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New Kitten Checklist: The Ultimate Shopping Guide

Kittens

A cute, inquisitive kitten might very well be the most adorable thing on four furry legs. But this tiny fuzzball comes with big needs. Therefore, if you’re adding a kitten to your family, use this list to make sure you have everything you need to make your new addition safe, comfortable, and happy.

Feeding and Nutrition for Your New Kitten

Give your cat the very best life with a nutritious diet, clean dishes, and tasty treats.

1. Food and Water Bowls

A good set of high-quality food and water bowls is a must for your new pet. Since your kitten is tiny, you’ll want to find small bowls that sit low to the ground so your pet can reach them. Use a non-tip, skid-proof bowl so you won’t have to worry about cleaning up spills and messes.

Another option is to use the EXPRESS Neater Feeder and opt for the small size with shallow bowls to make it easy for your kitty to enjoy their meal. If your kitten’s very small, you could remove the bowls from the feeder and place them on the Neater Mat. Then put them back in the Neater Feeder once your kitty gets a bit bigger.

2. Cat Food

The choices of cat food are pretty much endless. If you’re unsure which one to choose, discuss some good options with your vet based on your cat’s breed, size, etc. It’s important to find a food your cat likes, but also one that gives them the nutrients they need to grow and develop healthily.

3. Kitty Treats

Undoubtedly, there will be plenty of times when you want to reward your new pet, even if it’s just for being so darn cute. Look for treats developed specifically for kittens. Kitten treats are appropriately sized for little mouths. Some treats, like Greenies Smartbites, help clean your cat’s teeth and prevent bad breath.

Kittens on a cat tree

Training, Behavior, and Play

Keep things fun, safe, and clean with essentials like litter supplies, cat toys, and scratching boards.

1. Litter Box and Litter Supplies

A litter box and good litter scoop, like the Neater Scooper, make it a breeze to clean up after your kitten. Other items, like a litter mat, keep things nice and tidy and prevent your cat from tracking litter onto your floor.

2. Cat Toys

Toys are valuable for pets. They provide exercise, mental stimulation, help pets develop muscles, and sharpen skills like coordination, balance, and cognitive abilities. Get designated kitten toys and always supervise your young pet when they’re playing.

3. Scratching Posts and Pads

Unless you want your inquisitive kitty testing out their claws on your furniture and clothes, get a scratching pad or post. Some scratchboards and pads come with catnip. Although it’s okay to give your kitten catnip, it’s worth noting that some cats don’t react to catnip when they’re under 6 months old. (Although, every cat is different.)

4. Climbing Options

Depending on your kitten’s age, they may or may not climb right away. But you can bet that as soon as they’re able, they’ll want to climb, explore, and jump. A cat tree or condo provides a safe source of exercise and stimulation. If you’re short on space, consider climbing shelves that mount on the wall.

5. Training Treats

If you plan to do training sessions with your kitten, some good training treats are a must. Providing treats is a great way to establish positive reinforcement and reward your pet for desired behaviors.

Health and Grooming

Cats do a good job of taking care of themselves and keeping clean, but it’s always important to lend them a helping hand.

1. Grooming Brushes

A self-cleaning slicker brush keeps your cat’s coat smooth, clean, and healthy. If your cat sheds, a de-shedding tool is another item to add to your grooming arsenal. Make sure to get brushes and combs that work with your cat’s fur type and length.

2. Shampoo and Pet Wipes

A cat shampoo is a good addition to your grooming supplies if you plan to bathe your cat. At the very least, pet wipes or a waterless shampoo can help keep your kitty clean.

3. Heartworm and Flea Prevention

Talk to your vet about what types of flea prevention and heartworm medication are best for your kitten. Then, start them on it as soon as possible, and adhere to the correct dosage and schedule for the medication.

A Kitten-Friendly Home and Lifestyle

Keep your cat safe and cozy at home and on the go with these must-have items.

1. Cat Bed

Pamper your kitten with a cozy cat bed that gives them a comfortable, safe place to rest. There are lots of styles and colors to choose from, so you may need to try out a few to find the one your cat loves.

2. Catio

Okay, so you may not have to incorporate a catio into your space, but even a simple window perch is a welcome addition for indoor cats. These places provide an excellent way for cats to enjoy the outdoors without getting lost or injured.

3. Cat Carrier

Keep your cat safe on the go, whether for a quick trip to the vet, a stroll outside, or on a plane. Find a comfy cat carrier that allows your cat to feel secure but stand and turn freely.

4. Collar and ID Tag

A secure cat-safe breakaway collar and ID tag could make a big difference if your precious pet gets out. It’s also wise to get your cat chipped in case they get outside and their collar catches on a branch or fence and comes off.

5. Stain and Odor Removers

Stock up on supplies to clean pet messes, including things to help eliminate pesky pet stains and odors. Avoid products that contain ammonia. The scent confuses cats because it resembles the smell of their urine.

6. Pet Hair Remover

Whether your new cat sheds a lot or you have a low-shedding cat breed, pet hair is inevitable. A way to tackle stubborn fur is a must for any pet parent. Try the FurDozer to keep multiple surfaces free of pet hair.

Kitten in window

What Should You Do Before Bringing a New Kitten Home?

In addition to the supplies your new kitten needs, there are also some important to-do's to add to the list.

1. Vet Care

Set an appointment with your veterinarian of choice so you can establish a well-visit for your new kitten. If you don’t have a vet, get recommendations from friends or family and meet with a few before getting your pet.

At the first checkup, your vet will run basic tests and lab work to ensure everything is okay and make sure your kitten has all necessary vaccinations. Your vet can also guide you on important topics regarding diet, exercise needs, and heartworm and flea prevention.

2. Know the Neighborhood from a Pet’s Point of View

Familiarize yourself with the nearest animal emergency clinic, after-hours hospital, etc. Locate nearby pet stores, groomers, and boarding facilities. 

Ask friends and family for their recommendations or read reviews to have a list of favorites. Gathering all of this information before you need it makes things go much more smoothly.

3. Kitten-Proof Your House and Set Up Your Pet’s Space

Don’t wait until your kitten comes home to set everything up that they need. Instead, take the time before bringing home your new furball to pet-proof your place and set up a safe, cozy zone for your cat.

Welcome Home, Kitty

Bringing home a kitten should be fun and exciting. But if you don’t prepare properly, you could face unnecessary hassles and headaches. Therefore, use this list to get organized and ready for your new bundle of furry joy. And don’t forget to check out the Neater Pets blog for more helpful tips on creating a happy life for your pet.

 

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