Bringing home a new baby is an exciting, happy and busy time. It can be stressful to introduce a kitten into your household, but planning and preparation helps make the transition smoother and calmer for you and your new kitty.
There are several things you will need to ensure your new kitten will feel secure, comfortable and happy in their new surroundings.
• Preparing for Your New Kitten
Kittens are just like 18-month-old human toddlers that can jump VERY high. They can get into more mischief and into and up to places MUCH higher and MUCH smaller than you would ever imagine. Kittens have no fear of the dangers in their new homes...hot stove tops, glass items, clothes dryers, window blinds/cords, toilets, etc.
Because of this, it is best to confine your new baby/babies to one room for the first few days to acclimate them to all the new sights, sounds and smells of their new home, as well as to make it easier to keep tabs on them. Spend lots of time with them in their room, playing and holding with them; this give the kittens a chance to get to know you and to begin the bonding process. If your kitten is fearful or skittish when you bring them home, keeping them in a small area will limit hiding places and will allow them to find a place where they feel safe. Hiding for a few days is completely normal for some kittens, but don't worry...boredom and curiosity will eventually overcome apprehension and your new baby will soon be making him/herself right at home!
Once you allow them more free-range of the house, remember that kittens are very curious and love to explore new places, big and small. I suggest that bathroom doors are kept closed (toilets and tissue are particularly attractive to Devon Rex toddlers, but can be dangerous or a just a big mess) . PLEASE get in the habit of keeping your clothes dryer door closed at all times. I personally do a “cat/kitten count” every time I start any electrical appliance with a door (dryer, washer, dishwasher) to avoid injury or tragedy. If you have window blind in your home, keep the cords wrapped up and secured at the top of the blinds…a dangling cord is fun for kittens to play with, but a kitten could easily become entangled causing injury or worse.
Kittens are like human toddlers and love to put things in their mouths. Hair-ties, rubber bands, string, ribbon, paperclips, bread ties, toy accessories, etc. are lots of fun to play with, but can be easily ingested, causing life-threatening injury. Be mindful that Devon Rex kittens and cats are adept at learning how to open drawers and cabinets, so it is important to keep items that may be choke or swallow hazards stored where they are not accessible to your kitten.
I also ask my adoptive parents to check any live plants or flowers in the home and to remove any that are toxic to cats, especially those in the lily family. Here is a link showing of common plants and flowers that are toxic to cats: https://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/emergency/poisonous-plants-to-cats%20?view_all=1
• Cat Carrier
There are two basic types of carriers: hard-shell and soft-sided. For either type, make sure to use a cat cushion to pad the bottom of the carrier, so your kitten will have a a soft, comfortable place to lay.
*Hard-shell carriers are best suited for car travel and can be secured easily using a seat belt without crushing the carrier. Larger hard-shell carriers work well for extended trips in the car with extra space for water/food bowls and possibly a small litter box. They do take up a lot of space and are rigid, so if space is a consideration, whether in use or in storage, you may want to consider a soft-sided carrier.
*Soft-sided carriers are a popular choice for car and airline travel for smaller pets. They fit more easily in tight spaces because the material used to make them is more pliable. If you are planning on air travel with your kitten, make sure that you have an "airline approved" soft-sided carrier that will fit under the seat in an airplane.
Regardless of the type of carrier you choose, make sure to purchase a carrier that will be large enough of accommodate your kitten as he/she grows.
• Water and Food Bowls
Food and water bowls should be ceramic or metal. Plastic dishes can irritate your kitten's chin causing a "feline acne." Feline Acne looks like patches of black dirt under your cat's chin. For mild cases, gentle cleansing with a warm cloth using organic apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, or coconut oil will often clear up Feline Acne; Colloidal Silver is also very effective at clearing up infections of any kind.
Devon Rex kittens and cats LOVE to drink running water from faucets, but because you cannot keep your faucets running 24-7 for your cats, a water fountain is a good option. The motion of the running water is interesting and encourages your kitten to drink plenty of water.