Caring for your new kitten will set them up to be a healthy catTheir roly-poly Buddha bellies, their tiny paws, their small meows… Is there anything more adorable than a new kitten? For those of us who adore our feline friends, caring for a new kitten is undoubtedly delightful. However, taking excellent care of a new pet also involves a lot of work. Fortunately, the team at Highway Veterinary Hospital is here to help!

New Kitten Supplies

Before you bring home your new kitten, you’ll need to address all of their safety and comfort needs. Items you should pick up include:

  • Food and water bowls (not too high or deep, metal bowls are best to prevent bacteria build-up)
  • Litter and litter box that’s easy to enter and exit
  • Kitten-formulated food (never adult food)
  • Treats (in limited quantities so as not to upset their stomach)
  • Microchip or breakaway collar and ID tags
  • Nest-type beds
  • Toys suitable for a new kitten

Nutrition is Paramount

It’s important to remember that your kitten will need the right nutrition as they grow and develop. We suggest kitten-formulated diets from quality reputable brands, such as Royal Canin, Hill’s Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan, and Eukanuba. Feed kitten food until approximately one year of age.

To encourage optimal development, you should feed your new kitten in the appropriate quantities three times daily or free choice, dependent on your kitten’s appetite. A small amount of wet food can also encourage hydration and appetite. Treats are okay to give in moderation.

New Kitten Exam and Vaccinations

After bringing your new kitten home, make an appointment to see us within a few days. Young animals are highly susceptible to a number of illnesses; and making sure your pet has the proper screenings, deworming, and vaccinations is crucial.

Our kitten preventive care exams include:

  • Thorough physical assessment
  • Deworming and parasite control
  • Microchipping for permanent identification
  • Blood screening
  • Age-appropriate vaccines
  • Kitten care education, including grooming and dental care
  • Nutritional consult
  • Spaying or neutering estimates

Litter Box Training Basics

When you start your kitten off with some basic “potty” skills, litter box training isn’t as hard as you might think. Consider the following pointers:

  • Find a permanent, quiet place for the litter box (and the right size box for a kitten).
  • Scoop daily.
  • Make sure the box is far enough away from their bed and food/water bowls, but not so far that it’s challenging for your kitten to find.
  • Make sure you have more than one litter box per cat.
  • Place your kitten in the litter box so they get used to where they should eliminate (especially after meals and naps).

Other Tips for Kitten Care

We highly recommend giving your kitten lots of affection and handling (which shouldn’t be hard at all!). Once your kitten is fully vaccinated, exposing your new friend to other playmates is a great way to encourage a more social, confident kitty. Just remember, supervision and slow introductions are a must.

Need more tips about caring for a new kitten? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to meeting your new companion soon! Congratulations on becoming a new pet parent!