For a kitten, moving to a new home is a happy and very exciting event. Absolutely every Maine Coon kitten experiences stress when moving and this is normal. Try to put yourself in the baby’s place, he broke up with his mother, brothers and sisters, left a familiar home, then he was taken somewhere for a long time, and now he found himself in a completely unfamiliar room with new smells and new people. How can I not be scared?
The task of a caring owner is to reduce this stress as much as possible and help the baby gently adapt to new conditions.
12 steps to the successful adaptation of a kitten in a new home
- Step 1. Purchase everything in advance that the kitten will need for the first time. This is food (the kind that the kitten was fed at the breeder), two bowls (for water and food), a couch with high sides, a tray with wood filler, a carrier, several toys, a scratching post, a complete first aid kit, cosmetics and grooming tools. When the Maine Coon kitten appears in your house, he will need all the attention. You will not have time to choose certain products, so it is advisable to prepare them in advance.
- Step 2. Prepare the house in advance for the appearance of a kitten. Isolate the electrical wires, remove small and potentially dangerous objects from the pet’s access area with which he may come into contact. Make sure that the trash can, household chemicals, medicines and sharp objects are out of reach for the baby. Be sure to install “antikoshka” grids on the windows and put protection on the interior doors so as not to accidentally pinch the tailed mischief maker. It is better to prepare a safe space in advance so that nothing distracts you from building a kind, trusting relationship with your pet.
- Step 3. Take a few days off. Leaving a small Maine Coon kitten in an unfamiliar room alone is undesirable in the first day, two. You should definitely help him get used to a new place and teach him the rules of behavior. From the very first day in the new house, the baby needs to be accustomed to the tray, to his nickname, to the couch. Besides, the kitten will simply be scared. He needs his loving, caring person more than ever.
- Step 4. Ask the breeder for a litter, a diaper or a textile toy that smells like the kitten’s mother or the house where the baby used to live. Put it on the baby’s cot. A familiar smell will cheer him up and help him get used to a new place.
- Step 5. Introduce the baby to the new house unobtrusively. Let him settle in. If at first the kitten is huddled in a secluded corner and does not want to leave it, this is normal. Calmly go about your business, keeping an eye on the baby out of the corner of your eye. Very soon curiosity will take over, and the kitten will go to inspect his new possessions.
give the kitten the opportunity to look around on its own. Try not to make
loud noise and do not interfere with the process unnecessarily. Let the kitten
look around for himself.
- Step 6. Carefully monitor the urge to go to the toilet. If the kitten
got worried, started sniffing, looking for a secluded place, digging holes,
rather carry it to the toilet with filler. If you haven’t had time and the
baby has already been naughty, soak toilet paper or a clean cloth in his
urine and put it in his toilet. The place where the kitten has done its
business (peed or pooped), you need to thoroughly rinse and treat with a
remedy against repeated misfires of the kitten.
At first, it is better to use the filler that was in the tray in the
breeder’s house. You can take the filler from the tray of the kitten’s
mother. This will help the baby to understand what’s what in a new place.
- Step 7. Do not create unnecessary stress factors. If possible, postpone
bathing, a visit to the veterinarian and other procedures for several days.
If you wanted to invite relatives and friends to meet a kitten, it’s better
to do it in a couple of weeks, when the baby is more or less settled. If you
already have other cats or a dog, the acquaintance of a new household with
them should also be postponed.
- Step 8. The diet should remain the same. Even if you don’t really like
the food that the previous owner gave the kitten, at first you need to give
it to the kitten. Baby Maine Coon is already experiencing stress, and
changing the diet is a serious burden on the body. If you want to change the
feed, it is better to do it after the adaptation period. Do not forget that
the transition to a new feed should be smooth, for about 10 days.
- Step 9. Decide in advance where the kitten will sleep. If you don’t mind
seeing him on your pillow and are ready for a possible inconvenience, you
can safely take him to your bed. If this is not your case, get a cot with
high sides for the kitten. High sides will create additional comfort and a
sense of protection for the baby. It will be great if you put a litter in
the bed that smells like a kitten’s mom. It is likely that in the first days
in the new house, the kitten will beep loudly and ask for you. Your task is
to survive, otherwise the kitten will not learn that he needs to sleep on
the couch. You can approach the kitten, stroke it, talk to it affectionately,
treat it with treats and play, but it should sleep on its couch. If you “give
up” at least once and take the baby to your bed, then you will not be able
to explain to him that jumping on the bed is bad.
- Step 10. Stock up on different toys and play more with the kitten.
Nowhere without it. Toys are not just entertainment, but a means of
adaptation, education, and establishing contact. Be sure to buy toys that
the kitten can play by itself and with you. A great choice – all kinds of
teasers, tracks for cats, tunnels (Maine Coons love them very much), mint
leaves and, of course, toys for filling with treats. They will be able to
keep the baby busy for a long time. It is very important to choose special
toys for cats, because they are safe for the pet.
- Step 11. Pay as much attention to the kitten as possible. If the kitten
is open to interacting with you, pet him, play with him. Show how happy you
are with him.
- Step 12. Properly educate. And what is proper parenting? For example,
understanding how you can and cannot punish a cat. The correct punishment,
if it is really necessary, is a strict intonation at the time of the offense.
That’s it. In extreme cases, you can connect “heavy artillery”: a loud clap
of hands or a spray gun (you can spray water into the guilty cat).
There should be no shouting, rudeness and even more physical punishments in
your house. Tips like “poke your muzzle into a puddle” not only don’t work –
this is the real cruelty to animals. In such an atmosphere, the kitten will
have no chance to grow and develop harmoniously. You will either intimidate
him or provoke him to aggression.
Cats do not know how to build causal relationships. If you come home from
work and notice a puddle or other fault, do not even try to punish the
kitten. He will not understand why he is being punished, and you will only
frighten him, spoil the relationship between you. It is possible to educate
only at the moment of the offense, here and now.
And finally. Stock up on healthy treats. There are never many of them.
Encourage the kitten with a yummy for the right behavior and just like that,
for no reason. This is the best way to cheer him up! In any incomprehensible
situation, feel free to call a zoopsychologist: this is not an excess, but
the right action of a responsible owner. It is better to consult and behave
correctly than to clean up the mistakes of upbringing in the future.
And we, as always, believe in you. Your kitten is very lucky to have you!