When you adopt a new kitten, you may be overwhelmed with cuteness. You will likely find yourself spending a lot of time just playing with her for those first few days. All too often we get wrapped up in showering a new kitten with affection and forgetting the basics about what you’ll actually need for that little ball of fluff.
We’re here to help, though; so relax and enjoy that kitty! Just follow our short list of suggestions, and you’ll have all you need to make sure your home is kitty safe and kitten ready!
1. Food, Treats, and Water
The first rule in keeping any creature alive and healthy is to feed and water it. Kittens will need a specialized formula as their little stomachs can’t digest the same foods as an adult cat. Nor can their teeth necessarily handle the same kind of chewing. The same is true of her treats, so be sure to look before you buy. There are both dry foods and wet foods formulated specifically for kittens.
For some natural and organic options for now and as your kitten grows older, check out our list of the Best Organic Cat Foods.
Water and food dishes can be the basic bowl-type, but you may want to get more creative with a water fountain that’s sure to keep your kitty intrigued. While you may not want to buy more than one fountain, you will need to remember your cat should always have access to water. It’s recommended to have multiple water bowls throughout your home, and standard water bowls are perfectly suitable for any or all water locations throughout your home. That said, if you’re looking for an easier way to make sure your kitty gets fed at the right time (and in the right amount) each mealtime, you might find an automatic cat feeder useful. For more options, check out our list of the Best Automatic Cat Feeders.
2. Kitty Litter and Box
Of course, you’ll need to think about where your kitten will be going to the bathroom. If your cat is an outside cat, this won’t be a concern, but even if so, you may want to train her on the litter box if she’s ever indoors. If you’re having trouble with the litter box, take a look at our article, How To Train A Cat To Use A Litter Box.
You’ll want to pick out the right box to make sure she won’t struggle using it. There are several styles of cat litter boxes, and what works for one cat may not work for another, so a bit of trial and error may be in order. Some cats enjoy the privacy of hooded litter boxes, while others feel too constrained and prefer an open-lid litter box. A top-entry litter box may work well for you if your cat tends to track litter away from the box.
A similar challenge is finding the right litter. Again, some cats take extremely well to certain types of cat litter but won’t go anywhere near others. Options include pine cat litter, clumping cat litter, and more, typically available in scented or unscented varieties. Some cat litter brands are specifically formulated to control odor with multiple cats.
3. Toys, Scratchers, and Kitty-Proofing
Preventing the havoc a kitten can wreak on a home can be as simple as making sure she’s sufficiently entertained. Toys and scratching posts will each provide activity for your new kitten and can be a huge benefit to you, too. The toys, like those in this cat toy variety pack, are a great source of potential for you to strengthen your bond by playing with her. A scratching post will allow kitty to shed excess and frayed nails while preventing her from doing so on your furniture. For more options, check out our list of the Best Cat Scratching Posts.
While your kitten is new to your home, you may want to limit her access to the house. That may mean simply closing doors, or it may mean getting creative with cabinets and drawers. Another [very gross] possibility to consider is that if you also have a dog, a litter box may become a replenishing treat box. If that’s the case, you may want to look into proofing the litter box with something like the Door Buddy Adjustable Door Strap & Latch.
4. Collar and/or Harness
A collar is an absolute must for any new kitten (and really any new pet). For those just-in-case concerns, you may want a new ID tag along with her new collar to ease your worries. Your kitten will likely have several throughout her life with you, but since a collar is pretty much the only fashion accessory a cat can have, you can opt for a fancy cat collar or choose a simple, classic style. A harness may be a good idea if you plan on taking your cat places, particularly if you want her to walk with you.
5. Bed and Crate
Your kitten may surprise you with where she sleep; no matter what you have planned, she will likely sleep wherever she wants. While that usually means wherever you are, if you take precautions (i.e., closing your bedroom door or not letting her on your bed), she may benefit from a cat bed she can call her own. And actually, even if she doesn’t use it often, she should still have a bed of her own for when you’re away.
You don’t crate train a cat like you may a dog, but that doesn’t mean you absolutely won’t need one. If you plan on traveling with kitty, you’ll need to look into a good crate for her. Take a look at our list of the Best Cat Carriers for some good ideas on what to look for in a carrier. Remember, even if the only traveling she does is to the vet’s office, you’ll still need to keep her secure there.
6. Grooming Supplies
Even if your cat is an excellent scratcher, you should still trim her claws a tiny bit every 10 days or so, so invest in a good pair of nail trimmers. You’ll also need a good grooming brush to minimize her hairballs. While she may not need many baths, you will still need to bathe her periodically (roughly twice a year). For those occasions, you will need specifically cat shampoo, as human shampoo can cause dry skin and irritation.
The process of welcoming a new kitten into your home is, of course, more than just buying supplies. You’ll need to make sure you’re giving her plenty of love and attention, too. But let’s be honest, some supplies certainly can bring a lot of extra joy to your kitten and that goes a long ways towards making her feel at home.
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