Taking care of kittens is a lot of fun! They are balls of fluffy energy, always ready to go.
They play hard, sleep deep, eat and start over. It's a great idea to get the home ready before introducing a new kitten.
Many cats and kittens love to play in water, so consider a heavy-duty water dish. We ended up with a dish suited for a large dog. It was the only one the kittens couldn't flip!
For his best health, find a high-quality dry kitten food. You'll also need to purchase some of the food he is used to.
If you're switching, wait a few days and then start mixing the new food in, a little more each time until your kitten is completely on the new food. Also, only give your kitty good quality water that you would drink.
Even if you already have cats, get a new litter box. Your kitten will be in a separate area at first and he'll need his own litter box.
Even after this time, you'll need at least one cat litter box per cat. Some people like the automatic cat litter box style.
You don't want to disturb good litter habits! Make sure that whatever you get is what the kitten wants to use. Our page on Cat Litter Boxes shares the best ones available today.
Get the good stuff. Good litter box habits are so important!
Most cats and kittens prefer the clumping kind, and do not appreciate a change from their favorite. It is much easier to clean and maintain, as well. Kittens have special needs when it comes to cat litter, so take some time to read about it: Cat Litter Box Care.
It's a good idea to leave this out in the kittens area for a while, with a blanket or towel in it. He'll go in and out of it. It will be his hideout, and safety zone at first. Make sure it doesn't get bumped or moved for a while, until he becomes secure at home.
You'll want to check out the combs and brushes. A long haired kitten will need a good brush. And get some high-quality kitten shampoo. Even if you don't think you'll need it, things happen and kittens get dirty. It's a great idea to start this habit early.
This really is a must have. Fleas will eventually find their way in to your home. And without proper Pet Flea Products they will multiply before you realize it.
Taking care of kittens means safeguarding them from fleas and ticks. It is a huge job to get rid of them. Best to avoid them entirely!
This is actually optional. You could use things around the home to fill this need. Just make sure that whether you buy one or not, you have a nice snuggly place for kitty to hang out.
Kittens come pre-wired for play! There's no doubt about it, you need toys, maybe lots of them. And the ultimate toy is a cat tree (mentioned below).
Kittens love the pole and string style toys. It is great for hours of interactive playtime. Before getting the most expensive ones, remember kitty will be rough and there is a good chance you'll be replacing toys soon.
Other great options are toy mice and catnip. Try to find good quality catnip and make sure it won't break open too easily. Coming soon, a whole section on Cat Playtime, including homemade cat toy ideas! Taking care of kittens is definitely lots of fun!
Visit our page on the best cat toys to see whats hot right now.
The things below are not really needed yet for taking care of kittens, but you might want them at some point.
Cats love to be up high. A cat tower, or cat condo is a great thing to have if you have the space for one. You certainly don't need one, but you can expect the kitten to find other ways to get up high. Think tall furniture.
Your kitten will scratch. There's no way around it. They have an instinct that tells them to sharpen their claws. If you have some extra wood around, great. Rub a little catnip on it, and your kitten should go to it.
If you get a cat scratching post you won't regret it!
These are great for allowing your kitten access throughout the house without always having to open the door for him. Many owners find them really convenient.
This is really fun, especially for indoor cats. you can even grow your own cat grass or catnip, for an ongoing supply.
Any cat will live a long and fulfilling life indoors. That said, they do love to be out in the fresh air! We have a cat who will risk life and limb by trying to escape whenever a door opens!
A cat fence or cat cages are a nice compromise for some families. The cat is safe, and happy to be outside. Another option is a leash. Some cats do well with this, especially when you start young. Always supervise, of course.
For special occasions, since the kittens' system is used to only one food. Too many treats will cause an upset stomach.
Taking care of kittens is fun and rewarding. It's so exciting to add a new member to the family. Enjoy!