First-Time Kitten Owners Guide: 7 Tips For Kitten Care
Bringing home a new kitten is an exciting experience. With their playful antics, adorable bean toes, and endearingly tiny meows, kittens deliver immense joy to their families.
However, if you are a first-time kitten owner, you might also feel a little overwhelmed by the prospect of caring for such a small furry being. Feeling uncertain is a natural part of becoming a new pet parent, which is why we are here to help.
In this first-time kitten owner guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to prepare for your new kitten and offer tips on helping your kitten transition to its new home. By using the following first-time kitten owner checklist as your guide, you’ll be ready to welcome your kitten home in no time.
1. Purchase the Supplies That All First-Time Kitten Owners Need
Before you bring your kitten home, it’s helpful to gather all the supplies you’ll need. Having these supplies on hand ahead of time will help make it easier to settle your kitten into its new home right away.
The following is a checklist of first-time kitten owner supplies to use as your buying guide:
- A Bed: As your kitten settles into your home, it will need a cozy place to sleep. A soft bed can help your kitten feel secure and safe.
- Food & Water Bowls: Start with small bowls, which will be easier for your kitten to eat from.
- A Litter Box & Litter: Be sure to choose a small litter box that is easy for your kitten to climb into and out of. Start with a small bag of litter as you learn your kitten’s litter preferences.
- A Scratching Post: Scratching is a natural instinct for kittens that relieves energy, helps keep their nails healthy and provides entertainment. A scratching post can help channel this instinct away from your furniture.
- Toys: From plush mice to teasers and wands, stock up on a variety of toys to help encourage exercise and activity.
- A Brush: Purchase a small brush designed for your kitten's coat type.
- Cleaning Supplies: Having a kitten means there will probably be a few unexpected accidents and spills around the home. Stock up on some animal-safe cleaning supplies and paper towels.
- Treats: Healthy kitten treats can be used to reinforce positive behavior and create a bond between you and your new little kitty. Pick out a few different types as you learn what your kitten loves.
2. Choose the Right Nutrition and Encourage Hydration
Once you bring your kitten home, you’ll want to begin feeding it a healthy diet designed specifically for its age. Kittens require a high level of protein and ample calories to support their growth. A kitten-specific recipe, such as our Complete Health™ Grain Free Kitten Kitten: Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal, can help ensure that your kitten receives all the nutrients it needs. You might consider adding a wet meal topper as well. This can not only add a boost of extra nutrition to its meals, but it can also help keep your kitten hydrated.
Speaking of hydration, make sure that you have ample water set out for your kitten. Because cats are naturally drawn to moving water, you might even consider adding a water fountain to entice your kitten to drink enough each day.
3. Schedule a Vet Visit
One of the most important steps to take when bringing home your new kitten is to schedule a visit to the vet. Ideally, schedule this visit before your kitten comes home with you. This is particularly important if there are other pets living in your house. Your vet can help screen your kitten for transmittable diseases, ensuring the safety of everyone.
Not only that, but your vet can also help ensure that your kitten has the right vaccinations and preventive care to protect it against diseases and pests. You can use this vet visit to ask your veterinarian specific questions about your cat’s care. Your vet should be your number one resource for understanding your kitten’s specific health needs.
4. Set Up Your Home
When you bring your kitten home, start by having it settle into one room in your house. This room should contain all your new cat supplies, like the bed, toys, food and water dishes, and the litter box. By containing your new kitten in one room, you can help it settle in safely. This can help prevent anxiety during the transition and is particularly important when other animals are present.
It is also important to prevent your kitten from escaping to the outdoors. The safest place for a cat to live is inside. In fact, indoor cats live up to four times longer than cats living outdoors. If you want to explore your yard with your kitten, use a kitten harness and leash. This will allow you to play outside safely.
5. Introduce Other Pets Slowly
If you have other animals in your home, introduce them to your kitten slowly. For cats, start by placing a blanket or towel in the bed of your kitten and in the bed of your other cat. After a day, swap the blankets to help introduce their scents to each other. From here, allow your cats to sniff each other through a closed door. You can also swap the rooms your cats are staying in to further help them recognize each other’s scents. Slowly, you can begin with supervised introductions to see how your cat and kitten interact.
If you have a dog in your home, you can follow a similar pattern. However, make sure that you always begin introductions with your dog on a leash.
If your pets are having a hard time acclimating to one another, consider hiring a professional trainer to help. Often, a trainer can work with your pets' specific needs to help them interact safely.
6. Start Grooming Young
Grooming kittens contributes to their long-term health, and introducing grooming when your kitten is young can help it enjoy the experience rather than feeling anxious. Use a gentle brush to remove loose fur and hair from your kitten. This will help reduce the risk of hairballs and keep its skin and coat clean.
7. Take Time to Bond
Finally, don’t forget that one of the most important things you can do as a new kitten parent is to take time to bond with your new feline family member. Playing a game of chase the teaser or snuggling up on the couch together to watch a movie can help establish a lifelong bond between you and your kitten.
At Wellness, we love seeing the joy that kittens bring to their families. That is why we work hard to ensure that all our foods are nutritious and designed to contribute to the long-term health of kittens as they grow. Be sure to stock up on healthy kitten foods and treats before you bring your furry ball of joy home, and put these first-time kitten owner tips to work.
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Topic:General Care Life Stage
Want more Wellness pet tips?
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