What Do Kittens Need? 11 Considerations For Your New Pet
Written by FELIWAY, published on 16 September 2020
PLANNING AHEAD FOR YOUR NEW KITTY!
Now that you’ve decided to add a new kitten to your family, you’ll no doubt be excited to meet them! But first, it’s important to be prepared, to make the transition to their new home as welcoming and as stress-free as possible!
Here are some of the key ways to plan ahead so you have everything ready and waiting when your furry friend arrives!
1. Get a Cat Carrier
When you collect your new kitten, you’ll need to be sure you can transport them home safely! Choosing the right cat carrier is an important first step - you’ll also need the carrier in future when you need to travel with your pet, or take them to the vet.
Kittens can feel a little stressed when they first leave their mother and enter new surroundings. To help them adapt, be sure to get a good size carrier your pet will still fit into as they grow; it should be well-ventilated and ideally have a blanket, towel or old t-shirt inside that has the scent of the mother cat on it. This will help your kitty feel less stressed as the mummy cat’s scent will be in the carrier with them.
2. Find the Right Food and Water Bowls
Before you collect your kitty, make sure you have the right food and bowls for them! Aim to buy food and water bowls that are sturdy and can’t be knocked over easily. Remember cats like to pounce and an energetic jump might just tip a bowl over and spook your kitty!
Stainless steel bowls are best as they are easy to clean and they won’t absorb any smells. Make sure you clean them regularly and remove any old food that might have been left. Always make sure there’s always enough water around too, particularly if the weather is hot. Cats prefer running water so provide them with a cat fountain if you can.
3. Consider the Best Food for Your Pet!
It’s important to do your research when it comes to choosing the best food for your new kitten. Before you collect your new kitty try to find out what food they have been using - it will help your kitty to settle in if you continue with the same food and avoid appetite loss. If you feel like changing the food, make sure you do it gradually and watch for any signs that it isn’t agreeing with your new feline friend.
4. Choose a Quality Litter Tray
To avoid infections and kittens getting lost, new kittens shouldn’t go outside until they are around 6 months old. This is the perfect time to train them to use the litter tray for their toilet needs! Make sure the litter tray is large enough to contain the cat litter - remember cats like to bury their business, so the litter may get tossed out of the tray if it’s not large enough. Alternatively, you might consider a covered or contained litter box which is a good way of containing any spillage.
You’ll also need a scoop to remove soiled litter - cats like a clean toilet and they may not use it if it’s not cleaned out regularly! However, if there are accidents and the litter tray is missed, clean up any mess with soap and water - remember not to use any cleaners or bleach containing ammonia - as this attracts the cat back to perform there again.
5. Find a Cosy Kitty Bed
Kittens like to curl up in a cosy bed and have their own space to sleep. Ideally, some soft blankets on a high perch or comfy bed will suit them nicely - away from lots of people passing by and any other pets in the home. They will see this as their safe area so keep it nice and clean and cosy.
6. Don’t Forget a Scratching Post or Two!
A scratching post is a must for your new kitten, particularly if you want to avoid them scratching your furniture!. Scratching is a natural instinct for cats as it keeps their nails healthy, it gives them exercise and they will mark it as their own territory - so if you have more than one cat in the house, make sure they each have their own resources. The scratching post should be sturdy and large enough for them to stretch on.
7. Find A Kitty Grooming Kit
There’s nothing like a lovely sleek, well-groomed kitten! Although cats naturally groom themselves, they may get some knots in their fur that they can’t remove, especially with long-haired breeds. So keep a grooming brush to hand to help them out if necessary.
8. Check You Have Some Cat Toys!
Kittens are naturally playful and curious! They will chase most things that move, so have plenty of different toys around to keep them amused. Make sure these toys are safe and won’t splinter or break. Your kitty will love a ball that they can pat around or a furry mouse on the end of a stick!
Keep to a routine and set a daily playtime specifically for your kitty. But, keep in mind that cats have a short attention span - don’t be offended if they wander off!
9. Book In Your Vet Appointments
Register your cat with a vet at your nearest cat friendly clinic so that your kitty can have their regular health checks booked in. New kittens will need their first check-up soon after you bring them home - to prepare your kitty for the examination, you can practice touching their ears, eyes and mouth areas and then giving them a treat.They will also be able to micro-chip your kitten, just in case they get lost when they first venture out.
If you have decided to have your cat neutered (normally around 6 months old), it’s good if they have already visited the vet as they will be less scared by the experience.
10. Help Your Kitten Settle Into Their New Home
Kittens are naturally inquisitive but may also get a little stressed when they first arrive in their new home. It’s not unusual for a small kitten to go off adventuring on their first day - but don’t panic! As long as there are no open windows or doors that they can use for escape, they will be hiding somewhere! Kittens are very good at hiding and can usually find spaces under beds, on top of cupboards or behind furniture that you would never imagine!
To try and avoid this, help your kitten settle by restricting their access to one or two rooms. Put all your kittens toys, bed, litter tray, food and water bowls and their scratching post in the same area so that they have everything they need.
Give them plenty of play time and lots of fuss, and they’ll soon be happy to wander around the rest of the house bit by bit and make themselves at home!
Using a FELIWAY OPTIMUM Diffuser can help your new kitten settle into their new home. FELIWAY releases comforting messages, the same as their mother’s messages, and will help them feel calm and reassured. Plug the FELIWAY Optimum Diffuser in a few days before your kitten arrives to ensure the messages are all around the home and give your new kitten the welcome that they deserve.
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