Having a new kitten is always exciting and can bring joy to any household: Kittens are full of fun energy and will keep you on your toes. After adopting or finding the perfect kitten for you, be sure to have all the necessities before bringing them home.
Before bringing your kitten home, try to proof the house. Any cords or dangerous items should be kept out of reach. If they chew on something plugged in, they could get electrocuted. Also, keep anything breakable away from the edge of a table. As much as they play, kittens crash just as often. An hour of fun can put a kitten to sleep for twice as long so have lots of places around the house where your cat can take a nap. Throw blankets, pillows and even their own pet bed will be cozy enough.
On top of keeping your kitten comfortable, be sure they’re getting everything they need. For the first few months, your kitten will seem to always be growing and it’s important they’re getting all the nutrients that they need. Kittens normally aren’t too picky about what they eat, but they should eat twice a day. Consider a kitten formula and try to switch between wet and dry food. Or, find a natural or organic cat food to try; gluten or grain-free formulas may also do the trick. Those types of foods will keep your kitten hydrated and provide a balanced diet. If you notice your kitten is having diarrhea or vomiting, take a look at the ingredients in their food. Also, remember to always keep a bowl of water out and change it daily.
A healthy kitten is a happy one, and they’ll let you know when they are. Kittens are always ready to play and sometimes don’t think before they act. Don’t get upset when they start biting at your hands or legs, remember that kittens are just being playful. Keep lots of toys around to replace things they shouldn’t be biting for when they start. That will help them learn not to get rough with you.
There’s no need to go out and spend every penny on toys, though; everyday items can be a cat’s best friend. Do you have an old eye mask laying around? Cut the end of one string connected to the mask and you have a new toy for your kitten to chase. A small, bouncy or soft ball serves as another option for kittens to play with and chase. Another DIY option is to cut an old piece of fabric into a square shape that’s about 8 inches long on each side, then find some cotton balls, old plastic bags or tissues and form them into a tight ball in the center of this fabric (if you add some catnip to what’s inside, you will guarantee your kitten’s interest). Tighten the fabric around the ball, until the ends of the fabric are below it, and use a rubber band or string to tighten the fabric around the ball to tie it off.
Kittens will also need clean, safe spaces to do their business. Be sure to clean your kitten’s litter box every day, or every two to three days. It’s important to keep a sanitary space for them so they can be as happy as can be. If you have more than one cat, it’s recommended to give each one their own litter box. Furthermore, once a month or so, take the time to remove all the litter from it and wash out the bin. Just like tidying up the house, its best to keep on top of things before they get too dirty.
Remember that a new pet will be a lot of work but will be rewarded in cuddles. A pet depends on you for their safety, health, and happiness. Be sure you’re prepared to bring an animal into your home and give them the best chance they have for a loving life.
LynAnne Vucovich is a journalist who studied at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She has a passion for culture, community and cats.