Are you soon to be a proud new Kitten parent?! Bringing a new pet home for the first time is super exciting but also a liitle daunting. You'll more than likely want them to have the best of everything and preparing your home for their arrival will be high on your to-do list. Here we'll discuss some things to think about when preparing for your new feline arrival and some items for you to consider. Whether your new cat is longhaired or short haired; a pedigree or moggy; an outdoor or indoor cat; take our steps to ensure you're fully prepared for their arrival!
Prepare your Household for the New Kitten
It's important to set the ground rules before your kitten arrives, so the whole household can teach and encourage the same behaviours. There are a few things to consider before your kitten comes home:
- Will your kitten be an indoor or outdoor cat?
- Where will your kitten sleep?
- Which areas of the house will they be allowed in?
- Will they be allowed on furniture?
- Who is responsible at feeding time? And equally for grooming, vet visits, litter clean-up etc?
- Who will spend time with your kitten? As much as cats can be independant, they are social creatures and will relish any bonding time you spend with them. It is important to spend time in the initial stages as it will help settle them into their new home.
Kitten-Proof your Home
Making sure your home is kitten-safe is your number one priority. Kittens are naturally inquisitive and playful and will be attracted to all kinds of things around the house. Make sure wires and cables are either out of reach, or stored as neatly as possible. You could consider boxing in or taping wires to make them less attractive to mischievous kittens. Anything loose should be secured as your kitten will ultimately be attracted to anything that looks like it might move!
The Basic New Kitten Shopping List
There are a few things all kittens will need, regardless of their breed or whether they'll be indoor or outdoor cats. Every new kitten owner should include the following in their new kitten shopping list:
Cats are quite often happy to sleep in all kinds of places, but it's still nice to offer them a dedicated space of their own. There are a couple of options here; cats like to feel secure so a hooded cat bed is a great option especially for nervous kittens. A round donut bed is also a good idea as cats love to curl up at naptime. Alternatively, try a blanket to place on your sofa.
There's a high chance that your cat will find a sleeping spot of their choice - they'll probably be drawn to a sunny windowsill or corner of your bed (if allowed!!) so don't be offended if they don't always choose the bed you bought them!
Ensuring your kitten gets all the nutrients they need for their early development is essential. If you're getting your cat from a breeder they should suggest a food for you. It's best to keep feeding the same food for at least the first few weeks and if you do change, make it a slow progression from one food to another. Always check the individual food bag for feeding instructions such as portion size.
We would ideally suggest feeding a mix of good quality dry and wet food; the former will help keep your cat's teeth clean and sharp and the latter will help keep their water intake up (cats don't always like drinking a lot!). Keep a dish of dry food down all day, along with fresh drinking water and then offer two small portions of wet food a day. Of course, you will be led by your cats taste too - so you may find your cat prefers wet food to dry or vice-versa.
There are a number of litter box options available. Think about how big your kitten will grow to as an adult, but also ensure the box is easily accessible for a kitten. If you're expecting a large breed such as a Ragdoll or Maine Coone you may need to size-up your litter box as they grow. A hooded litter tray is a nice option as it will contain the litter when your cat covers their business and also offer them privacy.
Our preference on litter is a good quality clumping litter. This tends to prevent odour and is super easy to sift and clean. It can be more expensive upfront, but tends to be more economical in the long run as you don't need to fully change the litter as often, just sift out the waste daily.
Another essential is a scratching post. Cats have a natural instinct to scratch and rather than prevent them from doing it, you should encourage it in the right place. A scratch post or pad will allow them to sate their desire whilst encouraging them to do it away from your precious furniture, wallpaper and carpets. A vertical scratch post or tree is a great choice for most as it allows your cat to stretch at the same time, keeping their muscles supple and healthy. You might also consider a cardboard scratch pad - many cats love the texture of cardboard and will gain as much pleasure from this as a tree.
If your cat is going to be an indoor cat, we'd suggest investing in a good sized scratch tree. Indoor cats will naturally be less active than their outdoor cousins, so giving them a tree with a range of platforms and posts will encourage them to climb and exercise.
We all know cats love to play, so offering a range of toys to keep them occupied is a must. Try to have a few different toys that you can rotate to keep your kitten interested. We'd suggest a cat wand for playtime with you as well as some catnip stuffed mice and maybe a treat ball.
One of our favourite collections of toys is the Catit Senses range which has been designed to appeal to every one of your feline's unique senses. Each Senses item can be used separately or in conjunction with other Senses items to create the ultimate kitty playground.
We hope you find this useful. Even if you take just one or two things from this, we hope we manage to take a little of the stress out of bringing home your kittten. Don't forget this is just a guide; you will soon find out what your cat does and does not like and be able to change their routine accordingly. Just remember; if you do make changes to things like litter and food, to do so over time. Incremental changes are always best when it comes to our felines!
Looking for the ultimate kitten starter pack? We have just introduced two new Kitten Packs to our collection. Our kitten packs come in Standard and Luxury options and contain everything you need for your new furry arrival. Including a cosy bed, a blanket, litter tray and accessories, food bowls, scratch pad and toys. If want to buy all the things you're going to need in the first few days, this is a great way to start. Shop the Kitten Packs here.