Top 10 Must-haves for Bringing Home a New Kitten
Written by: Lindsay Shugerman
Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman
Aww! A new kitten! There’s nothing as cute as a brand new kitty. But before you let your new little one explore, make sure you have the top things you need for bringing home a new kitten.
From food to litter and beds to toys, your kitty will need a lot of things to start out. But trust me, it’s all worth it when he’s curled up in your arms, purring with every inch of that tiny kitten body. Ready to shop? Here’s your list!
10. Kitten food
Kittens, like other babies, need to have food designed for their tender tummies and growing bodies. Make sure you select a food that’s designed just for kittens. And before you reach for the lowest priced food on the shelf, remember that quality kitten food now will save you money later on vet bills!
9. Kitty litter box and kitty litter
A kitty litter box is one of the things you have to buy before you bring your new furry baby home. Choose a box with low sides so it’s easy for your kitten to climb in and out. A too high box can discourage kittens from using it, and can cause injuries if they fall over the side trying to get out.
When it comes to the litter, choose a clumping litter made of small, soft material. Larger crystal-type litter is sharp and can cut tiny paws, and non-clumping litter makes it hard to keep the box clean. If your kitten is having a hard time using the box and goes elsewhere, try a litter designed to attract cats. It usually solves the problem quickly!
8. Kitty litter scoop
It’s a small thing, but it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to cleaning your litter box! Choose a sturdy plastic or metal kitty litter scoop, and remember to wash it often with disinfectant.
7. Food and water bowls
Your kitten will need her own food and water bowls, sized just right for little ones. A standard cat or dog bowl is too high, so your new companion might not get the food or water she needs. Also, the deeper bowls present a drowning risk for kittens, even if they’re not full. Be sure to keep the water bowl filled with an inch or so of water at all times, and change it when it gets food, fur or dirt in it.
Kittens need to play, so make sure you provide your new friend with safe, interesting cat toys. Make sure the toys you choose are well made, and come from a reputable company to avoid toxic materials or small pieces that could cause choking. Balls, catnip-filled stuffed toys and things they can chase are all winners with cats.
5. A collar and tags
Even though most kittens are indoor pets, there’s always a chance they could escape and get lost. A collar designed just for kittens and a tag with their name, your name and a phone number could be their ticket home. Of course, all pets should be microchipped, but a collar and tag is easy for someone to read, getting your precious little cat home sooner.
4. A cat brush
With the exception of a few hairless breeds, cats do shed. Make sure you control the hair around your house by buying a good cat brush and using it daily. Not only will it keep shedding down, it will become a daily ritual you both look forward to and enjoy.
3. Kitten treats
Just like the food you select for your new pet, the treats you choose need to be specially designed for kittens, too. Look for domestically made or European treats for ingredient safety. Then use the treats as a way to teach your kitten things like her name, or just to say hello after you’ve been out for the day.
2. Kitten wipes or shampoo
Most people don’t know that kittens sometimes need baths, but it’s true! Whether it’s food they walked in or waste they didn’t quite get right, kittens can get dirty. And then there’s the matter of fleas!
It’s important to choose a kitten shampoo because cats like (and therefore eat!) everything that gets on their fur. Shampoos designed for people, dogs, or even adult cats can be toxic to a kitten, so read labels carefully before you buy.
1. A place to sleep
Cats and kittens love to curl up in small, soft and cozy spaces, so start your kitten out right with his own cozy cat bed. Opt for a small one while he’s young, and then buy a larger one when he grows. Yes, it means spending a little more, but it’s much cozier for your cat, and that’s what matters most.