You’ve got home from visiting your soon-to-be new kitten and are full of excitement… But then you have to start thinking about what you will need and how to care for your new kitten. This guide should help you think about what you need to consider and go through the most important aspects.
Table of contents
Firstly, finding a vet is important, both for routine preventative healthcare but also in case anything happens to your new kitten. Look for a vets that is nearby and easily accessible for yourself, check the opening times are suitable for you to get appointments if needed and you can also check online at the website to give you an idea of the practice.
Another pointer would be to check the International Society of Feline Medicine to find a cat friendly clinic. These are accredited clinics that have undergone further changes to allow them to reduce stress of visiting cats to their practice further.
Consider what the kitten is already fed, as sudden changes in diet can lead to digestive upsets. We would advise a complete kitten food of good quality. And to make sure that the feeding guides on the packaging are followed to ensure healthy weight gain as it is easy to over or underfeed.
Both dry and wet kitten foods exist and either a mixture or just one is fine, with wet food in general more will need to be given due to the higher water content. Bear in mind that cats cannot make their own Taurine or Vitamin A (needed for digestion, heart and vision), so rely upon it in their food and it is derived from animal protein so a meat based diet is needed.
You may be thinking about allowing your kitten to go outside, but this is not advised until they have been neutered to prevent pregnancies and types of cancer and fighting. Always speak to your vet about timings. You also need to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations and any other preventative healthcare.
We would advise your kitten staying inside for a few weeks after neutering to ensure they have fully healed, you can then go into the garden with them when they start going out. Make sure your kitten is microchipped in case they ever go missing; it makes it easier to track you down if they are taken to a veterinary practice.
Make sure you have one more litter tray than the number of kittens/cats in your house and try to buy different styles as every cat has a different preference, perhaps open or enclosed or low lipped. The same goes for the cat litter you use, but stick with what they are used to initially. Make sure you clean out the litter tray regularly.
Kittens require a course of vaccinations, which consists of two injections a few weeks apart. Make sure your kitten is fully vaccinated. If you are unsure, contact your vets for more advice. Make sure your kitten is up to date with appropriate flea and worming treatment. If this has been done by the breeder, check what products were used and the dates given, this will allow your vet to plan appropriate treatments going forward. Neutering is important to prevent pregnancies and also some types of cancer and reduce the likelihood of fighting in male cats.
Kittens love to play and it is important for their socialisation. Using age appropriate toys and games to help them learn will be great fun for you both. Don’t allow them to play with anything small enough that they could swallow and make sure they do not have any access to anything toxic.
Finally if you have any questions regarding your new kitten call your vets for advice, they can help with advice from choosing a kitten to healthcare and more!