There are few things more exciting than bringing home a new pet — especially an adorable kitten. To get your new family member off to the right start, here are some things you’ll need before you bring her home.
Get a litter box with a short entryway to make it easier for a kitten to get in and out. Once she’s bigger, switch to a larger one, and get an extra so she has options in two separate places.
There’s a large variety of cat litters out there. Some litters cater specifically to kittens. Ask your breeder or shelter what brand of litter your kitten was using and get the same for your kitten to use in her new home at first.
Food and water dishes
Stainless steel, glass or lead-free ceramic are the way to go. Get a separate food and water dish to prevent messes. Buy two of each, so one set can be in the dishwasher.
At first, feed your new kitten the same food she had with the breeder or shelter to prevent any tummy issues caused by a sudden change in diet. Talk to your veterinarian about the best diet for your new kitten going forward, and slowly transition your kitten to new food.
Cats love to climb and be in high places, so a cat tree is a must. It should be sturdy and heavy enough to accommodate your cat’s jumping and playing styles. For an extra treat, put the tree by a window so your cat can view the outdoors.
Save your furniture by buying scratchers for your kitten. Products run the gamut from scratching posts made with durable sisal rope to simple cardboard scratch pads. Purchase several different types and put them in various places so your kitten always has a convenient place to scratch.
Cats of all ages need toys. They help keep your cat’s mind stimulated, provide exercise and prevent unwanted behaviors (like scratching and biting). Toys your cat can chase and wrestle with are great, but interactive toys are even better, as they help create and nurture their bond with you.
Your cat might claim your couch as a napping spot, but it’s still a good idea to purchase a cat bed she can call her own. Look for a bed that’s easy to wash and offers your kitten a place to burrow and hide. And throw in some cozy blankets for even more comfort.
If you’ve adopted your kitten from a shelter, she will probably already be microchipped. If she is, be sure to register it and keep your contact information up to date. A collar and tag is also a good idea — if your cat manages to escape, anyone who finds her will be able to get her safely home. Breakaway collars are best, so your kitten doesn’t get caught or stuck in her own collar.
A carrier is a must for vet visits or car travel. Cats often associate the carrier with dreaded trips to the vet’s office, so gradually introduce the carrier to your kitten and encourage her to explore it using treats and positive reinforcement, making it a safe (not scary) place.
Cats groom themselves, but they still need some help from their humans. Invest in a good brush, a flea comb, nail clippers and kitty wipes for regular grooming to help her look and feel her best.