What to buy for a new kitten (and what not to)
Congratulations you lucky, lucky thing. You’ve got yourself a little fluff of joy but what’s next? What do you need to buy for a new kitten?
Well, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide for new kittens.
Here we’ll give a run down of everything you might and will need to think about when working out what a new kitten will need. And some things you don’t.
From before you bring your kitten home to the months following, let’s take a look.
Your basic checklist for new kitten essentials
Get this stuff before that little fluff ball comes home.
These are things that you’ll need for basic care of your new kitten. A sort of straight out of the box kit. There are a lot more other items that it would be beneficial to have in place but for starters we’ll go with these to get you through the first few days.
Well, this is an obvious one but funnily enough it can be an easy one to miss. I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s pretty much the most important thing to buy for a new kitten. Ask the breeder where your kitten came from about what foods they are used to.
Stainless steel or ceramic dishes are best for your new babe. My vet once told me that out of the two, cats prefer ceramic.
Whether you’re planning on keeping your cat indoors or letting them go outside. You will still need a litter box when you first bring them home and for a while after. Depending on your kitten’s age they may not be venturing out just yet as they need to have completed their vaccination program and neutering.
It’s best to have one litterbox per cat plus one extra.
Kittens tend to raz around with endless bouts of energy. They love to explore and play and they love to scratch. Scratching is beneficial for them as it keeps their claws in a healthy condition and helps to loosen claw sheaths. Introducing appropriate places for them to scratch early on can help in preventing all your furniture being ripped to shreds in the future.
Cats and kittens love batting things along the floor and reaching up high to smack things. All the kittens I’ve ever owned throughout my life have loved the simple pleasures a balled up piece of paper or ping pong ball brings.
I don’t give my cats any toys that have strings or loose bits like feathers etc. This is because in the past we have had problems with ‘chewers’. One of my old cats was obsessed with string, he’d chew it and end up swallowing some and I’ve lost count of how many times I’d have to pull out semi-swallowed string.
For me, it’s just not worth the risk. Most cats are fine with it, so it’s a personal decision for you.
Cats are funny little critters when it comes to beds. We’ve had success with designated cat beds in the past and also some flat out failures. What a kitten really wants is somewhere safe, cuddly and warm. Now, whether that’s a fluffy towel in a cardboard box or a £200 custom bells and whistles cat mansion, it’s totally up to you.
I would certainly recommend having a specific area for them to escape to sleep when they’re young.
Hey, while you’re here. Would you like some cat art?
So your new kitten is now home, what next?
Depending on the age your kitten came to you, you’re going to need to register them with a vet. There are various reasons why a kitten has come to you early and without being registered.
Maybe you found a kitten whilst out and about and could not find it’s mother. Perhaps it’s a rescue or even given to you by a well meaning but uniformed friend.
Kittens need their mum
There’s different thinking around what age a kitten can be removed from it’s Mother and littermates. This can range from 6-14 weeks. The earliest of which is thought to be because the Queen (that’s the name for the mum cat, cool right?) will have weaned the kitten from her milk around that time and they will now be eating solid foods.
But ideally they need to stay with their mummy cat for some time after weaning.
Don’t forget, mums are great teachers
And that certainly doesn’t change in the feline world. The Queen will teach her kittens all manner of things they need to carry on throughout their lives. From how to use the toilet, how to clean themselves, even what kind of play is acceptable.
Not to mention the relationships with their siblings. Kittens also learn how to play with their little fur brothers and sisters. Them being together can help them get used to other cats they may meet once they leave.
So what’s next in what to buy for your new kitten?
Well, your sweet bundle of fluffy heaven is home. You’ve registered them with a veterinary practice and they’re up to date with vaccines and wow, they’ve even had the snip! Hopefully you’ve had them chipped, too.
You have been a busy new cat owner!
Now you can start to think about more permanent items for your home that both your cat and you can enjoy.
- A cat tree
- A catflap
- Cat brush – Check out this post to see what you can make with all that fur!
- Bigger litter trays (if your cat is going to be an indoor adventurer)
- Tracking collar
- Different scratch toys for around the home
- More toys that you know your cat likes
- Another cat 😹 (cats love a friend)
After your cat has been home for a while you’ll get to know their likes and dislikes so will know whether that cat tree in the kitchen only aids in jumping on the kitchen counter! Or those toys with the little bells scare them rather than getting them excited to play.
Cats have different personalities and preferences, just like us.
The most important thing is to create a safe and loving environment for them to ensure they feel comfortable right from the get go. But hey, I know that if you’re here, you’re already doing that. I really hope my what to buy for a new kitten guide has helped you.
Enjoy your new best friend and here’s to many happy, healthy years ahead!
Let us know in the comments what you’ve named your furbaby.