Bringing a new kitten home is an exciting (and stressful) time! Kittens require lots of love, attention, and quite a few essential items. Making a list and checking it twice can ensure your first few weeks with your kitten is more exciting than stressful.
What To Think About Before Bringing Kitten Home
- Your Budget – This is a very important step before bringing home any pets. This will help you decide if you are able to care for a pet and understand what size and type of pet you can afford. Knowing your budget for your cat will also help you pick things like the right cat food and pet insurance.
- Picking a Veterinarian – Picking the right vet is important. They will be by your side for many major health decisions regarding your new pet, as well as a valuable resource when you have important questions. Finding a veterinarian, knowing where you stand about vaccinations, spaying and neutering your kitten, and getting them microchipped will take some stress out of your first few weeks with your kitten.
New Kitten Checklist: What To Buy Before Bringing Kitty Home
- Kitten Food – The age of your kitten will help you determine what kind of food to buy. Often very young kittens require different foods than adolescent or adult cats.
- Litter Boxes – The general rule is one litter box per cat, plus one. If this is your only cat, one will be fine, but make sure it is placed in an easily accessible place for your kitten.
- Water and Food Bowls – Consider starting with shallow, wide dishes that are inexpensive. As time goes on you will learn more about your kitty’s behavior during mealtimes and may want to change bowls.
- One or Two Toys – Moving is overwhelming for humans, and even more so for kittens, so in an effort to not overstimulate them, pick only one or two toys to start. A scratching post toy is essential and will help you curb destructive behaviors right away. You can (and will) buy more toys later.
- A Breakaway Collar – Breakaway collars are one of the safest options for kitties who like to explore. They are designed to come off when tugged with force so that cats cannot choke themselves if they get caught on something.
Bringing Home Your Kitten
- Plan for Introducing Kitten to the Family – Having all human family members know the plan and rules for interacting with the kitten will help your kitten transition into the family much easier. It is important to go slow, and allow your kitten to initiate much of the cuddles. Ask children to try and use calm voices and touches when near the kitten. Introducing your new kitten to another cat or other animals should be done slowly as well. Often it is recommended to keep the kitten in a separate room for a while. This will allow your current cat to get used to the new scent first. Go slow, and only allow supervised meetings for a while.
- Vaccinations – Scheduling your vaccinations with your vet right away is a good idea, especially if you have other animals in the home. With only a day or two of discomfort, properly vaccinated cats will be healthier overall and will be protected from some severe illnesses.
- Spay or Neuter – Be sure to talk to your vet about spaying or neutering your kitten. Aside from keeping them alive longer, the procedure is also beneficial to keeping the population of cats manageable.
- Microchipping – Often, this can be done at the same time as your spay and neuter procedure, or with your vaccines. These small, rice-size chips store an identification number that can then be used to find the current information of the pet’s owner. Lost pets that are microchipped have a 73% chance of making it home!
Kitten Care in Gilbert, AZ
Now that you know what to expect, buy and plan for your new kitten, it’s time to pick the best vet in the area. With extensive knowledge and the best veterinarians, East Valley Animal Hospital is committed to helping you keep your kitten healthy for years to come. Give us a call today to set up your appointment.
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/8/22). Photo by Joe Cleary on Unsplash.