Caring For Your New Kitten
Transitioning to a New Home

You may want to instantly involve your new kitten in every aspect of your life, BUT a slow and careful introduction into your household will make him/her a much better member of your family.  He/she needs time to get used to his/her new home, its noises, smells and the location of the new litter box.  Also, if you have other pets, you do not want jealousy to ruin what could become a wonderful relationship.

Prepare a small room (like a bedroom or office ) with all the kitten’s needs:  food, water, litter box and some toys.  When you get home with your new kitten, go directly to that room, place your kitten in his/her litter box and let him/her begin to discover the world from there.  Don’t allow the kitten to go out of this room for up to a few days. Then, slowly allow the kitten to explore one room at a time under your supervision.  Remember your kitten needs to know where his/her litter box is located and that the location is close by. I recommend a litter box per floor in the beginning.

If you already have cat(s) at home, its recommended that you confine your new kitten as mentioned above. Feeding an especially yummy snack (a bit if plain chopped chicken, baby food meat or some nice wet food) to both kitten and cat(s) near the opposite sides of the room's door. This will start the relationship out positively by associating this new experience with a special snack.  Don't put the food so close to the door that either one is too upset by the other to eat.  Gradually move the dishes closer to the door until the kitten and cat(s) can calmly eat directly on either side. Also use two door stops to prop the door just enough to allow the kitten and cat(s) to see each other, then repeat the whole process.

Once your baby is using his/her litter box and eating regularly while still confined, let him/her have free time to begin exploring the house while confining the older cat(s).  This switch provides another way for the kitten and cat(s) to experience each other's scent without a face to face meeting.  It also allows your kitten to become familiar with the new surroundings without being frightened by the other cat(s).

Avoid any interactions between new and existing felines that result in either fearful or aggressive behavior.  If these responses are allowed to become a habit, they may be difficult to change.  It's better to introduce everyone to each other so gradually that neither the kitten or cat(s) become afraid or aggressive.  You can expect mild forms of these behaviors, but don't give them the opportunity to intensify.  If either becomes fearful or aggressive, separate them, and continue the introduction process in a series of gradual steps, as outlined above.

It is a good idea to maintain two or more litter boxes and scoops (ideally 1 litter box per cat plus a spare in multi cat households) and clean all of the boxes more frequently.  Be certain that no cat is being "ambushed" or bothered by another while trying to use any of the boxes as this could cause behavioral issues.

Hissing, spitting and growling are to be expected for the first little while. If a fight breaks out, though, don't interfere directly by grabbing either the kitten or cat(s).  It's best to throw a blanket over each kitten/cat, then wrap the blanket around the kitten/cat before picking him or her up.  Separate as before until everyone has calmed down.  It may be best to keep the kitten and cat(s) separated when you are not available to supervise until you are certain everyone is over this phase.

ALWAYS REMEMBER:  toys are for playing, hands are for petting and loving your new family member.  If you use your hands to play roughly with your kitten when he/she is young, you may have problems with getting scratched and possibly bitten when your kitten is older.  Children also need to learn how to play with animals and should be instructed and supervised.

Avoiding Potential Dangers

Over the years I have been amazed at what a kitten or cat can find “interesting to eat”.  Dangerous items one might not think about can be dental floss discarded in a trash can, rubber bands, paper clips, string, straight pins, thread, the pull off part of the cap on milk bottles, little vinyl suction cups used to hang something on glass, plastic bags, small parts from children's toys and of course house plants.  I have personally seen cats have compulsions to chew and attempt to ingest such items.  You never know what your kitten or cat might find irresistible.

The ASPCA publishes a list of poisonous plants and substances on it's website at

Your kitten is currently being fed high quality dry and wet kitten food. Detailed information on their current food is supplied in advance and samples are included with the complementary Kitten Transition Kit.  You are welcome to change your kitten’s food if you choose. If you change food, it is recommended you choose a high quality, age appropriate food with no or low amounts of corn products, other cereals, and grains.  White and brown rice are most digestible and are acceptable.  Any changes in diet must be made very carefully; for example, gradually increase the proportion of the new food to old food over a period of at least two weeks until a complete transition is achieved.  An abrupt change in diet can upset your kitten’s digestion.  Your kitten is also being fed about 1 tablespoon of a high quality canned food mixed with 1 to 2 tablespoons of chopped lean boiled white meat chicken twice per day.  This is not required, but it is very much loved by your kitten.

Your kitten also has access to an enzyme toothpaste, specifically CET Poultry, CET Seafood and CET Beef which helps with long term dental health.  The recommendation is to brush your kitten/cat’s teeth with this product – not something I have had much success with however. I’ve found kittens/cats usually enjoy licking it off your finger.  I’ve also had positive results by smearing some of the toothpaste onto a saucer and offering it to my kittens/cats.  CET also makes a chew treat with the same properties as their toothpaste. A water additive (Breathalyser or other brands) has also been very helpful with oral health.

Claw Care

A corrugated scratching mat, is helpful and available at all pet stores and most stores selling pet supplies from Target to Trader Joe's.

Bengals are very active cats and need safe, appropriate climbing opportunities.  A cat tree, either home made or purchased is strongly recommended.  Cat trees also offer an other appropriate scratching surface.

My favorite time to trim claws is after the kittens or adults have had a good play time, a nice snack and are ready for a good nap. Once the kittens or adults are sound asleep, I can trim all their claws very quickly and they often don't even notice.

I personally have used Soft Claws in the past (I have not used them for many years now) and found them to be very effective in minimizing scratching damage.  Soft Claws are not permanent but applying them is a simple process and can easily be done at home.


Basic Necessities for Bringing Your Kitten Home

I recommend always transporting your kitten/cat in a proper carrier.  This is for your pet’s safety as well as yours.  It makes the transition easier for you and your kitten to have:  a litter box, a litter scoop, food and water bowls (preferably glass/ceramic or stainless) set up and ready for use before your kitten arrives home.  Something appropriate to scratch is also recommended.  Scratching mats made of corrugated cardboard are very good options.  Scratching posts available at most pet stores, some department stores and online or make your own.  Just remember to purchase/make something your kitten can grow into and enjoy as an adult.  Also a pair of nail clippers is a must.

Optional Supplies

Something cozy to sleep with/on, even a towel or blanket is fine, an enzyme toothpaste and a few toys.  From there on, the sky is the limit!

Best Wishes

I encourage you to keep in touch in the future.  Good news, updates and concerns are always welcome.  I will work with you to address any concerns or questions.  Handling a problem quickly is much more successful than trying to play catch up later.

I hope you enjoy and cherish your new family member as much as I have.  I wish you good luck and a long life together.