Getting Your Home Ready for a New Kitten
Veterinarian Reviewed on January 15, 2009 by Dr. Janice Huntingford
Before you bring home your kitten there are a few preparations to be made. Hopefully you’re already prepared for litter box training and you’ve met with local veterinarians and chosen somebody to care for your new pet. Still, there are a few other arrangements that need to be made in order to provide a safe and stimulating environment for your kitten.
A Trip to the Pet Store
In order to be ready for your new kitten you need to make a trip to the pet store. The following is a comprehensive list of items you should already have before you bring your kitten home.
1. A feeding dish and water bowl. A cat has got to eat, right? When choosing a feeding dish and water bowl, plastic or aluminum work best because they tend to be cheap and durable. While it is acceptable to share a water dish among pets this is not recommended for the feeding dish.
2. A collar and name tag. While most cat owners prefer to keep their cats inside, there is still a chance of your kitten escaping. Pet stores will often make personalized name tags so that your kitten can be easily identified by neighbors.
3. A cat carrier. You absolutely must have a cat carrier. You want to choose a durable carrier that can be used for trips to the veterinarian or even longer road trips. At first, it is good to train your kitten to sleep in the carrier so that it will not feel stress in the future when you try to take a car trip.
4. A cat bed. While not entirely necessary, a comfortable cat bed tucked away in a corner is great for your cat.
5. A scratching post. De-clawing cats has become a controversial issue of late. Many owners want to protect their furniture and carpets from scratching and therefore choose to have their cats de-clawed. However, this leaves your cat defenseless and can lead to some unwanted aggressive behavior. Instead, purchase a scratching post so your cat will not scratch your furniture.
6. A litter box. This is probably the most obvious preparation for a new kitten, next to a feeding dish. A larger litter box that can accommodate 3 or 4 inches of litter is best for older cats but for your kitten you should start with a smaller box. As they get older you exchange the small litter box for a bigger one. Also, you should put the litter box away from food and water and in an area with little traffic.
7. Some kitty toys. There are some great interactive kitty toys that will keep you and your kitten entertained for hours. Also, you should be able to find some toys that your kitten can play with alone. Like children, kittens need stimulus to encourage their development and toys can be a great learning tool.
Once you have made these few purchases you should be ready to introduce a kitten into your home. Be sure to give the kitten plenty of time to adjust to its new home and allow it to explore its new environment.
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for 28 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan