Are you preparing for a new kitten to join your family?
Do you need some help preparing for the pitter patter of tiny little paws?
It can be confusing trying to get everything ready for the arrival of your new kitten.
The last thing you want to is to forget something vital and end up being a ‘bad kitten parent’.
Follow my new kitten care guide and give your kitten the best possible start in their new home. I’ve even made a FREE kitten care checklist for you to download. (download at bottom of page)
Let me start with the essentials:
Your new kitten will need to eat and drink when they come to live with you. Okay, I know I am stating the obvious but it’s something I wanted to cover as there is more to it than meets the eye. Let me explain.
Kittens drink water. They don’t require milk. Milk is not a treat unless violent diarrhoea is something you think they enjoy. So keep your kitten happy and hydrated and stick to tap water.
Now the best food to give your kitten is the same food they had from their breeder. Chances are your breeder will give you a diet sheet and enough food to last a few days. It’s not recommended to change your kittens diet until they have settled in their new home completely. A good rule of thumb is when your kitten has lived with you longer than they lived with the breeder you can consider changing the diet if required.
Final thing about food and water.
Your kitten needs 24/7 access to both food and water. Strangely enough they don’t enjoy eating and drinking while right on top of the toilet so please keep their food and water far enough away from their litter tray so as it does not put them off.
Choosing the right food and water bowls and keeping them clean are essential to your kittens health. See more info on cat food bowls here.
Everyone likes a treat. Especially kittens.
Giving your kitten treats in moderation is an excellent way to make friends.
There are plenty of well known cat treats on the market. Or you can simply provide your own such as a small piece of chicken or other tit-bit.
I have no problem at all resorting to bribery when it comes to helping settle in a new kitten.
A quality cat carrier is essential. Not only for collecting your kitten but also for trips to the vets or in the case of an emergency. The last thing you want to be thinking of in case of flood, fire or any other kind of disaster is how are you going to transport your kitten to safety.
Keep your kitten on the same type of cat litter that they are already used to. Ideally you also want to keep them on the same type of cat litter tray.
The last thing you want to do is confuse your kitten when they move home and cause them to be ‘caught short’.
Show them where the tray is as soon as you arrive home by actually placing them in the litter tray and even encouraging them to make a digging motion. You can also place a small amount of used litter from the breeders home in your tray. (more litter training tips here) By adding this familiar smell you will help your kitten remember where the toilet is in their new home.
Toys are essential for your kitten. They can also be a lot of fun for you as well.
You need to have toys that your kitten can play with on their own such as a ball, pipe cleaner spiders or climbing towers. You should also have toys that you can play with together such as teaser sticks.
Keep your cat happy with new toys without breaking the bank. Lots of ideas on how you can buy or make toys at virtually zero expense. (Get the FREE report: trust me your cats will love you)
Playing together will encourage your kitten to exercise, stop them getting bored and create a bond between you.
It’s also one of the main benefits of living with cats. Play with your kitten at every opportunity . . . they will love you for it.
Your kitten should have a cat bed and blanket. Chances are they will also sleep on your settee, in your bed, on your head and anywhere else that takes their fancy.
Personally I like to have a few scattered around the house. This way they can choose where they want to take a nap. (something they do often)
I have had cats and kittens that like to snooze the afternoon away but also like to stay close to me. I have also had cats and kittens that prefer to sneak off and take a nap in peace away from everyone.
A couple or three strategically placed beds is more than enough for your new kitten.
Scratching posts are essential. Well they are if you want to keep your furniture in one piece.
Cats naturally keep their claws sharp and also leave their scent by scratching. They also do this to improve muscle tone and strength in their front legs and spine which keeps them in tip top condition.
I like to give them both horizontal and vertical scratchers as cats like to use both methods of scratching.
It’s an instinct you’re never going to train them out of. Don’t fight it.
Your new kitten should have been checked by the breeders vet at least twice before leaving home.
I recommend that you also take your kitten to your own vet for a quick once over.
This gives you some peace of mind and also ensures your kitten is registered with your vet.
Imagine needing a vet and having to jump on Google to find the address and opening hours in an emergency. Not to be recommended.
You wouldn’t wait until your were ill before registering with a local Doctor.
Do the same for your kitten and get them registered at your local vets.
A reputable breeder will have arranged insurance for your kitten before they leave home. This gives you protection for your kitten should they become ill.
Don’t forget to keep up with the insurance after the initial free period expires. You can stay with the same company or arrange your own.
Pet insurance is relatively inexpensive. Vet bills are generally the opposite and can be expensive.
Peace of mind is priceless.
Make sure your kitten is insured.
Your kitten will be leaving home and the comfort of their mum and siblings. They will now have to take over their own grooming duties as mum will no longer be around to help wash behind their ears.
No doubt your kitten will do their best to keep clean. Grooming does come naturally to them. But having said that . . .
. . . they are just babies.
They will need some help now and again.
A grooming glove, baby wipes and a set of nail clippers are the bare essentials.
You might need to check their back end after they use the litter tray.
You will need to clip your kittens claws regularly. See this article here.
You must stroke your kittens at every opportunity. Not only will this help you bond and keep your kitten friendly but will also help with removal of dead hair. Use a grooming glove and you will help your kitten keep a healthy coat.
When you bring a new kitten home my advice is have a room set aside that you can let your kitten have exclusive use of to help settle them in.
Away from the kids, your other pets and the hustle and bustle of normal family life.
A place your kitten can go to chill out and get their bearings.
A place your kitten can feel safe.
Somewhere that you know your kitten is 100% safe and secure when you need to go out.
It could be your bedroom, a conservatory or a spare room in the house. It matters not.
Just give them a place of sanctuary and make the settling in period as stress free as possible.
Make no mistake you will need extra cleaning materials.
You need to have bleach, disinfectant and cleaning cloths etc. to keep the food and water bowls clean in addition to the litter trays. Cats and kittens are clean and do not like to use a dirty litter tray. Check out this article on litter trays for more details.
Cat bedding, your own soft furnishings and carpets all need keeping on top of.
If your house smells of cat then you are not cleaning enough.
Your new kitten should not be going outside. It’s a big bad world and they are not equipped to deal with it. Nor do they know where they live yet.
So my best advice is keep them indoors. However accidents happen and it is not unheard of for a kitten to escape the safety of your home for a little exploring.
To be an the safe side it is advisable to take a couple of precautions.
Make sure your kitten is micro-chipped and registered in your name with your up to date contact details.
Use a safety collar with a tally with your phone number. (Make sure it is a safety collars though as this prevents tragedy should your kitten get the collar caught on something.)
If you decide to allow your kitten to go out when they are older then start them off by trips in the garden using a harness. This ensures they don’t get scared or over excited and end up diving over the fence and running off into the unknown. Keep them under control with a harness and help them get used to going outside while allowing them to get their bearings in safety.
They will still need protecting against catching them in the future so make sure you add a flea protection and a wormer to your shopping list. It’s always good to discuss these things with your vet. This can be done when you take them for a check up once you have them home.
Yes. Your kitten needs to brush their teeth . . . or at least you need to help them keep their teeth clean.
Toothache hurts. It’s horrible.
We can all relate to this. Except the difference is we can ask for help, take a trip to the dentist and get treatment.
Cats aren’t so lucky. They can’t ask for help.
Look after your kittens teeth and give them the best chance possible of healthy teeth as an adult.
Check out this article on looking after your cats teeth here written by Sheila Calloway RVN.
Did you know that one of the two reasons the Internet was invented is all to do with our obsession about cats?
People needed a way of sending photographs of their pet cats in real time to the rest of the human race.
It is absolutely vital that you have a half decent camera or smart phone so you can take as many photos as possible of your kitten.
You must also have access to the Internet, preferably high speed broadband.
Bonus points if you share photos and updates to social media.
Serious bonus points if your cat has their own Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Your friends, family, work colleagues and of course the breeder of your kitten all need daily updates about your kitten.
It is also your duty to expose total strangers to every captured moment of your kittens life.
There is no such thing as too many cat photos. Start clicking away today.
Spread the joy.
(BTW – in case you were wondering the other reason the Internet was invented was to give people the ability to argue online with complete strangers)
We’ve gone over all the essentials.
You know how to prepare for the arrival of your new kitten.
You also know . . .
It’s about making it easy as possible for new kitten to settle in their new home.
It’s about making sure your kitten has everything they need for mind, body and soul.
It’s about keeping your kitten safe.
Keeping your kitten healthy.
And most of all . . .
Keeping your kitten happy.
Take your kitten care checklist and get ready . . .
To be the best kitten parent you can be.
Settle your kitten into their new home with this FREE kitten care checklist. Give your new kitten the best start to their new life.
Ross is a UK Siamese & Oriental Cat Breeder breeding and showing his cats and kittens under the prefix Burnthwaites . He is the author of various cat related websites and blogs including 'Siamese Cat Breeder'. When not showing his cats he can often be found stewarding or judging at cat shows. He works as a Web Developer and specialises in small business websites and content marketing. He is also a blogger, amateur photographer and videographer and last but certainly not least husband and father.