from the litter box since cats do not like to eat close to their toilet area. Some cats don’t like their water close to their food either, so you might want to leave some space between the two;
- a place for the kitten to sleep (store-bought or hand-made cat bed);
- a hiding spot such a cardboard box placed on its side with a blanket inside for kittens that are insecure. The cat carrier used to bring the new kitten home can also be used for this purpose;
- if possible, a blanket brought from kitten’s previous home will help the kitten adjust to their new surroundings by providing familiar scents;
- safe toys that can be left out for the kitten to play with when they are alone (toys that are used for interactive playtime should be put away when the kitten is not supervised);
- a scratching post of appropriate size.