Congratulations! If you’re reading this, chances are 1) you’re in the process of adding a kitten to your home, or 2) you’re reading this while your new kitten scampers around and you’re frantically trying to piece together what it is you need to raise said feline right.
This helpful checklist is designed to help you understand what types of equipment, toys, foods, and treats you will need to properly care for your new kitty as well as provide you with some tips for kitten training and health care.
- Read a how-to manual on raising a cat if this is your first kitten. This will provide you with all necessary information you need to raise and care for a new cuddly kitten.
- Choose, and schedule an appointment with, your vet. He or she can assess your kitten’s health, prescribe any medications, and set you up with subsequent check-ups.
- Kitten-proof your home: If you’ve already done #1, you’ll know that some products or plants are deadly. Keep them away, along with any items you don’t want to end up in the mouth and hands of your new furry friend.
If you’re bringing a new kitten home today, there are a few basic essentials you should go out and purchase right away. A few must-haves for your new kitten include:
How do you know if the food you’re selecting is good for your kitten? First, make sure it was actually made for kittens, as this stage requires the most nutrition. And, just like human food, some cat food contains an excess of filler ingredients; choose food that has meat as the first listed.
Food & Water Bowls
Along with quality food, a good amount of water is essential to your kitten’s health. Regularly cleaned bowls will go a long way!
Litter Box & Litter
Speaking of good health, a good litter box, litter, and scoop are non-negotiable if you want a clean cat—and home! Open, unscented, low-dust clumping litters are more common than their closed counterparts. Though some cats can be very picky about their litter box, most will gravitate toward what they used as kittens.
If you have more than one cat in your household, it’s recommended to have at least one litter box per cat. The general rule is n + 1, where n stands for the number of cats in your household.
And whatever you do, keep that box clean! Cats are very health-conscientious, so do your kitten a favor and start off on the right “paw”: scoop the box every day and change it completely once a week.
A safety collar and ID tag will alert your unassuming neighbors to your wandering feline should she get curious. Some also choose to microchip their kittens. Talk to your vet for options.
“Catnap” is more than just a saying: cats love to sleep! And what better way to promote good shuteye than with a comfortable bed? Like litter boxes, there are several types to choose from.
Here’s a pro tip: cats love to climb high. The higher in the air it is, the more privacy she may feel.
For Wellness and Training
Now that you’re feeling nice and comfortable, it’s time to review the items that will lend well to her wellness and training.
Here are the items that will help you keep your new kitten happy and healthy for years to come:
Health and Wellness Products
- Flea and tick medication and any others prescribed by your vet
- Kitten First-Aid
- Hairball remedy
- Grooming and dental supplies, made specifically for cats
- A scratching post
Training and Development
- A carrier
- Training treats
- Engaging toys
Being prepared with the aforementioned toys, treats, food, and other supplies will help your kitten transition to her new home with ease. In addition to material objects, make sure that you provide your new kitty with plenty of praise and love.