Kittens, like human babies, are susceptible to burns, cuts, poisonings and getting lost if the ‘pet parents’ aren’t vigilant about eliminating risks. Here is a short list of what you should do to prepare for the arrival of your kitten.
The Right Food and Water Container
Purchase a stainless steel water and food bowl and clean it regularly. If you have a multi-pet household, you can consider an electronic feeder that will only open for the designated pet. Dogs will eat your kitten’s food, so will your other cats. There may even be fights that break out. Use our other guide, ‘how to introduce your pets to each other‘, for more information on how to handle dinner time in the multi-pet home. Kitten diets are especially rich, so look out for bouts of stomach upset and weight gain if your other pets eat the kitten food.
Purchase Food Formulated for Kittens
Purchase a food labeled for kittens. Kittens grow rapidly and food manufactured for kittens includes the vitamins, calories and protein that they need. We recommend the Hills line of pet nutrition. Wet foods are typically more palatable, but contain less protein by volume than dry food. Kittens 8 weeks or older should eat 2 to 3 times a day. If your kitten is less than 8 weeks of age, one of our Rockland vets will recommend the right food and feeling protocol for your pet.
Purchase a Litter Box Suitable for Your Cat and Household
There is a lot on this topic. Please explore the separate handout that we’ve created on this subject.
Kitten-Proof Your Home
There is nearly no end of trouble that a curious, healthy kitten can get his or herself into. Here is a small list of things you should look out for when preparing your home for your new kitten.
- Small things that can be batted around, chewed, and carried around by your kitten in its mouth, will be. Remove them.
- Get rid of loose strings
- Be cognizant of other pets and the young human members of the family that might not be sensitive to your kitten’s needs. We have a handout on this specific topic.
- Review your entire home for access to potentially poisonous products. Your kitten should not have access to areas that house cleaning products, automotive supplies, paints, insecticides and rodenticides,
- Look at your kitchen, are there foods that are left out on a regular basis? Your cat is likely to knock things off of shelves or chew packages open. Put them in areas where you cat can’t have access.
- Be careful of warm areas…places near radiators or dryers. Kittens will naturally lay near, on, or in these areas so you must be vigilant that your cat isn’t burned or trapped.
- Limit access that your cat has to certain areas of your home. Attics and basements where cats can slip or crawl behind walls are dangerous. Cat’s that go outside are at risk for being hit by a car, accidents in general, fights with other animals, or infection by parasites. If you are planning on giving your cat access to the outside, talk to us about the protection you need to provide.
- Review this list of poisonous houseplants. Your kitten is very likely to chew on them, so if you have a poisonous plant in your house, you may have to eliminate it.