Are you eagerly awaiting the arrival of your adorable new kitten? Congratulations! Welcoming a kitten into your home is an exciting time filled with joy. Although small, kittens require a surprising amount of gear and preparation.
To help you get ready, we’ve created a comprehensive checklist of essential items and useful tips for welcoming your new kitten. We’ve also included advice on visiting the veterinarian and kitten-proofing your home. Let’s get started!
Top 10 Items Every New Kitten Needs
If you’re new to cat ownership, there are a few essential items to purchase to make your home kitten-friendly. If you already have cats, you might have some of these items, but you may want to get new ones specifically for your kitten. Here’s what we recommend acquiring before your kitten arrives:
- Kitten Food: High-quality kitten food ensures your new pet gets the nutrients they need to grow. Kitten food is formulated differently than adult cat food and comes in various forms, such as wet food, pâté, or kibble. Ask the breeder or shelter about the food your kitten is currently eating and try to use the same brand to avoid upsetting their stomach. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations if unsure.
- Kitten Treats: Keep a small pack of treats handy for rewarding good behavior and encouraging exploration, such as getting into their carrier before a vet visit. Don’t forget to consider treats as part of your kitten’s daily caloric intake to prevent weight gain.
- Food and Water Bowls: Purchase separate bowls for food and water, as some cats prefer their water away from their food. Choose low, wide-sided bowls that are comfortable for your kitten and won’t interfere with their whiskers. Heavier bowls are less likely to be knocked over during playtime.
- Toys: Kittens love playtime! A variety of toys promotes bonding and helps you learn about their personality. Include toys for independent play, like ball runs, and interactive options, such as feather wands or catnip mice. Store toys with strings, feathers, or small parts safely out of reach when not in use.
- Collar and ID Tag: For outdoor cats, a collar with an ID tag and bell is essential. Indoor cats may not require a collar.
- Litter Box: A wide, shallow-sided litter box works best for kittens. You’ll also need a scoop and various types of litter to determine your kitten’s preference. Start with small bags until you know their preferred type.
- Bed: Choose a cozy bed that’s the right size for your kitten. Some may prefer a covered bed for a sense of security, while others are content with an open one.
- Grooming Brushes: Long-haired kittens need regular grooming to maintain a healthy coat, but even short-haired kittens benefit from grooming during shedding seasons.
- Scratching Post or Pad: Providing a scratching post or pad from the start can help prevent furniture damage as your kitten grows.
- Cat Carrier: A carrier is necessary for vet visits and other outings. Options include rigid plastic carriers, soft-sided carriers, or backpacks with viewing windows.
By following this checklist and preparing your home, you’ll ensure a smooth transition for your new kitten and a positive start to your life together. Enjoy the journey!