Updated: Aug 9, 2021
What Does it Mean to Quarantine Your New Kitten?
- To Quarantine a new kitten means to keep the kitten in a private area like a room or bathroom when he/she arrives into your new home.
Why should you Quarantine your new kitten?
- The quarantine process is one of the most important and valuable parts of owning a new kitten. Not only to protect your kitten, but to protect other pets in your house as well as to strengthen the bond between you and your new kitten.
Your kitten has just left their mother, their siblings, their humans (breeder or past owner, & their family). It is very important for your kitten to be given time to adjust to their (and your) new home and new family. The intention is to give reassurance to the kitten so he or she can feel safe and comfortable with the new sounds, smells, voices and atmosphere around them. Savannah kittens are very smart. You may not realize, but even small things like the sound of your footsteps, the television shows you watch, the pitch of your voice, even the smells of the food that you cook are very different than the home they lived in for 12+ weeks of their lives.
At Luxury Savannahs, we pride ourselves in socializing kittens with people and animals while also introducing all sorts of noises as kittens are growing, like the sound of a fan blowing, a vacuum cleaner, bathtub, toilet flush, television shows and movies of all different types so the kitten will not be scared of loud noises. Most kittens will adjust to their new homes very easily, but some might be scared at first.
Another important reason to quarantine your kitten, is for litter training purposes. A kitten is use to the litter boxes in their past home, usually multiple boxes or placed in certain areas in their room. A new litter box in a new home but placed in a small room or bathroom with the kitten can prevent the kitten from having accidents in the house if he or she forgets where the box is or doesn't know how to find it.
Bonding with your kitten is very important, and quarantining your kitten is one of the biggest advantages to create a solid relationship with them. Your new kitten looks forward to seeing you, being with you, being pet by you, being fed by you, being played with by you.
Quarantining your kitten can help reduce the stress from the transfer to your home. Whether the kitten was brought to you by a courier by plane or automobile, or if you picked up your kitten yourself, the travel can be very stressful on a kitten and they can be very sad, upset and scared. If a kitten is stressed and they have free roam of the house they may find somewhere to hide and end up hiding under a bed or in a corner where you cannot get to them and they will not learn to trust as easy.
Quarantining your kitten from other animals in your home is very important. Even if you already know that your pets at home are healthy and very good with other animals, when you bring your new kitten home, a new kitten should never be introduced straight to another animal without the proper introduction process. How you introduce your kitten to another animal in your home can set the standard for how they will feel emotionally and mentally about the other animal in your home. A proper introduction can lay the groundwork for a lifelong and beautiful relationship.
Also, you do not want your new kitten to get sick. Sometimes an animal can transfer a virus to a kitten without you even knowing that the other pet was sick. You do not want your kitten to be exposed to anything while their immune system might be down from the stress of the new home. However, due to the unpreventable stressors of travel and being introduced to a new home, it is very common for a kitten to develop an illness typically presenting as an upper respiratory infection or GI issues such as diarrhea, low appetite, etc. When the new kitten remains in quarantine, it will help reduce the stress and help the kitten recover if they do come down with any illness.
What Should the Quarantine Room Entail?
- A quarantine room would be a bedroom, spare room or bathroom. The room must have a door that separates him or her from the rest of your house. It should be private and comfortable and cozy and contain all of their essentials. Food, water, litter box, bed or blanket, toys, scratching post or cat tree, heat or cooling source. If you do not have the space to complete this quarantine process you may consider a large crate to quarantine your new kitten in. The larger the better (size for a Great Dane)
How Long Should The Quarantine Last?
- Your breeder may suggest 7 to 14 days quarantine. Depending on what your breeder recommends, please consider quarantining your kitten at LEAST 7 days. The kitten might seem perfectly fine and healthy and happy and bonding right away, but as we stated above, there are many reasons why this process is important.
How to Introduce Other Animals To your New Kitten After Quarantine?
- During the quarantine period you may want to swap some of your kittens toys or have your other pet smell the kitten on a blanket so they other pet gets use to your new kitten's smell, this might really help with the introduction.
- After the quarantine period is over, you will want to introduce your new kitten slowly. You could let them play under a door and praise your kitten on one side and praise your other pet on the other side of the door so they associate the affection and petting as 'good' when they are playing with the kitten. You could feed both your kitten and your other pet treats or food on each side of the door so they associate the positive feeling of being fed and knowing the kitten isn't going to be trying to 'steal' their food. You could use a crate technique to allow the pets slowly get use to each others smells and being in each others space with no one getting hurt. You can play with a toy with both pets together as well to also initiate that positive reinforcement.