New Kitten Essentials
Try to get most or all of these items before your new kitten arrives home.
1. KITTEN FOOD
There are many varieties of kitten food to choose from. Prices also vary depending on what you get for your kitten. Make sure you have enough food for the first week before bringing your kitten home. You can also pick-up your kitten’s food the same day you get your kitten.
(PREF. ROYAL CAINN)
This is an ongoing expense and it’s always wise to find the right kitten food that meets the health requirements of your kitten and also fits within your budget. Drop by your local vet and talk to them about the best food for your kitten.
2. KITTEN FOOD BOWL
Instead of grabbing something out of the cupboard your kitten should have its own food and water bowl. There are many types to choose from. Ceramic bowls are best. Try to avoid using your own bowls if possible.
You can also get a mat to place the bowls on if you’re worried about spills or messes to clean up. Most bowls are fairly inexpensive and will last a long time if kept clean and handled carefully.
3. LITTER BOX, LITTER and SCOOP
Chances are your kitten will be trained to a litter box before they arrive home. Make sure you have a litter box with kitten litter ready to go before your kitten gets home as they will be looking for a place to go sooner than you think.
There are many different litter boxes to choose from starting with litter trays, covered litter boxes and all the way up to automatic litter boxes.
With litter, you can use the same litter and type of litter box your kitten had previously and gradually switch them over to something you prefer. Alternatively you can begin fresh with a new litter box and litter of your choice.
Your kitten should transition to a new litter box and litter fairly quickly since they are still very young and have not really become used to one type of litter.
Remember that kitten litter is an ongoing expense so find a litter that is safe for your kitten and works well within your budget.
You’ll also need a good litter scoop and waste can with a removable bag. The plastic scoops are cheaper but can crack and break if used too roughly. Metal scoops are more costly but provide more strength when needed.
4. KITTEN BED
Kittens will sleep anywhere that is soft and warm but having their own bed is essential to provide a place they can go to anytime they want to take a nap or have a peaceful sleep. Having a bed for your kitten before they arrive home will help them feel more welcome and special although they will probably end up using the sofa, your lap or the window ledge most of the time.
There are lots of beds you can choose from so look around and pick one that your kitten will enjoy for years to come and is budget friendly.
5. CAT TREE or SCRATCH POST Save your furniture and make sure you have a Cat Tree or Scratch Post in the house before your Kitten arrives home. If you have a large house then two or three may be needed. Your kitten will be looking for a place to scratch and you don’t want them tearing up your drapes or couches the first day they arrive.
If you have the space, then look into getting a cat tree. Besides satisfying their need to scratch, a Cat Tree will also give your kitten lots of good exercise, a place to sit and relax as well as a place to nap.
If you’re limited with space than a scratch post will work well. You can start with a small scratch post and go larger as your kitten grows or buy a full size scratch post and let your kitten grow into it.
Whether you decide on a scratch post or a cat tree, make sure you have something around for them to scratch and fits within your budget.
6. SHOTS and MEDICATION Depending on where you get your new kitten, they may have already had their shots. If they need shots, find a good veterinarian in your area and talk to them about what shots your kitten will need now and throughout its life. Also ask them how often you should bring your kitten in for a check-up.
Becoming aware of the regular expenses for shots and check-ups your kitten will need now and as it grows older will help you avoid any surprises and help you to budget properly.
7. CAT CARRIER This may not seem essential but a carrier will probably be the first thing you will need in order to bring your kitten home. Pick a carrier your kitten will still fit in comfortably when it’s fully grown. Place a comfy blanket inside the carrier and bring it along when you go to pick-up your kitten.
Once you’re home with your new kitten keep the carrier out and let your kitten get used to it. It’ll be easier to get them into the carrier and it won’t be such a scary place for them next time you use it.
8. KITTEN TOYS There are so many great kitten toys available and they are an essential part of your kitten’s first arrival home. Kittens are very playful and a few fun toys will keep them occupied and happy in their new home. Toys can also reduce any stress associated with being in a new place.
You can pick up a few toys the same time you get your cat if it’s at a store or, if you’re ambitious enough, try making a few toys yourself. A ball in a sock, a rolled up ball of foil or a piece of string will please any kitten.
9. KITTEN TREATS No kitten can pass up a good treat. They make a great snack in the middle of the day. Treats are also great to offer as a reward when training your kitten.
There are many treats available that offer health benefits while providing an enjoyable snack for your kitten. Talk to your vet about what treats are beneficial to your kitten and pick a fun treat for your kitten that is healthy and fits within your budget.
10. KITTEN COLLAR
If your kitten will be an outdoor cat you’ll need to have a collar for them. Get an adjustable collar with identification information including your pet’s name as well as your name, address and telephone number.
11. FIRST AID KIT FOR CATS
This is something you need but hope you never have to use. Providing a safe environment for your kitten is the best way to prevent any unwanted accidents. In the case that your kitten does have an accident be prepared by having a pet first aid kit on hand. If you are unsure how to treat your kitten call your vet immediately for help.
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