If you are a new pet parent being anxious is understandable especially if your new furry baby is a kitten. Regardless if she was from a breeder or a pet shelter, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get he acclimated to your household. After all, the only things she has known in her life so far were her mother and littermates.
Should you leave a light on for your kitten at night?
Is it necessary to leave a light on for your kitten at night? The answer is a resounding no. You should not leave a light on for your kitten at night.
Cats and kittens have better night vision than humans. They sleep better at night with no lights on. Like humans, cats and kittens have a pineal gland that regulates melatonin, a hormone that helps you fall asleep by calming the body before going to bed.
Residual light from the windows and other parts of the house is usually enough for cats and kittens to see in the dark. However, you may also put some dim lights nearby for safety reasons. This is to prevent any untoward incidents like accidentally tripping or stepping on your cat in the middle of the night.
Also, to help your kitten to settle in, and be able to sleep comfortably, provide a small cat bed with a comfy and warm center cushion. Add in the blanket used by her mama so she’ll feel calm and comfortable at night.
Can cats and kittens see in the dark?
Just like humans, cats and kittens can’t see in total darkness. But they can see their way around under low levels of light. Your furry friends have a curved cornea and large lens, and their pupils dilate in full circles when there is minimal light. However, while kittens have better night vision than humans, they are nearsighted and unable to focus on objects that are far away.
Can you leave a kitten alone at night?
Just like an overprotective parent to their children, new pet parents are constant worriers and do not relish the idea of leaving their new kitten alone at night. If your furry baby is under six months old it is advisable not to leave her alone at night. Check on her before she goes to sleep and after she wakes up. Be sure to interact with her constantly during the day. Once your kitten reaches six months it is perfectly okay to leave her alone especially at bedtime. At age she should be confident and adjusted enough to not need constant companionship.
Other things to do if you have a new kitten at home
For a kitten, the first day and night in an unfamiliar place can be very stressful. Everything smells, looks, and sounds different from what she has been used to. Here are some things that you can do to help your kitten settle in at her new home:
Use a blanket that smells of her mama
You can arrange for a blanket to the breeder or the pet shelter so the kitten’s mother can sleep on it. This way, the mother’s scent is transferred on the blanket. You may also include an old shirt for the kitten to rest on while still with the litter. The purpose is to mingle old and new scents as a means of scent introduction and reassurance for the kitten to adjust more easily.
Use the same type of kitty litter she previously used
Make sure to ask the breeder or the people at the pet shelter what cat litter the kitten used when she was still under their care. Using the same type of litter will most likely help your new furry baby to adjust more easily.
Do not change her diet abruptly
Continue to give her the usual food she used to eat in her former home at least for the first few days. She will not only be eating familiar food but it will also prevent your kitten from having an upset stomach.
Use a calming spray or diffuser
Let your kitty know she is in safe hands and make sure she’s calm and relaxed with the help of Feliway diffuser or spray.