Congratulations! If you're reading this, you're most likely the owner of a new baby kitten! Or, maybe you're just starting to consider it! Bringing home a new kitten is an exciting time, but it also comes with responsibilities. Here, we're going to share with you our top tips for new kitten owners.
Kitten-Proof Your Home
If you haven't done so already, make sure to 'kitten-proof' your home - just like you would with a child! Take a walk through your home and remove dangerous things such as electrical cords, exposed outlets or hazardous cleaning products. Even stuff like toxic plants, pesticides and hanging cords or string need to go!
You can read more about which plants are poisonous to your kitty here.
Kitten's Vet Check-Up
It's important to schedule a visit with your veterinarian, who will check your kitten for parasites, infections, and other medical issues. Depending on your new kitten's age, vaccinations, de-worming and flea and tick preventive medications may be required.
Two Kittens Are Better Than One
If you have one new kitten already - why not two? Yeah, we said it! Having two kittens comes with a lot of pros. They will self-train in litter box skills, help each other burn off energy, grow up better socialized and keep each other company when you're out. Additionally, if you adopt from a shelter, you'll save not just one life but two. Did we mention that having two kittens is that much more fun?
Buy Quality Kitten Food
Nutrition has a big part to play when it comes to our pet's health and happiness. Do your research and buy the best quality kitten food you can afford. If you're planning to feed your new kitten wet food, make sure you vary the type of food you serve. Did you know cats are very sensitive to texture? Switching up wet food textures and flavours early in their life will help prevent picky eating later on.
Keep Your Cat Hydrated
Cats aren't naturally big water drinkers. Because of this, issues like urinary tract infections can become frequent later on. Try to encourage your kitty to stay hydrated by providing lots of freshwater throughout the day. A kitty water fountain is a great solution to keep water flowing into their bowl throughout the day, and it looks pretty fancy too.
Buy a Litter Box
It's important to purchase a good-sized litter box and good quality litter. There are many types of litter such as clay, silica and even recycled newspapers. To find the perfect one for your kitty, consult with a veterinarian or even a cat shelter. Place your kitty's litter box away from noisy and high traffic areas of the house to avoid elimination accidents. Most kittens will gravitate naturally towards the litter box. If you have a multi-level home, be sure to have a litter box on each floor until your kitty is older. Kittens have a tiny bladder, and they're bound to have accidents.
Invest in a Scratching Post
One of the most frustrating things for first-time kitten owners is that kittens love to scratch whatever they can get their paws on! Uh-oh! Therefore, invest in at least one scratching post. For the energetic types, scratching posts with hanging items to play with will help kittens be enticed to use it. Additionally, scratching is a great exercise, an excellent way to reduce overall stress and avoid cat boredom.
Choose the Perfect Bed For Your Kitten
Get creative and create the perfect cozy nook for your new little friend! With plenty of options to choose from, your kitty will thank you for having their little haven. Sometimes, even several beds around the home can be a good idea. Having options is always a good thing. Your kitty can choose whether they want to count sheep (or, in this case, mice) on the sunny windowsill or in front of the warm fireplace.
Find The Perfect Toys
Are you looking to keep your new furry feline entertained? It's a good idea to invest in good quality kitten toys that don't contain small pieces. Kittens can quickly ingest the string, and with the way that their tongues are designed, they can't spit it out. Remember, never leave toys with strings unattended. Try to avoid toys like this at all costs!
Get Your Kitten Comfortable with Grooming
There's going to come a time where your little furry friend will need grooming! Therefore, it's best to introduce grooming habits early on to encourage acceptance and comfort. A brush for grooming, a pet toothbrush, toothpaste, and nail clippers are all important tools to purchase. When you're grooming your kitten or when they're relaxing on your lap, rub their paws with your fingers to get them used to you touching them. This will make trimming their claws much easier since they'll be used to your touch and constant handling.
Get Your Kitten into a Routine
Routines aren't just amazing for humans - they're amazing for kitties too! Establish a routine for your kitten early on for feeding, playtime and bedtime. Cats are nocturnal creatures, so sticking to a routine early can save you some sleepless nights when your kitten decides it's playtime.
Get Your Kitten Socialized
Yes, kittens need socialization too! Socializing with both people and pets is vital for your kitty so they can enjoy different kinds of contact. Be sure to expose them not only to friendly adults but gentle children who understand how to handle them with care. Additionally, other pets in the house must be introduced slowly and at their timing.
Raising your new kitten is an exciting time. Remember, there will be challenges, but that's what makes it that much more fun. If you stumble along the way, don't worry. There are many resources available online, including local rescue groups. Enjoy your new fur baby, keep them safe, and they'll be a part of your family for many, many years to come!