Kitten Care 101: A List of Essentials for Owners

Prepping your home for a new kitten? Make sure you get all of the kitten supplies you need with our new kitten checklist

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Thinking of growing your family by four paws? We don’t blame you. Cats can make for endlessly entertaining companions—and, let’s be honest, few things are cuter than a kitten. While it’s exciting to introduce a new kitten into your family, we know it can also be a bit overwhelming. From stocking up on essential kitten toys to choosing the best food, there’s a lot to consider.

To help, we’ve compiled a new kitten checklist including all the kitten supplies you and your new fur baby need to make the transition to home life as smooth as possible.

Kitten-Proof Your Home

Before picking up your new kitten, make sure to kitten-proof your home to avoid accidents. Stow away items that you don’t want your kitten to chew, such as electrical cords, rubber bands, thread and poisonous products or plants. Additionally, as kittens sometimes hide away in small spaces, you should keep the washer and dryer closed, secure any screens and consider using baby gates and cabinet latches to mark off-limits areas.

Choose a Vet

After you bring home your kitten, make sure you schedule them for a wellness visit with your chosen vet to ensure your new family member is happy and healthy. While there, be sure to ask the vet any questions you may have about flea and tick prevention, shots, microchipping and neutering.

Select An Insurance Plan

Cats are naturally inquisitive, which can lead to accidents. Do your research and select an insurance plan that is right for you and your feline friend to make sure you’re covered in case of an emergency.

Get a Set of Bowls

Since kittens have a lot of energy, you should choose a set of bowls that are sturdy and that won’t tip over during mealtime. Also, some kittens are allergic to plastic, so be sure to choose a safe material such as ceramic or stainless steel.

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ID Tag, Collar and Bell

Cats are very sneaky and can easily hide in small spaces. Consider getting your bundle of joy a safety collar with an ID tag and bell so you can easily find them when they’re up to their adorable mischief.

Cat Carrier

Get a spacious and sturdy carrier to bring your little cat home for the first time, to transport them to and from the vet and for any other adventures in the future.

Cat Bed

Sleep is an essential element of your kitten’s healthy development. Believe it or not, kittens can sleep up to 18–20 hours per day—but that doesn’t mean their schedule will always match up with yours.

A vital part of getting your kitten on a regular sleeping schedule is to provide them with a comfortable space to sleep. To start, organize a warm and cozy space close to your bed so they feel safe. As your kitten grows up, you can decide whether or not you want to let them sleep in your bed with you.

Scratch Post

Why get a scratch post? For starters, your furniture and curtains will appreciate it. Getting a solid post should discourage your furry friend from destroying that stuff. Active cats need a scratch post for a variety of reasons such as stretching and exercise. If you’re not ready to commit to a post, you can get your kitten a small scratch toy.

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Litter Box, Litter, Liners and Scooper 

Unlike their canine counterparts, cats take frequent bathroom breaks in a litter box. Be sure to stock up on litter and liners—and get a good scooper, too—in order to keep this crucial area clean and fresh.

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Toys

Toys are not only helpful to keep your kitten entertained, they also provide some much needed mental and physical stimulation for your kitten. Be sure to vary up your kitten’s toy assortment so they don’t get bored.

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Food

Yes, all of the cat food commercials on TV are adorable, but that doesn’t mean just any brand or type is right for your kitten. Start off by grabbing a bag of the same food the breeder or adoption center has been feeding your kitten, since their tiny body is already used to that formula.

When you bring in your kitten for their first vet appointment, ask the vet for brand and type recommendations. They may suggest switching the food to a kitten-friendly formula, but remember to integrate the new food into your kitty’s diet a little bit at a time over a seven-day period.

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Dry food:

Wet food:

Treats

Cat treats are a useful tool that you can use to help train your kitten, distract them when you’re trimming their nails and also to show your love. Try breaking the treats into smaller bits before you distribute them to avoid overfeeding your kitten.

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Toothbrush and Toothpaste

While it may sound outlandish, it’s vital to implement a dental routine with your kitten early on to prevent dental disease and to combat bad breath. You can use a feline-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste or dental treats.

Brush, Nail Clippers and Shampoo

Felines are naturally fantastic self-groomers, so you don’t have to regularly bathe them, unless they get themselves into a sticky situation—just remember to get kitten-friendly shampoo. However, you can help your kitten out by brushing them often to keep their coat healthy. You will also need to trim your kitten’s nails with special animal nail clippers.

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Cleaning Supplies

Just like children, kittens must be taught to behave. And, as with any pet, teaching involves combining rewards for good behavior and consequences for undesirable behavior. Patience is key when training a kitten, but accidents happen—so it’s essential to stock up on cleaning supplies prior to bringing your kitten home.

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If you find yourself getting overwhelmed, stay paw-sitive and remember that Gopuff has your back. If you don’t have the Gopuff app yet, download it from the Apple Store or Google Play to make ordering your essential kitten supplies even easier. 

Make sure to follow Gopuff on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

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