Good Tips on Caring for your New Kitten


Bringing home a new kitten is truly one of life’s joys. Thoughtful pre-kitten preparations and a well-planned first 24 hours can give your fuzzy bundle of promise a head start and make your dreams of the perfect family kitten come true. Here’s some tips on managing your new kitten:

  1. Spay or neuter your kitten. This reduces the chances of cancer of the reproductive organs, solves many behavioral issues that develop, and it’s recommended to pet owners who do not plan on breeding their cats. Spaying or neutering will decrease your pet’s metabolism, so you’ll feed on the low end of your pet food’s recommendations.

  2. Provide your kitten a collar with ID tags and discuss applying a HomeAgain microchip to your pet. You can’t guarantee that your kitten won’t ever get out of your house or yard, whether by accident, during a natural disaster, or by theft. His ID tags and microchip could be his only chance of returning home to you. We prefer to schedule this procedure during your kitten’s spay or neuter procedure.

  3. Take him to us for a complete physical. Kittens need vaccinations every 4-5 weeks until they’re 16 weeks of age, starting at six weeks of age (three rounds of immunizations if started at six weeks of age). Furthermore, kittens should be dewormed every two weeks from two weeks of age until eight weeks of age. Sometimes these dewormings don’t happen, and we’ll recommend additional dewormings.

  4. Discuss your kitten’s diet with your veterinarian, as it can vary by size and breed. Studies show over 60% of inside cats are overweight, and feline obesity can lead to serious health issues. Table scraps are a no-no and could be dangerous for your kitten, so stick to your veterinarian’s recommendation. Please pay attention to your kitten’s body condition score throughout his or her lifetime.

  5. Litter training can be an easy process if done right. A kitten should be placed into a large litterbox with clumping litter. Do this as soon as your kitten comes home. A young kitten learns to use the litterbox around 4-5 weeks, even without witnessing the mother do it. Furthermore, when your kitten is learning to use the litterbox, leave a tiny bit of urine or feces behind in the box, so the scent will remind her what the box is for. As soon as she is using the box reliably (and this could be as quick as a day or two) remove all liquid and solid waste regularly. Scoop out solid material once or twice a day, and stir the litter to keep the surface dry.

  6. Hiding spots and other tools reduce anxiety and provide your new kitten with a secure, safe area where he or she can retreat. Hiding spots can be large climbing posts or plenty of space under your bed. Even social kittens need a safe place to retreat…and especially when there are dogs in the house. Furthermore, make sure you play with your kitten several times a day. Lasers and string toys work great. But never ever let your cat munch on a string.

  7. Kitten proofing is very similar to baby proofing—keep your kitten away from anything that could potentially hurt him. Purchase electrical cord protectors from your local hardware store. Remove poisonous plants and toxins.