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Published: Dec 28, 2011

Kittens are adorable and in most cases quite easy to take care of. However, the first impression is important, so owners will want to make the transition from shelter or breeder into the home as smooth and relaxed as possible.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, the interaction between owner and feline should start on the ride home. It may be tempting to want to hold the kitten for the ride, but it is  better for all involved to keep the feline safe and secure in a carrier. This will not only keep it contained, but it will prepare it for using the case in the future, such as visiting a vet for check-ups or even taking it on a trip once it is an adult. Feel free to talk to the cat, or even bring along another person to drive so you can bond with the kitten on the ride.

Once home, it is important to set up a small, quiet area to let the kitten out. Open the door to the carrier and allow the kitten to come out when he or she is ready. Do not make the kitten leave the safety of the carrier before they are willing.  Make sure to have pet supplies like a litter box, food and water readily available to train the cat from the beginning. VCA suggests trying to use the same litter brand as the kitten had in its previous home or shelter to provide consistency. Once the kitten seems comfortable with its new immediate surroundings, you can allow it to roam around freely—exploring, chasing and getting to know its new owners. Once the new kitten has settled into the household, it is time to begin socialization. It is crucial to give kittens ample social interactions with other people and pets to prevent it from becoming a fearful adult.