New Kitten Checklist: The Things You’ll Need
For cat lovers, few days are as joyful as the day a new kitten enters your home. A brand-new kitten brings new energy into any home and marks the start of a lasting relationship as this pet becomes a member of your family.
If you're planning on bringing a kitten home soon, you should plan ahead by outlining the things you need for a kitten. From food to toys to litter boxes and more, your new cat checklist could help as you hustle to get your home ready for your kitty's arrival.
Here's a brief guide to putting together that checklist and welcoming a kitten into your household.
Putting Together Your New Kitten Checklist
As you make plans for your new kitten's arrival, you should first consider the circumstances of your current living situation, and how those might affect the necessary supplies for your cat. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this your first cat? If so, you'll need to stock up on a bunch of new supplies. If you already have cats, some of your supplies can be reused.
- Do you plan on your cat living exclusively indoors, or going outdoors as well? Additional supplies and services, such as microchipping, may be even more urgent if you plan on letting your cat out the door.
- Does your kitten have any health concerns that need accounting for? If so, make sure you have the right medications and supplies to care for their health needs.
As soon as you know you're bringing home a kitten, you should also schedule a wellness visit with a local veterinarian. This will ensure your kitten is updated on vaccines and is thoroughly evaluated for any health concerns to keep an eye on. A vet may also be able to recommend certain useful items that may not make it onto your initial kitten supply list.
What Do You Need for a Kitten?
It's time to start putting together your kitten supplies checklist. If you're asking yourself "What do kittens need?" and drawing a blank, make sure you've at least got these basic items covered:
- Cat food: While it's best to start with the food your cat is already accustomed to from the breeder or shelter, you may prefer to transition them to a different brand of cat food. Make sure the food is developed with kitten nutritional needs in mind. Your vet may also have recommendations for a preferred cat food.
- Litter box and litter: The litter box is essential to give your kitten a place to do their business. Keep in mind that all cats need their own litter box, so whenever you're bringing a new kitten into the home, you should add another box.
- Food and water bowls: While you might be able to get away with bowl sharing among multiple cats, it might be easier—at least early on—to give your kitten their own dedicated food and water bowls.
- Cat bed: A cat bed is a great way to help your kitten acclimate to your home and establish a safe space that offers comfort. You can place this cat bed in their preferred room, or in the room you're using to transition them into your home.
- Cat scratching post: Kittens are busy, ornery creatures, and they love to scratch. A scratching post will give them a safe, healthy outlet for their scratching desires, saving your furniture and other surfaces.
- Toys and treats: Give your cat access to stimulating entertainment and tasty rewards. Treats are especially important as you train your cat on the rules of living in your home.
- Collar and ID tags: Even if you plan on keeping your cat exclusively indoors, a collar and ID tag is still important in case they escape. Include your contact info, the name of your cat and the cat's veterinary contact info to help a stranger find medical care for your kitten.
Kitten Care Guide: Tips for a Smooth Transition
Stocking up on supplies is an important step in preparing your home to welcome a new kitten. But as adoption day approaches, you can support your kitten's adjustment to a new home by taking certain steps to increase their comfort. Consider the following tips:
- Start your kitten out in a safe, enclosed room. By placing your kitten in a room or secured area away from other people and pets, you can provide a gradual transition as they adjust to the sounds and smells of your home.
- Kitten-proof your home. Charging cords, window blind cords, open food containers, delicate upholstery, curtains and even clothes can all spark your kitten's curiosity. Keep these items out of reach of your cat to avoid typical kitten mischief that can lead to damaged items and injured pets. Remember: kittens can climb onto counters and other high spaces.
- Give your kitten spaces to hide from pets and family members when they get scared. A cat house, kennel or makeshift box can offer the security and comfort your kitten seeks as they acclimate to your home.
- Introduce kittens to other cats gradually. Introducing cats right away can lead to fights and damaged relationships. Instead, keep your kitten separate from other household cats for a couple days, until your kitten becomes acclimated to your home and doesn't appear skittish. In some cases, this process could take a couple weeks for your cat to acclimate and show signs of being ready to meet other pets.
The arrival of a new kitten can be an exciting time for your entire household. Make sure you prep your home ahead of time, stock up on necessary supplies and remind your household of the importance of giving your kitten time to adjust on its own.