New Cat or Kitten Parent? Congratulations!
Here’s What You’ll Need…
So you have a new furry friend, congratulations! Kittens and cats bring so much joy to us, and with the right love and care, we can help them live long, healthy, happy lives.
Before you bring your new friend home (or very shortly after!) we have some recommendations on what you will need to make the transition go as smoothly as it can for everyone.
What You’ll Need
It’s best not to leave it to the last minute to get all the supplies you’ll need to make your kitty feel at home – you don’t want to bring them into the house and sudden realize you forgot to buy something important!
Getting these supplies ahead of time will make sure that your first day with your new cat is full of excitement, not stress.
Here are the essentials you’ll need:
- Litterbox and Litter: Cats need at least one litterbox per cat, so if you’re bringing home two new kitties, make sure you get at least two litter boxes! Get some non-scented, clumping litter to fill them with. Make sure to try to clean the litter each time it is used, over the first few weeks at least.
- Food: You can feed some dry food, which can be left out for eating during the day. You also need to provide canned food with water mixed in to create a ‘soup’ that increases the amount of water your cat drinks. This alone is very helpful in preventing future urine bladder problems. Talk to us about the best nutrition for your new cat or kitten! The foods we provide at Clarkson Village Animal Hospital are made to provide optimal growth and to help prevent common medical problems.
- Food Bowl: Most cats prefer a flat food surface, so don’t choose a bowl that is too deep and round. If you want, you can just use a bowl you have at home already, but you may want to get a dedicated food dish for your cat. If you are buying a new one, we recommend staying away from plastic bowls, as some cats can get a chin rash from plastic.
- Food-Dispensing Toys: These are great products for mental stimulation and activity, providing environmental and behavioural enrichment for your new kitty! This is especially important for indoor cats. We recommend The Kong Wobbler for Cats or the Pipolino Dry Food Distributor for Cats – Tricolour.
- Water Bowl: The same that applies to your cat’s food bowl can also apply to their water bowl. On top of that, cats prefer fresh, running water to drink from. If you want, you can get a pet drinking fountain or automatic water dispenser to make your kitty especially happy. Try to provide water that has been in an open container in the fridge, for cool water and less chlorine taste.
- Toys: You’ll definitely want to get some toys for your new kitty. Cats love to play, especially kittens! Play helps you bond with your cat, and provides exercise and indoor enrichment at the same time. Every cat will have a preference for certain types of toys, so experiment with different options to see what your kitty likes – we find that dangling string toys and catnip mice tend to be big hits!
- Scratching Post: Cats need a scratching post to satisfy their instinct to scratch. If you don’t provide one, they will find something else to use! The best scratching posts are tall enough to let your cat fully stretch out their entire body while they scratch. You can even get some cat climbing furniture that will function as a scratching post, sleeping spot, and playground.
Cat and kittens are, generally, not difficult to house train.
When you first bring your cat into the house, place them in or near the litterbox so they will know where it is. You can do this several times throughout their first day, until you feel confident they’ll know where to go. Your cat should begin to use the litterbox on their own.
The best set-up for the litterbox, to make your cat feel the most comfortable, is in a quiet place, away from the hustle and bustle of people. It should also not be near a washing machine, furnace, or anything that may create unexpected noises. You should also not use a litterbox with a lid, as most cats don’t like doing their business in the enclosed space.
Cat-Proofing Your Home
Once your new cat or kitten gets used to their new home, you will find that they have a boundless curiosity for anything and everything!
Before you bring them home, look around your house for anything that might harm an inquisitive cat looking for a new toy.
Here are a few things in particular to be aware of:
- Cords on blinds
- Electrical cords
- Toxic plants (here is a list of some plants that are toxic to cats)
It can help to bring yourself down to floor level, and look around from the cat’s-eye-view. From here, you might notice a few things you missed on your first go-around. Make a list of everything you see, and get to work keeping hazards out of your new cat’s eager paws.
Cat Wellness Recommendations
Hopefully your new family member is settling in and making lots of friends at your home! It’s time to think about the best things you can do to promote ongoing wellness for your cat or kitten.
Download our PDF guide for advice on transporting your nervous cat to the vet.
We recommend visiting the Indoor Pet Initiative for more information on creating a stress-free environment for your kitty! Click here.
It’s our responsibility as pet owners to make sure our pets get the care they need, since they can’t do it for themselves.
Here are a few resources explaining some cat wellness essentials, depending on the life-stage of your new cat: