Starting out - Kitten Care
Bringing home an adorable new kitten is one of life's pleasures and we have a great guide to help you make it stress free and smooth.
How do I prepare my home for my kitten?
Before your kitten arrives you need to kitten proof your home! Just like any toddler there are certain things you need to put out of reach and make safe.
- Make sure all doors and windows are closed.
- Keep all trailing electrical cables out of reach of little teeth.
- Breakable ornaments should be moved well out of the way.
- Move all house plants out of reach as some of them can be poisonous if eaten.
- Kittens are very inquisitive and will crawl into small places so keep all cupboards, oven, fridge, drawers and washing machine doors closed.
- Keep the kitchen clear of hazards – don't let your kitten have access to bin bags or plastic shopping bags.
- Place a guard round an open fire.
- Close toilet lids so your kitten won't fall in or learn to drink from the bowl!
Kitten check list
You'll find a handy shopping list below of everything you need to consider buying for your new kitten, and of course, all of it is available at Petstop!
- Kitten Bed
- Litter Tray, Cat Litter, Scoop and Hygiene Products
- Cat Carrier
- Kitten Food and Treats
- Kitten Food and Water Bowls
- Scratching Post
- Kitten Grooming Brushes and Combs
- Kitten Toys
- Kitten Flea and Worming Treatments
- Cat Flap
Settling in your kitten
What Sort Of Kitten Bed?
Your kitten will want a warm, quiet cosy corner to settle into. It's a big change for her when she leaves her Mum and she will want to feel safe and secure.
Your kitten's bed should be nice and comfortable and in a secluded, draught free spot. Kittens love warmth and there are heat pads, radiator beds and igloo beds to choose from should she feel cold. Don't be tempted to buy a bed that is too roomy for you kitten as they prefer to sleep curled up in snug areas. A washable bed is best for cleanliness.
What Sort Of Food And Water Bowls?
Food and water bowls should be kitten sized! If her bowls are too big she could find difficulty in using them without getting messy – and cats hate mess!
What Sort Of Kitten Collars and Cat Flaps?
Once your kitten is over 6 months old she can wear a collar. Make sure her collar fits properly – you should be able to get one or two fingers under the collar. Collars can be used to carry a key to a magnetic or infra-red cat flap which will only allow her to pass, blocking other cat intruders. Be aware that collars can be dangerous as they can easily get hooked on a tree branch and in some cases trap the kitten's front leg if she attempts to get it off. 'Snap open' collars will reduce the likelihood of your kitten becoming entangled should a problem occur. You may also want to put an ID tag on her collar. Better still why not have your kitten micro-chipped?
Grooming your kitten
Accustom your kitten to being groomed, especially if she is long haired – it's good for her coat but it's also a special time you can spend together building trust and bonding.
Don't forget to buy some toys for your kitten! A scratch post is ideal for encouraging your kitten to exercise and not to claw your furniture and cat climbing trees are useful if your kitten likes to climb the curtains. Make sure you choose safe toys that are made expressly for kittens as homemade toys can be dangerous – kittens can choke on bits of string or wool.
Your kitten's health
Healthy kittens are happy kittens so once your kitten is settled in at home you should register with a vet to have a kitten health check.
- When your kitten is about 8 weeks old you should have them vaccinated by your vet. They have two sets of vaccinations; the second one is 3 – 4 weeks after the first. Immunity is effective 7-10 days after the second vaccination so they should be kept inside until then.
- Boosters are given twelve months after the starter course and your vet will tell you when they are next due.
- View our cat Health and Vaccinations Advice to learn more
- You will need to keep your kitten free from worms and fleas. There are several treatments available to protect your kitten but always make sure they are suitable for kittens as adult ones are too strong.
Feeding your kitten
Choose a quiet place in the house to feed your kitten where she can eat undisturbed. If you don't have a floor surface that can easily be cleaned there are feeding mats available so that you can protect your carpets.
Kittens need kitten food so you shouldn't feed them adult cat foods as they will get tummy upsets. Your kitten should always have clean fresh water available in a bowl and you can also treat her to kitten milk (do not give your kitten cow's milk as it can cause diarrhea). Kittens have little stomachs so feed them little and often. How much you feed depends on their age, size, breed and general health. We have a rough guide in the table below:
Age of Kitten
Amount of Food
Kitten: Weaning – 2 months
4 – 6 meals a day
Kitten: 2 – 3 months
4 meals a day
Kitten: 4 – 6 months
3 meals a day
Kitten: Over 6 months
2 meals a day
Certain manufacturers make kitten foods for specific breeds.
Toilet training your kitten
Most kittens are toilet trained by the time you bring them home as they learn to use a litter tray by copying their mother.
- Place the litter tray in a quiet secluded spot that has easy access and is away from your kitten's food and water.
- To help train your kitten gently place them in the tray after they eat, when they wake from sleep and if you see them sniff, scratch, or crouch in a corner.
- If you are pregnant, never handle soiled litter because of the risk of toxoplasmosis.