One of the most useful things you can have if you have a new kitten, or kittens, is a special pen, dog crate, or indoor kennel. These are available from pet shops, or you may even be able to borrow one – they collapse down when you are not using them. They are always useful to have at a later date if you are introducing new animals to the household or if your cat needs to be confined because it is ill or injured. These are also recommended when people take on a new puppy, as they are excellent for safety, to help with toilet training, and to give the pup a place it recognizes as its den.
In the first few weeks after you bring your kitten home, a crate is a great asset. If you have other animals it makes introductions simpler and safer. It will also enable you to confine the kitten when you are not watching it and know that it is safe. Kittens get into all sorts of mischief and into all types of small spaces; they will sample electric wires or escape from open windows if they get bored or just because they are very inquisitive. Putting them in the pen at night and when you are out of the house means you can relax about their safety. For the kitten, it is a den that it is familiar with and feels secure inside.
The crate should be large enough to allow your kitten to move around inside and to be able to accommodate a bed, a litter box, and a bowl of water or food. You can line the bottom with newspaper to catch any spills from the litter box or if the water bowl gets turned over. You can also put a blanket or cover over it if you want the kitten to feel more secure or just to quiet it down. Kittens take to them very well and are quite happy when inside. You can let the kitten out to venture into certain rooms or the whole house, but it will know where to come back to find its bed and litter box, and you will often find the kitten has gone back inside for a nap.
Deciding where to place the pen may simply depend on where you have space. A large kitchen can be ideal. It gives you quick access to water, food, and cleaning equipment and is usually nice and warm. It is the center of the home. People come and go, and there is usually lots of activity for the kitten to watch; it gives it the chance to get used to the comings and goings within the house and to those who live and visit there. It allows for safe meetings with other pets and lets them get used to one another. The dining or living room is also a good site. You may want to have the kitten in a quiet place initially, but it should be able to experience the family and your lifestyle after a week or so, depending on whether you have other animals you want to introduce.
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