Welcoming your kitten home!
Welcoming a new kitten into the family is extremely exciting for all involved and we are here to help you in your exciting new journey.
Your kitten checklist:
A new cat bed
Kittens will change where they sleep quite frequently so you may need more than one.
Food and water bowls
The general rule of thumb is to get one bowl per cat in the household, plus one extra.
As with food and water bowls, it is great to have one per kitten/cat, plus an extra one. Even if your cat is going to be outdoors, your kitten will thank you for having an inside bathroom.
Plenty of toys
You can pick up plenty of different toys from your local pet shop. It is important to actively play with kittens, throwing balls and engaging their instincts.
Scratching posts and cat trees
Scratching post and spaces to climb encourage exercise and entertainment.
Buy a nice stable carrier, trying to choose one that your kitten can fit in when they are fully grown.
There are grooming brushes designed for the type of fur your cat has. Long haired cats need grooming every day to stop the formation of knots.
Giving your kitten a blanket they can get used to can help reduce anxieties on short journeys, such as to the vets or for when you leave the house.
Pet insurance is an important safety net to help protect you against unexpected costs related to your pet. There are various levels of pet insurance cover to choose from across different pet insurance companies. There are lots of resources out there to help you choose the right insurance.
Socialising your kitten:
Socialising kittens is really important to help build their confidence and to gradually introduce them to new experiences. New sounds like hair dryers and washing machines, can be a scary experience for kittens, so it's key to introduce these sounds slowly. Gently accustom your kitten to being picked up and stroked, always move slowly and use a soft voice when talking to them.
If you are introducing them to another family member, another cat, a dog or a child, it's essential to start slowly with short bursts, always be around for these first introductions and never leave them unattended. Older cats can take a little while to get used to new family members, so allow them to have their own space and don’t force an interaction, they will come around eventually.
For the first week it is advisable to us the same food they were in their previous home. After that though, it’s time to switch to KatKin, for their best health. Our 100% fresh-cooked meat meals are complete and balanced, and rich in all the nutrients your kitten needs to grow up healthy and strong. Plus, it’s right for adult cats too, so it’s the perfect food to stay by their side lifelong. Find out more about why fresh is best for kittens here. Once your KatKin food arrives you can follow our detailed guide to help you and your cat make the switch, but here are the highlights:
Start by removing all other food and treats, and for the first 24 hours, only feed KatKin. Start with Cluck! – or if your kitten can’t have chicken, start with whichever recipe is closest to what they currently eat.
Make sure you warm it up first with 15 seconds in the microwave or 2 tbsps of hot water mixed in. Then, add plenty of our 100% meat Sprinkles.
If they don’t eat in the first 24 hours, reintroduce their old food with KatKin on the side, and keep doing this until they familiarise and start eating KatKin. Now, you can start to reduce their old food, until eventually they’re eating only KatKin.
Using the litter tray:
Kittens are little copycats and often learn by watching others, this even applies when using the bathroom. They learn how to use litter trays by watching their siblings or mother do it first. If you are litter training your kitten, place them in the litter tray and gently scratch the litter with their front paw. Do this a couple of times a day. Ensure the litter tray is kept somewhere that is quiet, away from where they eat, is always accessible and is always clean.
Visiting the vet:
Your kitten may have already had one of their vaccines already. Second vaccines are usually due 3-4 weeks following their first one, and this might be the perfect opportunity for your kittens first visit to the vets. If your kitten has had both of their vaccinations already, after a few days of settling in, booking them in for a health check is a good idea.
Make sure you take your kitten to the vet's in a cat carrier. Often kittens do not enjoy getting into a carrier, so a tip from us is to place the carrier open in a commonly used space a couple of days before you are going to let them get used to it. Make the carrier a positive experience by treating them when near it, or playing with them in or around it.
Your kitten will need regular flea and worming treatment and there are lots of options on the market, discuss these options with your vet.
If you follow all of this advice, you're ready! Comment below with your experiences with kittens and anything you wish you'd known before getting one.