To provide your new kitten with a safe, happy and healthy home, there are things you should prepare in advance. Here’s our guide to the 10 things you must do before the arrival of your new kitten.
Bringing a kitten home can be a wonderful and joyous experience, but if you’re unprepared, it can be overwhelming. A kitten can be just like a baby, as they need lots of attention and consideration of their every need. Your kitten depends on you so here’s how you should prepare your home for a new pet.
1. Remove dangerous objects
Your kitten is a curious little creature that will want to play and explore – this is natural and should be encouraged. Your job is to make sure there aren’t any dangerous items that could cause harm, such as lilies and other plants which are toxic to cats, and cords, string and hair elastics that your kitten could get tangled up in or even chew through.
2. Store chemicals securely
Kittens really are like newborn babies in a lot of ways, but one main difference is that they become mobile at an earlier age. Make sure you store any dangerous chemicals such as bleach or floor cleaner out of their reach, as their curiosity can easily get them into trouble.
3. A comfortable bed to snuggle in
Kittens spend a lot of time sleeping, up to 16 hours a day on average. All this rest helps with growth and development. Starting from their very first night, your kitten will need a lot of rest in order to grow into a healthy cat, so before bringing your kitten home it’s essential that you choose a comfortable bed they can snuggle in that’s warm, cosy, and safe.
4. Lots of toys
There are two things that kittens do really well – sleep and play. We know the need for a comfortable bed, but kittens also require lots of toys to play with. Kittens are extremely active, so have a variety of toys on hand to keep yours entertained.
5. Make sure your kids are ready
If you have young children, it’s really important to explain the need to be gentle with the new kitten. Children will want to snuggle and play, but at first this has to be supervised as your kitten needs a lot of rest and may feel overwhelmed. Have your kids involved from the beginning by allowing them to help pick their new pet’s name, and establish ground rules for interaction before bringing your kitten home.
6. Find a good litter tray and litter
Litter is an essential on the kitten checklist and it’s best that you find litter and a tray that your kitten is comfortable with sooner rather than later, so they can start toilet training. Most kittens like having the choice of two litter trays to do their business. There’s lots of opinions when it comes to which is the best litter. You may need to trial a number of litters before you find the best one for your kitten. Try our Cat Litter Finder to match with the litter that best suits you and your pet.
7. Don’t forget the food and treats
It may seem obvious, but before bringing a kitten home make sure you’re well stocked with kitten food and treats. Look for food that’s specially formulated for kittens, and if you’re not sure what’s best, just ask your local Petbarn team member or try our Food Finder tool. There are different formulations of cat food depending on your pet’s age and stage of life. Treats are also important, as you can use them to reward your kitten and encourage certain behaviours, especially when training.
8. A scratching post is a must
If there’s one thing that kittens love to do almost as much as sleep and play, it has to be scratching. It’s a natural behaviour so you don’t want to discourage it, but you don’t want your furniture ripped apart either. Have a scratching post in place from day one and make sure your kitten knows that it’s okay to scratch away on it.
9. Be ready for accidents
Kittens may be very clean pets, but they’re bound to have the odd accident just like any other pet, so it’s best to be prepared. Have clean up and odour control products on hand that are pet friendly, as you don’t want to inadvertently poison your kitten.
10. Last but not least, get yourself a sturdy carrier
Before bringing a new kitten home, get your hands on a good quality cat carrier to make transport easier. It’s essential to get your kitten used to travelling in a carrier inside the car when they’re young. You will need regular vet trips, especially in the early stages, and you want to ensure your kitten is comfortable with the experience.
Preparing your home for a new kitten is an exciting experience and checking off all the essential items above will help you make sure your kitten receives the care they deserve. Head to your local Petbarn store for a full range of kitten products, or shop online for a selected range of great kitten products.