New Kitty Essentials Article
Are you looking forward to bringing home a fuzzy little kitten?
Here are some essential items to help you take great care of your new kitty.
Premium-brand kitten or cat food
High-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food is the best choice for your growing kitty. Kittens also love yummy treats, but don't give your furry friend too many. Treats can contain a lot of sugar and fat, which can cause obesity.
Food dish and water bowl
Of course, you'll need a clean dish for all that tasty food. You should also make sure your kitty always has a nice bowl of fresh water to quench his or her thirst.
Kittens are playful little critters. Keep them entertained and help them burn off excess energy with a few fun interactive toys.
Comb or brush
As you probably know, most cats are good at cleaning themselves. However, you should still comb or brush your kitten's fur regularly. This will help reduce shedding and cut down on those nasty hairballs.
It's a fact – kittens love to scratch. To help keep your furniture safe from your kitten's nails, buy a scratching post. A scratching post should be stable and covered in a rough material, like burlap. It should also be at least three feet high so your kitty can stretch out while scratching.
Collar and ID tag
If you plan to allow your kitten outdoors, you must buy a safety collar and ID tag. An indoor-only kitten should also have an ID tag, in case he or she gets out. You may also want to consider signing up for a lost pet recovery service.
Litter box and litter
Of course, your kitten will need a litter box and litter. Put the litter box in a quiet place that your kitten can get to easily. And remember, kittens may not use a messy litter box, so clean it often. You should scoop out solid wastes at least once a day, and clean the entire box regularly.
Kittens are little balls of energy, but they also need to rest. You should give your kitten a warm and quiet place, like a cat bed, to wind down. You can line the bed with a soft towel or blanket, which you should wash often.
It's best to choose a veterinarian as soon as you get your kitten. Your kitty will need vaccinations and should be spayed or neutered before six months of age (see Why Spay or Neuter to learn more). A pet health insurance plan can help you afford vaccinations as well as spaying or neutering. Explore our pet insurance coverage for details.
Pet health insurance
Veterinarian expenses are on the rise, but you can help cover the costs with pet health insurance. Depending on the plan you choose, pet health insurance can cover your kitten if he or she gets hurt or sick, and even for routine preventive care. Learn more about our pet insurance or get a free quote now.
Enjoy your new kitten!
You can find more information on caring for your new pet in our General Cat Care article.
© 2006 ASPCA®