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First-Time Cat Owners: How to Care for Your New Kitten

Becoming a first-time cat owner is an exciting time, but it can certainly raise many questions. Is my home kitten-proof? How do I care for my new pet? Where do I begin?

Photo of Holly Belle, shared by Trupanion policyholder Leslie B.

We’ve put together a basic checklist of the major responsibilities of being a new cat owner. Check them off and enjoy your new kitten!

  1. Exam: The first step in bringing home a new kitten is to get your pet a veterinary examination to ensure good health. Your veterinarian will get your kitten started on vaccines as well as check for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus.
  2. Preventives: Besides vaccines,your veterinarian will also check for fleas and parasites. It is recommended to administer monthly flea and heartworm preventives year-round.
  3. Kitten-proofing: Before bringing home your new friend, be sure to clean up any small objects or string-like objects. Also check for house plants which may be poisonous to your cat, loose power chords, and other potential hazards.
  4. Diet: Be sure to feed your kitten high-quality kitten food until he reaches about 1 year of age.
  5. Litter box training: Most kittens are easily to litter box train, but if your kitten misses the litter box, consider using a different type of litter
  6. Socialize: It’s important to socialize your kitten with humans and the world in which they live so that they can become comfortable in their surroundings. Be sure to spend lots of time with your furry friend, introduce him to family members, and allow him to explore his new world.
  7. Toys: Of course, your new little buddy needs some toys to play with! Get him something that he can scratch as well as something he can chase. And any other toys that look too cute to pass up!

Is there anything you would add to this list? Share it with us!

About Stacy @Trupanion

Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

One Response to First-Time Cat Owners: How to Care for Your New Kitten

  1. Hairless Cat says:

    Hi Stacy,

    It’s great to have a first time list like this because way back when I got my first cat, I knew very little about cats and the tips you have here would have been a big help.

    I like that you put an exam as the first item. I agree that it should be done right away.

    A followup article about continued care and attention at some point in the future might be helpful as well. Maybe some tips about routine vet visits, the importance of keeping the cat from roaming outside unattended, introducing new pets to the cat, and similar would be helpful to new cat parents.

    Glad you wrote this article.

    =^..^= Hairless Cat Girl =^..^=

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