Planning to bring home a new kitten? It’s a very exciting time! It can be a lot of fun bringing a kitten into the home. But, you don’t want to introduce him to your home and find that you don’t have the necessary items to get started. Here’s a list of the essentials you’ll want to have on hand before bringing your kitten home.
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Cat carrier – You need a pet carrier. Many cats get nervous in cars and the last thing you need is a cat wandering around the car getting under your feet while driving, or escaping the car when you stop and open the door. There are a few popular varieties of cat carriers, and it might even serve you to have a couple of different ones. Basic cardboard carriers are really only suitable for bringing a small kitten home. It won’t take long for your kitten to outgrow one and you run the risk of it not being strong enough to hold your kitten, meaning your kitten could fall or escape. It’s a much better idea to get a carrier that will last. Hard-sided carriers with solid bottoms are great because they are very secure. They are also really easy to clean if your cat doesn’t feel well during the ride and gets sick or goes to the bathroom. Heavy-duty soft-sided carriers are great for travel. Whatever carrier you decide to get, it should be secure and it should have ventilation.
Collapsable Pet Carrier with Hard Top and Hard FloorPetmate Two Door Top Load Kennel made of steel and plasticOxGord Airline Approved Premium Rolling Backpack Pet CarrierAirline Approved Top Loading Cat Carrier w/ 2 Bolster BedsMG Collection Quilted Soft Sided Travel Pet Carrier Hand Bag
Kitten food – Being introduced to your home is a big change for a kitten. Its best to start your new kitten on whatever cat food the kitten was previously on, in order to limit the number of big adjustments the kitten will face in its first few days. You can change the brand later if you wish, slowly replacing the old with the new. There are a dozens of different brands of foods and many different varieties. Be sure to discuss which is ideal for your pet before you make the change.
Cat bowls– Obviously we know that our pets need to eat. For some, their first thought might be to grab a bowl or dish from the cabinet. Be wary of this. Most dishes made for human consumption aren’t designed for pets to use. You’re going to need food and water bowls that can stand up to constant use. The bowls should be durable, and able to withstand the potential of being knocked around. You don’t want to use plastic bowls because they can retain smells and host bacteria. Popular types of pet food bowls for cats include non-lead glazed ceramic, glass and stainless steel. These materials all wash well. The bowl should be shallow enough for the kitten to easily access the food. There are some feeding bowls that are part of a raised stand, which is said to be better for digestion in some animals. Some are also part of a storage container, which is very convenient and keeps unused food protected. If you’re traveling a distance to bring your new pet home, be sure to have portable food bowls. Many food bowls can also be used for your kitten’s water. Most cats enjoy fresh water. If you are gone for a chunk of the day, you could consider an automatic water dispensers that ensures your pet always has clean water. Some cats actually prefer their water with a little movement, as if it were running. If you find that your cat is one of these, there are cat drinking fountains. And speaking of washing well. You’ll want to get a mat to put under the bowls. It will catch any spilled food or water, saving you from having to constantly wash the area around the bowls.
Steel Nonskid Cat Food Bowl 2 Pack SetHere Kitty 5.3oz Oval Stoneware Pet BowlFish Cat Set of 2 Ceramic Bowls with Metal StandComsun BPA-free Silicone Collapsible Food BowlAirtight Elevated Storage Feeder with Stainless BowlsLarge Nonskid Rimmed Pet Food Dinner MatCatit Flower Fountain with Water-softening Filter
Litter boxes – You’ll need at least one cat litter box. You’ll want to get two if you have a large house or multiple floors, or if you have another cat. Kittens need a box that’s low enough for them to easily get into, which usually means it’s a low, open type of box. As you kitten grows you will likely want to move to a box with higher sides, and possibly a top. These things help keep the amount of litter that winds up out of the box down to a minimum.
There are numerous types of cat litter. Clay litter is usually the least expensive type of litter. It’s made of pulverized clay and naturally absorbs odors. Clumping litter pulls the litter together into a firm clump once it’s gotten wet with urine. Crystal litter is made from an absorbing silicone gel, making it highly absorbent. Pine, wheat, and corn are natural, biodegradable litters. They are absorbent and very low in dust, and may even be flushable. Another alternative is using recycled paper.
Be aware right from the start that not all litter stays in the litter box. It’s just not possible. It’s for this reason that I like to keep a small dust brush and pan nearby to pick up litter that winds up on the floor. You could get a portable vacuum that does the same. Some folks put a mat under the box to catch the litter as well. Cat litter scoops are an efficient way to filter and remove cat waste from the litter box. The inexpensive scoops do tend to bend and can even break. There are models made of a sturdier plastic as well as of metal that are more durable.
Basic Petmate Plastic Litter PanNature’s Miracle High-Sided Litter BoxIRIS Open Top Cat Litter Box with Shield and ScoopHagen CatIt Hooded Cat Litter BoxNature’s Miracle Corner Hooded Cat Litter BoxBooda Petmate Clean Step Litter DomePureness High Impact Plastic Regular Litter ScoopDuranimals DuraScoop Aluminum Cat Litter ScoopEndurance Stainless Steel Cat Litter ScoopRubbermaid Comfort Grip Duster and Dustpan Set (FG6C0100)Black+Decker Dustbuster 15.6-Volt Cordless Cyclonic Hand VacuumPawkin Phthalate Free Cat Litter Mat, X-Large
Cat beds – Your new kitten has spent much of its life snuggling with it’s mother and siblings. Be sure your new family member has a comfortable place to sleep. The ideal pet bed will have a removable, washable cover. It should be roomy enough for your kitten to curl up but not so spacious that your kitten feels vulnerable.
Another place that your kitten will love to sit and even nap is near a window. One of the best purchases I have ever made for my cats is the Kitty Sill with Bolster. It’s a window shelf for cats. Both our cat and kitten love this shelf. It can be installed with velcro, or with a few screws to ensure it’s placement, which is the way we installed it.
Scratching post – Cats in the wild use their claws to help them survive. As such, it’s only natural that they want to sharpen their claws. Teach your kitten early that your furniture is not a scratching post. Do this by giving him a scratching post. There are many different scratching posts and scratching pads out there. You’ll want to choose with a sturdy base, because the amount of force used when a cat sharpens their claws is a little surprising. Many cats like to stretch out a bit while scratching their claws. My pets have always preferred vertical scratching posts to horizontal ones for that reason, which is why I recommend getting a scratching post at least as tall as your cat when it’s standing on it’s hind legs.
Cat furniture – Some activity trees, cat towers, climbing posts and cat condos have areas designed especially for scratching. These larger models are great because they not only provide a place to scratch, they also provide a place to exercise, play and even relax. If you decide to get a tower or climbing house, be sure it is sturdy enough that it won’t topple over easily and hurt your kitten. These items don’t need to be expensive or extravagant, they can be as simple as a small tower with a hole or something larger like a multi-story tower that becomes a sort of kitty gymnasium.
KONG Naturals Incline Scratcher Cat ToyPioneer Pet SmartCat The Ultimate Scratching PostPetFusion Ultimate Cat Scratcher LoungeTrixie Pet Toledo Paw Print Cat CondoTRIXIE Pet Products Miguel Fold and Store Cat TowerGo Pet Club 47.5in Cat Tree with sisal rope covered postsGo Pet Club 72in Cat Tree with sisal rope covered postsTRIXIE Pet Products Baza Small Cat TreeMidwest Homes Curious Cat Cube Cat Condo
Cat toys – Cats love to play. It’s one of the best ways to help strengthen the bond between you and your pet. It’s also one of the best ways to help keep your pet fit and prevent obesity. Check toys to be sure they are safe. Toys shouldn’t have small pieces that will tear off and potentially be digested (such as plastic eyes on stuffed toys). Interactive cat toys such as fishing poles are always a favorite and really encourage your cat to exercise. You’ll want to avoid super small toys and children’s toys because they can present a choking hazard. Cat treats are a great for use during play as well as reward. Just be cautious to give a limited amount of treats as they are not a replacement for food.
SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toys Catnip MiceCat Dancer Cat Charmer Wand Teaser ToyKONG Active Dangle Feet Teaser Wand Cat ToyFashion’s Talk Cat toys Variety Pack for Kitty 20 piecesPetty Love House Cat Activity Center with Hanging Toy Balls, Mice & MorePetSafe Bolt Interactive Laser Cat ToyTEMPTATIONS SNACKY MOUSE Cat Toy for Cat TreatsTEMPTATIONS 16oz MixUps Cat TreatsPurina Friskies 20oz Party Mix Original Crunch Cat Treats
Cat Grooming supplies – There are many different types of grooming supplies. What you need will vary depending on the type of kitten you have. Grooming your kitten is another way to create and strengthen a bond with your cat. Many cats really enjoy being brushed or combed. Basic supplies you’ll need for grooming include a metal-toothed comb, a flea comb, and a bristle brush. If your cat has long hair you’ll want the metal-toothed comb to have alternating long and short teeth, as well as a slicker brush. Deshedders can be very helpful, as they remove the loose hairs before they get tangles in with the other hair and cause knots. Determine if you are going to clip your kittens nails or if your vet or groomer will be doing it. If you get your kitten used to having their nails clipped early they will be accustomed to it and less resistant and nervous about it when they’re older.
Collar and tag – Introduce your kitten to wearing a collar early. If you wait they may become resistant. The ideal cat collar offers a break away feature, which will separate and come off of the cat’s neck if he gets snagged on something. A collar is also necessary so you have a place to put a pet tag. Have a tag made with your pet’s name and your contact information, so if your kitten ever gets loose and is found it can be brought back to you.
Safari Flea Comb for CatsGoPets 2-Sided Dematting Comb2-in-1 Pet Grooming GloveChirpy Pets Slicker Brush for sheddingLi’l Pals Kitten Adjustable Breakaway Collar with Bell & Pink SkullsPawtitas Pet Glow In The Dark Cat Collar with Safety Buckle and Bell
Do you have any essential supplies for a kitten that are not on my list?