First Days with Ragdoll kittens and Things to Watch Out For
While many Ragdoll kittens adapt to their new homes quite easily, some might take just a little bit more time to adjust to their new surroundings. You need to be patient and loving during this phase.
The first few days with Ragdoll kittens may be difficult for your Ragdoll baby; after all, your little kitty has been used to being with their mom, brothers and sisters in a family environment. Suddenly they are not there anymore – so your new kitten might cry and call for them. Likewise, the sights, sounds and smells of your home might make for a few initial nervous days. The best time to bring a new Ragdoll kitten into the household is when you are sure you can devote the time to helping your new baby adjust to this big change in their little life.
Make sure you can be off from work for a few days or more. Getting the kitten on a Friday means you have all weekend to acclimate this precious new member of your family. Many readers have reported how glad they were that they took a week off work to be with their new addition. A week allows you to spend a lot of time together, to begin socialization and, if your kitten is friendly and ready for it, to introduce them to any close friends and relatives that visit your home often, so that they are cool and relaxed with newcomers and situations. If you are getting your kitten shipped to you, your breeder will let you know about the particulars.
More than likely you will pick up your kitten in the cargo area of your nearby airport. If you are picking up your kitten, then you will need to check with the airlines to see what their requirements are as far as carriers, flights and restrictions. Some airlines only allow so many carry-on pets per flight; others may require the kitten to carry in the cargo hold. You also will need to pay additional fees. The time your kitten needs to adjust to your home will depend entirely on the personality of the kitten. When I brought Trigg home (November 8, 2009), he didn’t want to get out of his carrier at all. I shouldn’t have forced him to get out, but I did and he quickly found refuge under the bed – his “safe” room was the guest bedroom and my boyfriend at the time slept in there with him. It took Trigg about 24 hours to feel comfortable enough to use his litterbox and start eating. This is not terribly uncommon, depending on stress of the trip and maturity of the cat/kitten.
Once they eat and use their box, you know they are starting to settle in! On the other hand, when I brought Charlie home (October 15, 2009), he burst out of his carrier and ran around the room (my bedroom); he played and then eventually decided to eat. This was just the first sign of his outgoing personality. Despite his obvious curiosity and the fact that he felt comfortable very quickly, I did continue to keep Charlie confined to a room when I was out of the house, because kittens can get into things they shouldn’t – and if I wasn’t home, I wanted him to be safe. Charlie’s reaction was totally different than what I expected. I expected he would have the same kind of reaction as Trigg, because they had been in a carrier for 10 hours, they both flew on an airplane, were both walked around the airport, came home in a vehicle and then finally arrived at a place that didn’t smell or look like their previous home. Trigg’s reaction was more what I was accustomed to and expecting, not the rambunctious and playful response from Charlie! So I guess you never know what to expect. The most important thing is to be soft, gentle and sensitive with your new baby and allow them to show you what their personality is like.
First Days with Ragdoll kittens
Enjoy the learning process
I strongly believe that we are joined with certain souls in this life in order to learn and
Kids and Kittens
If you have young children, you will need to encourage them to be calm and quiet around the new kitten at all times. It’s important that they refrain from making loud noises, screaming or squealing with excitement, and running or sudden movements. Of course, this can be hard because your children are naturally excited and they want to interact with their new kitten!
Depending on the age of your children you will need to adjust your approach. If your children are very young, you will need to be present at all times to ensure the kitten is not frightened and that your kids don’t do something wrong or dangerous without understanding their actions. Many a kitten has been loved to death from a cuddle that was too tight or went on too long. If your children are older, you can help them understand how the kitten feels by reminding them of a time when they were scared or apprehensive themselves, and how they might have wanted to run or hide.
Explain that this is how the kitten feels, and that it’s important to let the kitten approach by itself. Never allow a child to force affection or attention on a frightened or unwilling kitten. It is best if children can take a cool, calm, collected approach, as it helps to keep kitty from being startled by unfamiliar sounds. Think of it as introducing your children to an infant. Try this in small doses so that everyone has time to get used to each other and the kitten learns that they don’t need to be frightened of your kids. Soon the kitten and your children will be best of friends – your kitten might become your child’s next doll, being dressed up in clothes and strolled around in a stroller like Rags was. It’s also important to teach children how to hold a Ragdoll.
Ragdolls can be quite floppy, as their name implies! Children need to learn how to support kittens properly under their chest and rump. Let them know to put the kitty down carefully if s/he wants down. Teach your children to leave a sleeping kitten alone as well, as this is when kittens grow and develop. Your kitten can be in deep sleep and shouldn’t be disturbed. If your kitty is awakened a lot from much needed naps s/he may resort to sleeping where s/he won’t be bothered as easily, like under beds or out of sight. Kittens sleep over 85 percent of each day when young, just like little human babies!
Kitten Safety in Your Home
Kittens and cats of all kinds like little hidey-holes all over the house. Keep this in mind as you are going about your daily activities in the home. Remember to check lower cabinets, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers before closing, just in case your kitten has decided it would be a nice place to hide, nap or play. Keep doors to the dishwasher, the washing machine, the clothes dryer and the chest-type freezer closed at all times, except for when you are standing there. Never leave a door open, even for a moment as kittens are quick and can easily hide inside. You might not miss them at first and they could really get in trouble. A suggestion about the clothes dryer: always stand by it a few moments after it is started and listen for any bumping. Better safe than sorry. Trigg loved my clothes dryer when he first arrived – as seen in the photo. Especially because I have dryer balls that make fun sounds. However, I quickly discouraged his interest in the dryer by throwing the clothes from the washer quickly in the dryer – he didn’t like being in the way!
Let family and guests know that they should watch the small opening where door hinges are, and the front/outside of doors as they open and close them, to avoid little kitten paws and tails getting caught inside (Rags’ tail always had a little crook at the end of it because it was shut in a door at one point). Remind visitors that your kitten is an indoor pet, and should not be let outside. A break-away type of collar with a bell on can be a good idea so you know if your kitten is under-foot, as well as where s/he is when near doors. They can be very sneaky! Just make sure it is a “break-away” style so the kitten does not catch him/herself on something and choke.
Be careful when raising or lowering recliner chairs and power beds as kittens can often play underneath and can be hurt by the metal working parts. Also, remember to check under quilts or throws on beds and couches before you sit down on them. Kitties like to burrow in a warm nest to sleep! Common sense and caution will make your home a safe and loving environment for your new kitten.