Bringing home a kitten can be a very exciting time for your family. Everyone’s going to be excited to play with their new pet and will be eager to watch as they grow from a tiny kitten into a beautiful adult cat. However, owning a cat is a big responsibility and can be challenging if you aren’t prepared.
Kittens need a lot of attention and affection from their owners. You’ll need to teach them where to go potty, how to behave around strangers and other animals, and how to play nicely with children.
But before you even bring home your new kitten, you can do a lot to ensure that your home is prepared for its arrival. Getting everything sorted out in advance can make it easier for your kitten to transition into their new forever home. These tips and strategies can apply whether you’re a new cat owner or an experienced cat owner who wants to become a registered cat breeder.
Supplies For a New Kitten
When you get a new kitten, there are some basic supplies you will need in order to take care of them properly. Here is a list of things you will need for your new furry friend:
- A litter box and litter. You will need to choose a litter box that is the right size for your kitten. You will also need to choose a type of litter. There are many types of litter available, but the general consensus is that unscented litter with finer particles resembling sand is the one that most cats prefer. Clumping clay cat litter fits the bill for most people, but don’t be afraid to try out different options.
- A food and water bowl. You will need two bowls, one for water and one for food. The bowls should be made of a durable material that is easy to clean. Stainless steel is always good, since it’s hard-wearing and won’t rust easily.
- Kitten food. Your kitten will need a high-quality diet that is specifically designed for their nutritional needs. Kittens have different dietary needs than adult cats, so be sure to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation on what food is best for your kitten.
- A scratching post or cat tree. Scratching is a natural behaviour for cats, and it helps them keep their claws healthy and sharp. Provide your kitten with a scratching post or cat tree so they can scratch to their heart’s content without damaging your furniture.
- Kittens are full of energy and like to play. Be sure to provide them with plenty of toys to keep them entertained, such as balls, toy mice, and crinkle toys. A flirt stick is cheap and can be made with easily-available materials.
How to Prepare Your Household for the Arrival of a New Kitten
Now that you have the supplies you’ll need, it’s time to check out what you can actually do to make your home as welcoming as possible for the kitten.
1. Kitten-proof your home
Before bringing your new kitten home, take some time to go through your house and look for any potential hazards. Get rid of anything that could be harmful or dangerous to a small animal, including toxic plants, medications, cleaning supplies, and small objects that could be swallowed. Also, make sure all electrical cords are out of reach and that any open windows have screens in them.
2. Prepare a safe space for your kitten
Choose a room in your house that will be designated as the “kitten zone.” This should be a quiet room where your kitten can feel safe and comfortable away from the bustle of daily life. equip this space with everything your kitten will need, including a litter box, food, water bowls, toys, a scratching post, bedding, and a litter scoop.
3. Introduce your new kitten slowly
When you first bring your kitten home, give them time to adjust to their new surroundings before introducing them to other members of the household (including other pets). Let them explore their “safe space” at their own pace and offer them plenty of TLC during this transition period. Once they seem comfortable, you can start slowly introducing them to other family members and pets.
4. Be patient and understanding
It will take time for everyone in the household to adjust to having a new kitten around. Be patient during this process and understand that there may be some bumps along the way. Watch out for signs that your cat is stressed, and If problems arise, talk to your veterinarian or an animal behaviourist for advice on how to best deal with the situation.