Transitioning Your New Kitten
A minimum two week period in a private transition room complete with litter box, food, water, bed and toys is strongly encouraged by most breeders and is done for several reasons:
- First reason to keep them in a small room such as a small bedroom, office or bathroom or with no hiding places is because a young kitten can get overwhelmed in a new home and the smaller space makes them feel more secure. It also limits how far away they are from their food, water and litter boxes. Kittens get so focused on playing they can forget they need to go until it's too late. And you don't want to start off your new relationship with litter box accidents. Then as they gain confidence you can slowly increase their space one room at a time.
- Another reason to keep them separate from the rest of the household is because you want them to bond with you first, instead of any other animals. That will come in time, but if they have four legged playmates right from the beginning they may be less likely to bond strongly with you.
- Lastly is for health reasons. Re-homing a kitten can be very stressful on them, which further weakens their immune system that isn't fully developed yet. This can allow an illness to manifest that would normally be fought off by their immune system. Even though your resident animals might appear perfectly healthy, they can still be disease carriers. Some illnesses can take up to two weeks to become evident. So the protection isn't just for the new kitten coming in, it's also to protect any resident cats.
Look at this transition time as a special bonding time for the two of you!! I practice this transition procedure when I get new cats as well, and I really enjoy that time getting to know each other one on one.