You’re preparing to welcome your new kitten to share your daily life and home for many years. While choosing the right food is essential, there are a number of other preparations that you need to make, such as where they’ll eat and drink, a place to sleep and things to play with.
Creating a check list of essential items that need to be in place before your kitten arrives will help your kitten settle in as smoothly as possible.
Cat carry case
It’s dangerous to carry your new kitten loose in the car, so it’s important to purchase a cat carrying case that will be large enough to be used when your cat is fully grown. You should make it more comfortable for your kitten by placing a blanket at the bottom, and also purchase a spare mat in the event of any accidents brought on by the stress of the journey.
A comfortable bed to sleep in is essential for your new kitten, to help them feel safe in their new environment. However, don’t be surprised if your kitten finds their own favourite place to sleep as that's one of the many ways they'll decide on their territory and organise their space.
Your kitten will need a tray with sufficient litter and a small trowel so you can remove soils. A covered litter tray is recommended to avoid spills and limit odours, however some kittens don't like covered litter boxes so you will need to see how your kitten reacts.
Food and water dishes for your kitten
You should provide your new kitten with two dishes. Use china, metal or glass water bowls as many cats dislike the taste of water in plastic bowls. You should have a small bowl for food and a larger one for fresh water that should be available at all times.
Make sure to leave enough space between the two dishes to prevent the water becoming dirty with food, as cats need access to fresh drinking water at all times to help support their urinary tract health.
Scratch pole and cat tree
Cats should ideally have access to a scratching place where they can look after their claws, so it's a good idea to purchase a scratch pole. You should also invest in a cat tree as kittens love climbing to give them a higher and more dominant position and will enjoy twisting around the branches. A cat tree also satisfies your kitten’s need for exercise.
Collar with ID tag
You should purchase a collar and a lead for your new kitten. A collar with an ID tag is the best and quickest way of identifying your kitten, and the lead is essential for any walks or short trips without a cat carrying case.
Toys help to amuse your cat and encourage exercise. There are a number of different toys to choose from which are generally designed to trigger three types of feline behaviour:
- Cat and mouse: any small ball can play the role of the prey. The cat “stalks” it, rolls it around, runs after it, jumps on it, grabs it, throws it in the air, holds it between their paws, bites it, and starts all over again. All these instinctive behaviours are a great source of satisfaction which also encourage your cat to socialise.
- The bird game: the cat tries to catch a moving object just above their head.
- Fishing: the cat moves their paw as if they wanted to make a fish jump out of the water. Some cats like playing with water and will enjoy the idea of “fishing” for ping-pong balls floating on the surface of the water.
Having all the basic items prepared in advance will help your new kitten adjust more easily as you introduce them to their new home.