The Ultimate Kitten Shopping List
You’ll want to have certain essential supplies on hand before bringing your kitten home. That way you two will have more time to bond. Some things you’ll need to welcome your new feline friend will include:
- Cat Carrier
- Food & Water Bowls
- Litter Box
- Scratching Post
- Collar, Harness & Leash
- Grooming Supplies
When taking your kitten on the road, you’ll need to transport her in a carrier. This will keep her safe while riding in a car, and give her a sense of security. Travelling can be scary for a kitten, so make sure the carrier is roomy and well ventilated. You should also line the bottom with a towel from home to comfort her with a familiar scent. And, make sure your carrier is secure and easy to clean.
Food and Water Bowls
Your kitten has lots of energy, so select bowls that won’t tip over too easily. Some kittens are allergic to plastic, so opt for a different material like stainless steel. And make sure they’re easy to clean. You’ll want to wash her food and water bowls daily to keep things fresh.
Your kitten will need a litter box. Make sure the box is roomy to prevent her from scattering litter around the house. You’ll also need to buy cat box filler and a scoop or strainer to remove litter that’s been soiled. To protect yourself against bacteria when cleaning your kitten’s litter box, wear gloves and always wash your hands. Pregnant women should be especially careful to avoid bacteria, so letting a non-pregnant family member change the litter box is your best bet.
Most kittens will understand how to use the litter box if they spent the first few weeks of their lives with their mothers and litter-mates. You can help your kitten understand what is expected by placing her in the litter box once every hour at first. Although she may scurry out initially, praise her when she uses the box correctly. Kittens do not need a full-size litter box and might do better in one with lower sides (about 1 inch) for easy access.
Watch your kitten closely. When she begins nosing in corners or squatting, it’s time to place her in the litter box. Gently scratch her front paws in the filler. This way, she will learn to deposit and bury her waste there.
It’s important to remove her solid waste daily. You’ll also want to choose the appropriate cat box filler for your cat. Purina® brand cat box fillers are easy to clean and come in several different varieties.
If your kitten has an accident, wipe it up with a paper towel and place the paper towel in the litter box. Then place the kitten in the box and repeat the process of scratching with her front paws.
Your kitten will need a comfortable place to sleep. Choose an area that’s clean, quiet, and warm. Start out with a roomy cardboard box. Cut out a doorway and line the bottom with cushions and soft, washable material. You can try adding a piece of your clothing, to comfort her with a familiar scent. Just don’t be disappointed if she doesn’t take to her accommodations right away. Changing the bed’s location or adding an extra cushion may help her come around.
A scratching post is where your kitten will stretch her body, clean away dead scales from her nails and mark her territory (both visually and with her scent). You’ll want to get a scratching post right away and train your kitten early so she doesn’t use your furniture instead! Try to place your kitten’s bed and scratching post close together so she learns to use it when she first wakes up and needs a stretch.
Collar, Harness, and Leash
A cat harness or leash can be a great training tool for your kitten, though they’re not a must. If you’re already thinking along these lines, a harness is probably best, as kittens often dislike the feeling of a leash. Do, however, make sure your kitten always wears a collar made of lightweight material as well as an identification tag. Have her wear one early on, to get her used to the sensation.
Grooming helps keep your kitten healthy and beautiful. You’ll need both a flea comb and a brush, though the type of brush you should use depends on the texture and length of your kitten’s coat. Ask your veterinarian or groomer to recommend one that’s right for you.
Your kitten is curious and playful so she’ll need a supply of toys that are safe and fun –though they needn’t be store-bought. As long as they can’t be torn apart, splintered, or swallowed, they should be safe. So use a little imagination! Some household objects that might make great playthings include:
- Tennis balls
- Empty wooden thread spools
- Balled-up wax paper
- Cardboard toilet paper tubes
Some items you may be tempted to give your cat can cause her harm. Steer clear of giving her:
- Balls of string or yarn
- Spools of thread
- Rubber bands
- Balls of aluminum foil
- Wire twist ties