Your New Kitten Checklist: 7 Essential Items
Whether it’s for your family or you’re just an animal lover, getting a kitten is a joy — but also comes with new responsibilities. Not being ready for your new feline friend could make life harder for both of you. Knowing how to prepare for a new kitten in your house is as important as knowing how to raise a kitten once it’s actually in your care.
We’ve put together this checklist of new kitten essentials, explaining the things you need to know before your kitten arrives along with the things you need to have ready.
New Kitten Checklist
Waiting to bring them home
One of the most important things to know before getting a kitten is that after you’ve had your pick of the litter, you’ll have to leave them with their family until around 8 weeks of age. You may have chosen your kitten just days or even hours after your kitten’s birth, but those first two months with their mother and siblings will play a big part in forming the rest of their life.
Their mother's nursing can provide your kitten with some essential protection against diseases, so when possible you should allow them to stay with their mother until they've finished weaning. Once they’re 8 weeks old, they should start to look and act more like miniature cats rather than defenseless little babies.
Prepare your home
Kittens and cats are mighty curious, but while they may learn to land on their feet later in life, their early years can make your household environment somewhat hazardous. There are steps you need to take to kitten proof your home and ensure that they don’t end up getting hurt in these early stages.
Some precautions include:
- Keeping windows securely closed
- Ensuring any houseplants in your home safe for cats.
- Securing any cabinets, especially those with cleaning products
- Tidy up any loose or hanging wires and cables
If you’ve taken the steps to secure your home, you’ll have significantly reduced the potential of your kitten getting injured.
Prepare their home
One of the most important things you need for a kitten coming into your home is their own safe space, where they can get to grips with a new and exciting location in peace. Create a sanctuary for your kitten either in your own bedroom, the kitchen, or the bathroom, and keep them there for at least a few weeks while they get to grips with the space.
This is especially important if you have other pets in the house, as a clumsily-handled introduction between a new cat and an existing pet can lead to poor relations moving forward. Make sure that if you have other cats or a dog, they meet gradually and softly rather than being forced upon one another.
Make arrangements with a vet
Your kitten will need a few visits to the vet in the first few months of their lives before you can start to raise them as your own. Not only will a kitten need two sets of vaccinations within their first three months, but a vet will also be able to take important tests that will inform how to properly care for your cat going forward.
It’s during these early meetings that they can give you valuable advice on how to properly feed the kitten, along with figuring out a good health routine. All of these aspects of pet care are totally essential, so you want to have met and made arrangements with a vet prior to actually bringing your kitten home, so you have a vet that you trust and don’t have to scramble for appointments at the last minute.
Potty training pets is one of the key competencies when it comes to having animals in your home, but you can’t expect it to happen overnight, and you should be prepared for the accidents. Kittens and cats are renowned for their cleanliness, but in those early stages of life, you can still certainly expect to see the occasional number one or two making its way onto your floor.
Keep cleaning products in the house, so that when this inevitably happens, you can snap into action without delay. Make sure that you choose pet-friendly products because otherwise, you could inadvertently end up poisoning your new friend.
The ultimate kitten supplies list
Along with all the preparation you have to do in terms of your home and access to a good vet, you need to ensure that you’ve prepared everything you need for kittens to be properly comfortable in your home.
Our essential kitten supplies list includes:
- Cat litter box with plenty of litter so they can relieve themselves inside
- Food and water bowls for feeding times
- Wet or dry nutritious cat food
- Some tasty cat treats for training and rewards
- A comfortable cat bed for them to curl up in
- A collar and ID tag so they can be identified if they wander off
- Plenty of cat toys for them to play with
- A good scratching post or two for them to relax with
- Cat trees and perches for them to sit on and look out your windows
- A good cat carrier so you can take them on journeys with you
It may seem like a lot of stuff, but you’ll have made great steps towards increasing your kitten’s comfort in your home and making them a very happy kitty!
This should be one of the first things you consider when you get a new pet, as cat veterinary bills can be pretty significant, especially in the case of emergencies. Having a good insurance policy in place will alleviate the potential stress and burden of having to empty your own pockets in case the worst does happen to your kitten.
If you’re lucky, you’ll never have to make real use of your insurance policy, but that’s what insurance is for. It’s better to have the safety net and not need it rather than finding yourself in a tough situation with nothing to fall back on.
Now you know more about what to expect before getting a kitten, along with what you’ll need to put together in your home for their arrival. Remember, your new kitten will have specific needs, nuances, and lots of energy. Make sure that everything is ready for their arrival, so they can be as comfortable as possible from the minute they enter their new home.