Complete This Checklist For The Arrival Of Your New Kitten
Are you getting ready to welcome your new kitten at home? Do you have everything in place for your new family? You might be emotionally prepared, but have you got everything you need to ensure you're giving your fur baby a warm welcome?
If you're not quite sure, check out the checklist below and make sure you've ticked all of them before your new pet arrives.
Investing in a kitten carrier is not just beneficial, it's essential, particularly if you want to prioritise your kitten's safety during transport. A sturdy, secure kitten carrier is a prudent investment that will serve you not only on the exciting first day when you bring your new pet home, but also for all the subsequent travels, vet visits, and adventures you're about to share together.
In selecting a carrier, look for one that provides ample space and proper ventilation. Your kitten should be able to move around comfortably, stand, and turn around inside the carrier. Space is critical for your pet's comfort and well-being. Moreover, a carrier with sufficient ventilation is crucial. This ensures fresh air circulation, which can help keep your kitten cool and comfortable, preventing overheating and stress.
The inside of the carrier should also be made comfortable and familiar for your kitten. Place a towel or a piece of fabric from her previous home or shelter at the bottom of the carrier. This familiar scent will help comfort your kitten during the transportation process by giving her a sense of familiarity and security. This will help reduce stress and anxiety that your kitten may experience in the unfamiliar moving environment.
Lastly, for practical reasons, it is important to choose a carrier that is easy to clean. Accidents can happen during transport, especially with young kittens who may get nervous or scared. A carrier that can be easily cleaned and disinfected will ensure hygiene and make these occasional accidents less of a headache. Ideally, look for carriers with removable and washable liners or trays.
When it comes to making a checklist for your new kitten, a carrier is a must!
Food and Water Bowls
What else do you need for a new kitten? Food and water bowls, of course!
Preparing a grand feast for your kitten's arrival is an excellent way to make her feel welcome. However, it's not just about the food – the equipment you use plays a big role too. To make her mealtime enjoyable and stress-free, you need to have the right food and water bowls in place. Given the high energy levels of kittens and their curious nature, it's recommended to choose sturdy bowls that won't tip over easily. Knocking over their food or water dish could lead to messes, wasted food, and potentially a frightened kitten.
Stainless steel bowls are a good choice as they have many benefits. They are highly durable, resistant to rust, and generally more hygienic than plastic alternatives. Some kittens can have allergies to plastic, which could cause problems such as feline acne. Stainless steel bowls are less likely to harbour bacteria and are easier to keep clean.
The importance of maintaining cleanliness in your kitten's food and water bowls cannot be overstated. Leftover food and standing water can breed bacteria and attract insects, which can lead to various health issues. Hence, it's imperative to choose bowls that are easy to clean, and to ensure they are cleaned daily. Stainless steel bowls typically meet this requirement as they are dishwasher safe and can also be easily cleaned by hand.
Remember that while a grand feast may sound delightful, new kittens may be stressed due to the changes in their environment, and it's advisable to introduce new foods gradually. The feast doesn't necessarily have to be extravagant, but the quality of food should be high. Additionally, it would be best to provide the same food initially that the kitten was eating at its previous home or shelter to avoid any digestive issues.
One of the first things you'll want to do when bringing a new kitten home is to establish a designated place for them to eliminate. Investing in a quality litter box is a proactive step towards maintaining a clean and hygienic living environment for both you and your new pet. It also serves as a critical tool in helping your kitten understand where they’re expected to relieve themselves.
When choosing a litter box, consider one that is easy for your kitten to get into and out of, especially while they’re still young and small. As they grow, you may need to upgrade to a larger litter box to ensure their comfort and continued use. Some cats also prefer covered boxes for added privacy, but this can vary between individuals.
A scoop or strainer is an important accessory to the litter box, making the task of cleaning more efficient and less unpleasant. These tools allow you to quickly remove and dispose of soiled litter, keeping the box fresh and reducing odours. It is generally recommended to scoop out the litter box at least once a day to maintain a clean environment for your kitten.
Routine deep cleaning of the litter box is also a must. Cats are fastidious creatures, and a messy, smelly litter box may discourage them from using it, leading to accidents around the house. Once a week, empty the box entirely and wash it with warm soapy water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or strong-smelling cleaners, as these could deter your cat from using the box. After cleaning, dry the box thoroughly before refilling it with fresh litter.
When it comes to what things you need for a kitten, a litter box is arguably number one!
Bringing a new kitten home is an exciting time, but it's also a period of transition and exploration for your new pet. Providing an affordable bed for your kitten initially is a smart decision. In the early days, they may not use the bed much as will be busy exploring their new environment and finding their own favourite places to rest. This is a completely normal behaviour, so do not feel disappointed if the bed you've purchased isn't used immediately.
When choosing this initial bed, opt for something that's warm, comfortable, and easy to clean. Cats often enjoy beds with sides that they can snuggle against or beds that they can burrow into. However, keep in mind that every cat is unique and has its own preferences.
Once your kitten becomes more comfortable in your home and has started to show a preference for a particular spot or type of surface, then you can consider investing in a more permanent, luxurious bed. This could be a wicker basket lined with a soft, washable cushion, or a plush bed that provides maximum comfort. By waiting to see where your kitten prefers to rest, you can ensure that the new bed will be a hit.
Choosing a bed that's easy to clean is essential for maintaining a hygienic environment. Look for beds with removable covers that can be machine-washed, or beds made from materials that can be easily wiped clean.
Scratching is a natural behaviour for cats that serves several important functions. First, it helps them to shed the dead outer layer of their claws, keeping their nails sharp and healthy. Second, scratching allows cats to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws, which is an excellent form of exercise. Third, cats have scent glands in their paws, and scratching helps them to mark their territory, communicating to other animals that the space is claimed.
Providing a scratching post for your kitten from day one is a crucial step in setting healthy boundaries and behavioural habits. A good scratching post should be sturdy, so it doesn't topple over and scare your kitten during use. A tall post is also ideal because it allows your kitten to stretch her body fully, mimicking the natural behaviour of scratching against a tree in the wild.
To train your kitten to use the post, you might want to play with them near it and encourage them to interact with it. Try attaching toys to the post or using catnip to make it more attractive. Also, remember to praise and reward your kitten whenever he/she uses the post.
Training your kitten to use a scratching post early can save your furniture from potential damage in the future. It's important to understand that scratching isn't a behaviour you can or should try to eliminate entirely - it's a natural and necessary action for your cat.
By providing an acceptable outlet for this behaviour, you're helping your kitten to stay healthy and happy while also preserving the integrity of your home. Make sure a scratching post is on your kitten essentials list!
Collar, Harness, and Leash
While many new pet owners are eager to take their kittens on walks using a harness or leash, it's often not necessary or even advisable in the early stages. Kittens, like all young animals, need time to adapt to their surroundings and new sensations, and many may feel uncomfortable or constrained in a harness initially. On the other hand, a collar is an important item that you should have ready for your new kitten from day one.
A collar serves multiple purposes for a kitten. The most important of these is identification. Even if you intend to keep your kitten indoors, accidents can happen, and they may find their way outside unexpectedly. A collar equipped with an ID tag that includes your contact information can be crucial in ensuring your kitten's safe return should she ever get lost.
When choosing a collar for your kitten, look for one that is lightweight and comfortable. Kittens are much smaller and more delicate than adult cats, so a heavy or bulky collar could be uncomfortable or even harmful. The collar should be snug but not too tight; you should be able to fit two fingers between the collar and your kitten's neck.
Introduce the collar to your kitten early on to help her get accustomed to the sensation of wearing it. This process should be gradual and positive, associating the collar with fun times and rewards so your kitten doesn't view it as something negative.
Leather collars are indeed a stylish choice and are known for their durability. They are also generally comfortable for cats to wear, as they soften over time and mould to your kitten's neck. However, for safety reasons, consider choosing a collar with a quick-release or breakaway clasp, especially for kittens.
These types of collars will automatically open if the collar gets caught on something, reducing the risk of choking.
Grooming is an essential part of cat care, and it starts from the time your kitten arrives home. A flea comb and a brush are two indispensable tools that can make a big difference in your kitten's health and comfort.
A flea comb is a fine-toothed comb designed to catch fleas and their eggs. Even if your kitten doesn't have fleas, using this comb can help ensure she remains free of these pests. Additionally, a flea comb can help identify any skin issues early on, such as dry patches or irritation, since you'll be inspecting his/her skin closely during combing.
A brush, on the other hand, is primarily for maintaining your kitten's coat. Regular brushing helps prevent matting, reduces shedding, and distributes natural oils evenly across your kitten's fur, keeping it shiny and healthy. Depending on your kitten's breed and coat type, you may need a specific type of brush. For example, long-haired cats may require a slicker brush to prevent tangles, while short-haired cats might benefit more from a bristle or rubber brush.
Your veterinarian or a professional groomer can provide personalised recommendations based on your kitten's breed, coat type, and overall health condition. They can guide you on the best grooming tools to use and how frequently to use them. It's important to remember that grooming is not just about keeping your kitten looking good - it's also an opportunity for bonding, and it contributes significantly to your cat’s overall health and well-being.
If kids are happy with toys, so are cats – so, get your cat some toys to play with! Some great playthings include a table tennis ball, unshelled walnut, balled-up waxed paper, or a cardboard toilet paper tube. Use your imagination to nurture their curiosity.
Need some supplies for your new kitten? Modern Pets is at your service!
If you need a one-stop-shop for all these things, look no further than Modern Pets - we have high-quality products you can choose from. For general product or sales enquiries, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re more than happy to help :)