Bringing a new pet into your home is always an exciting experience but perhaps even more so with the arrival of a kitten. These little balls of fur provide endless hours of entertainment in their early days, but there are some items you’ll need before welcoming a kitten into your house.
Food and water bowls
A kitten won’t know the difference between specific cat bowls and normal crockery but, from a hygiene point of view, it’s usually better to separate your dishes from your kitten’s. Cats also frequently prefer to eat and drink from the same dishes, so it’s a good idea to provide familiar plates from an early age. Also, make sure food bowls aren’t too deep.
Litter box and cat litter
Even if you plan eventually to encourage your cat to go outside, there are times when you’ll need to confine it at home – such as before a vet visit (or until it’s been vaccinated). In any case, you should have a litter box and tray ready for your kitten first arrives home.
Although cats are exceptionally clean animals and learn self-grooming an early age, they still benefit from occasional brushing and combing – particularly long-haired kittens. Have a wide-toothed comb and soft brush on hand to help clean your kitten.
Bed and bedding
Cats are incredibly territorial animals and appreciate a place to call their own. When bringing a new kitten into your home, be sure to give it space for itself, away from the hustle and bustle of family life. While there’s every likelihood it will end up sleeping wherever it wants as it gets older (often on your bed, like it or not), a kitten will appreciate having a quiet place to retreat to.
Kitten food differs from adult cat food in that it tends to be higher in calories and is loaded with nutrients essential for a kitten’s growth. While it won’t do any harm feeding a grown cat kitten food (other than potentially putting on weight), the same is not true in reverse. You can get advice on good kitten nutrition ensures a healthy start | Diamond pet foods.
If you value your furniture, you’ll need to get a scratching post. Cats and kittens like to scratch and tear, and if you are to stand any chance of dissuading your kitten from ripping your furniture to shreds, you need to have a scratching post to distract it.
One of the most common ways to help your kitten learn good behavior from bad is with treats. Giving treats can also help form an early bond between owner and kitten – be sure to have plenty on hand.
Toys suitable for a kitten
While all cats appreciate toys, kittens are hugely inquisitive and playful. They need toys to satisfy this curiosity and keep them from ‘playing with’ (damaging) other household items and ornaments.
Kittens are prone to worms and fleas in their early stages, so you’ll want to have a treatment on hand for both. In general, kittens tend to be pretty healthy so, if you notice or suspect any other problems, you should seek medical advice from your vet.
Lastly, remember to kitten-proof your home by closing off access to windows, vents, or other nooks it might explore. Electronics leads and cables should be tidied away, and you should remove anything that might constitute a choking hazard.
Also, ensure your kitten gets a microchip ID as quickly as possible. Kitten collars can get snagged on branches amongst other problems. If you want to keep your kitten safe, have it chipped as soon as possible.