Apartment Tips for Your New Puppy or Kitten

sleeping kitty

Bringing home a new fluffball is exciting, but it also requires some careful planning and solid pet-parenting. So if you’re considering expanding your family with a new puppy or kitten, you have a few things to think about before you do—and some to-do’s to check off once you’ve welcomed him or her home. Check out the guide we’ve designed for introducing a new puppy or kitten to your apartment:

  • Before he comes home, childproof the apartment. Puppies and kittens are just as curious as toddlers—and much better at crawling into off-limits spaces. So you should childproof your home before a new pet can explore it, just like you would for a new baby. Put childproof latches on cabinets that hold dangerous cleaners or medicines, block off nooks and crannies where dogs or cats could get stuck (like under the sofa or behind the washing machine), and put up gates at the top of stairs where pets could take a tumble.
  • Keep doors closed—closet and otherwise. Puppies, especially, are attracted to items that smell like you. That includes shoes and clothing. That’s why they’re prone to creeping inside your closet and leaving their mark on your favorite pair of flats. Cats, too, are notorious for curling up on clean laundry. So remember to keep your closet door closed at all times and, if you have clean laundry or anything else lying around, keep your bedroom door closed, too.
  • Acclimate kittens slowly. When you first bring home a kitty, she might get stressed out by the sheer size of your apartment. So keep her in just one room with everything she needs (litter box, food and water, scratching post) for at least a week. If you live in a studio, try using a crate to emulate the one-room approach. After a week or two, chances are she’ll be ready to explore her new home.
  • Take frequent trips to the dog park. For puppies, it might be a matter of your apartment being too small, not too large. This is easy to fix, though: get puppies outside. Find a local dog park that you like and bring your pup there regularly to acquaint her with the great outdoors and new friends. This will offset any initial cabin fever that your canine feels and also teach her how to play well with others.
  • Don’t leave pets in the dark (or quiet). Inevitably, you’ll have to leave your new kitty or puppy at some point. When you do, equip him with everything he needs to comfortably pass the time while you’re away. Most puppies should be put in crates and cats secluded to one room with their essentials. Play music or the radio softly in the background, leave a light on if your pet gets skittish in the dark, and make sure he has plenty of toys to play with in your absence. If you’re going to be gone for more than a few hours and you’ve just brought home a new puppy, consider doggy daycare or a daily-visiting dog walker.

Keep Your Pets Happy Without a Yard [Apartment Therapy]
Pet-Proofing Your Home [American Humane Association]
5 Tips for Preparing the Apartment for a New Kitty [Apartment Therapy]
Get Your Apartment Ready to Bring Home a Kitten [Apartment Guide]
Preparing Your Apartment for a New Puppy [PetFinder]

  • September 18th, 2015
  • Posted in: Avalon