Deciding to make the move and adopt a brand new furry friend is always a big decision. The arrival of your new family member will bring a whole host of responsibilities, and it’s never more important to be sure you are making the right decision than when you are choosing to welcome a kitten into your home.
Kittens require a lot of love, care and attention as they adjust to their new surroundings in your home. Our new kitten checklist is the perfect companion to help you welcome your adorable new feline friend into their forever home, making sure that the transition process goes as smoothly as possible.
From cat ID tags to specialist kitten food and much more besides, discover everything you need with our handy checklist. Make sure that you are fully prepared for any eventuality and ensure that you have everything you need ready for the arrival of your gorgeous new kitten!
- Kitten food. Depending on the age of the cat or kitten you are adopting, you may need to feed him or her some special food tailored to kittens until they grow older. As a general rule of thumb, most cats should be fed kitten food up until one year of age, with the exception of some larger breed cats like Maine Coons. We would advise consulting with your vet, the breeder or adoption centre before you pick up your cat, to ensure you are feeding them the best food for them. Similarly, it may be an idea to try some different brands and flavours in order to pick one that your kitten enjoys
- Food and water bowls. Separate food and water bowls are a must, as your kitten should always have access to clean, fresh drinking water throughout the day and night. It’s advisable to go for sturdier, more durable bowls where possible as these will prove to be much more difficult for your cat to move around the floor!
- A comfy bed. Every cat deserves somewhere cosy to catch a cat-nap! There are numerous different types of cat beds available on the market, so there are plenty of choices when it comes to finding the perfect snoozing spot! However, it’s important to remember that some cats prefer to find their own napping places, so don’t be disappointed if your kitten snubs the plush new bed you’ve bought them in favour of a cardboard box!
- Blankets. Soft, cosy blankets can instantly transform any space into a kitten-friendly napping spot! If your kitten is a little shy, try taking blankets from their bed (these should carry their scent after a while) and placing them in quieter areas around the home. This should help your kitten to explore their new home, safe in the knowledge that they have comforting, familiar places to run to if they get startled
- Cat ID tags. Although kittens shouldn’t be allowed outside until they have completed their course of vaccinations (and sometimes for longer after that, depending on the specific cat and any veterinary guidance), it’s important to make sure that you are prepared for when the time comes. Similarly, getting your kitten used to wearing a collar early on is a great way to avoid issues in the future. Invest in a kitten collar and cat ID tags – after all, the last thing you want is for your kitten to get lost on their first foray into the outside world!
- Cat carrier. Essential for safe travel and those vital trips to the vet, make sure to get a secure carrier with enough space to accommodate your cat as he or she grows
- Scratching post. Allow your cat the pleasure of sharpening his or her claws – and save your furniture from being torn to shreds in the process! As well as being fun, scratching posts can also keep your cat’s claws at a manageable length, helping them stay happy and healthy
- Plenty of toys! Most kittens love to play! Before you bring your new kitten home, make sure that you invest in a variety of kitten-safe toys and allow your furry friend plenty of playtime! By providing a variety of different toys (balls, cuddly toys, cat teasers, squeaking toys, etc), you will be allowing your kitten the freedom to pick which toys they prefer. Just remember that some toys may not be suitable for your kitten until they are older, so make sure to keep them safe
Health and Hygiene
- Litter tray, cat litter, and scoop. Perhaps not the most exciting thing to keep in mind, but a litter tray is a must unless you want the hassle of cleaning up the mess all over your floor! Depending on the age of the kitten you are adopting, it’s worth bearing in mind that you may need to work on their training to encourage them to use the litter tray. If this is the case, be prepared for a few little accidents until your kitten is comfortable using the litter tray
- Healthcare. The importance of regular veterinary check-ups should not be overlooked; neither should kitten vaccinations. Make sure that your kitten is booked in with your local vet to ensure that they stay happy and healthy, and never miss an appointment – your cat’s health should always be a priority
- Grooming tools. Most cats love being groomed, and your kitten will probably thank you for all the extra attention they are getting when you are grooming them! The regularity of grooming required will largely depend on your cat’s breed – if in doubt, consult your vet, breeder or adoption centre
While our new kitten checklist will ensure that you have all the essentials sorted, it’s only natural that you will acquire more and more pet products over time. Of course, every kitten is different, and as your cat grows and develops his or her own unique personality over time, you might find that they prefer certain toys, treats or sleeping spots over others. There are countless pet products out there, so make sure that you are choosing good-quality ones that suit your kitten.
If you still haven’t decided whether a kitten is the right choice for you, why not check out our new puppy checklist and see if a playful pup would make a better fit for you?