New Kitten Essentials

New Kitten Essentials

Bringing Them Home - Bringing a new pet home is exciting, but going to a new place without their mother and siblings can be scary for a kitten. It’s a good idea to put your kitten’s own blanket in the cat carrier for the journey, then put it on their bed once you’re home. Cats have a much better sense of smell than we do, and they find their own scent reassuring.

Keep your kitten in one room at first, so they don’t get overwhelmed. Somewhere quiet is best, where you won’t be coming and going a lot throughout the day. Once they’re feeling a bit more at home, you can let them explore the rest of your house, starting with one room at a time. Although kittens are curious, they still might feel a little shy. Put a cat carrier or enclosed bed close by so your pet can hide if they want to.

Pheromone Diffusers can Help - Your cat might also benefit from a calming pheromone diffuser such as a Feliway® Classic Diffuser. These plug in to an electrical socket and emit a synthetic version of a pheromone that cats produce naturally from scent glands in their cheeks. Installing one of these in your cat’s settling room at least 24 hours before their arrival (or as soon as possible afterwards) will help reduce their stress and make your cat feel safer and more secure.

Litter Tray & Training – Most kittens won’t need litter training by you – they’re easy to potty train and it’s something they usually pick up from their mother. But setting up a new litter tray might be a tad confusing for them.

  • Choose a litter tray that’s suitable for your kitten. Trays with deep sides or a removable hood are good for adult cats, but they might be hard for little legs to climb into!
  • Put the litter tray in a quiet, private area, away from your kitten’s food and water bowls. If they’re disturbed while using the litter tray, it might put them off.
  • Introduce your new pet to their litter tray as soon as you bring them into your home, so they know where it is.
  • Kittens often want to use their litter tray when they wake up from naps and after meals. To help your kitten use theirs at the right time, put them in the litter tray when they wake up, after they’ve eaten, and before they go to bed.
  • Kittens will often sniff, scratch and crouch when they need to use the litter tray. If you spot this behaviour, put them in the litter tray right away.
  • When your kitten uses the litter tray, reward them with a toy or a treat. Never tell them off for having an accident – it might only make your kitten more anxious, which will make it harder to train them.
  • Clean up any accidents quickly, as the smell might make your kitten think that area is the toilet and go again in the same spot. Don’t use cleaning products that contain ammonia as it can smell similar to urine – enzyme cleaners are best.
  • Taking proper care of the litter box will encourage your kitten to use it. Scoop every day, replacing the litter when needed, and disinfect the box whenever you change the litter.

Comfortable Bed(s) – There is no guarantee that whatever bed you buy your new kitten is going to be their first choice for nap time. That’s just cat logic though, so don’t be disheartened.

Whilst cats are free spirits who like to sleep in a lot of unusual places, you can’t go wrong with providing them with their own bed. Cats like warm sleeping areas, so a bed that retains heat well is a wise choice. Make sure their beds are in low-traffic areas of the house, away from draughts and cold places and easily accessible to a teeny lil kitter!

Food & Treats – Your new kitten is going to need a balanced diet of healthy food to grow up strong. That’s especially true during the first six months of their life, when important development of bones, muscles, and the nervous system takes place. 

Luckily, cat foods are labelled by age. When your cat is young, you’ll want to buy kitten food or food for all life stages. These have all the nutrients your little fluff ball needs when they’re still growing. You can also ask your vet about the best food for your kitten. Don’t forget to buy a food bowl, too.

Treats are going to be a great tool to help with training, rewards, luring them to the vets and just treating them in general. Whichever treats you use, keep them small and don’t feed your kitten too many at once. There are so many different kinds of treats, it’ll be fun for them to find out which they like best!

Toys – What baby critter isn’t going to love lots of toy?! Playing with toys is good for getting a kitten used to their new environment. It’s also a great way of bonding with your new feline friend.

Sadly, you can’t stay with your kitten all day every day. Puzzle-based toys are great at keeping cats entertained when they’re home alone, so will make a great addition to your list of kitten care essentials.

Kitty Carrier - To transport your feline safely to and from the vet, you’ll need a comfortable cat carrier. Choose one with proper ventilation, inside padding, and an easy-to-open door. 

If you want to travel with your cat, consider getting a leash and/or a cat backpack. Yes, you can train a cat to go for a walk. Instead of attaching the leash to your kitten’s collar, use a cat harness. It’s much more comfortable for your kitty and helps to prevent strangulation.

Jan 20 2023
by Claire