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Kitten Care 101: Five Tips for First-Time Cat OwnersBy: Kelli Rascoe
When you bring a new kitten into your home, it’s an exciting time, and for some pet owners can be a first-time experience with a baby pet. The joys of kitten ownership come with its own set of “firsts”, expectations, and obstacles. Because of this, resourceful tools like our kitten care 101 guide can help, whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or first-time cat owner. Naturally, you want your furry friend to adapt to their new environment and have a happy experience in their new forever home. Fortunately, we sat down with Trupanion veterinarian, Dr. Caroline Wilde, to discuss what to expect when bringing home a new kitten and essential kitten care tips to help any household.
Kitten care 101: five essential tips for new cat owners
What to expect when bringing home a new kitten
New kittens may bring an element of surprise to their household. Essentially, kittens are known to be curious, playful, and can keep us on our toes at all times. For instance, “new kittens have an amazing amount of energy, and love to climb things and run around,” states Wilde. Also, there’s an opportunity for family members to play and interact with a baby pet. in a way that is safe and enjoyable for all.
Enrichment toys and interactions with your kitten
Naturally, interacting with your kitten can create a lasting bond and forges a lifetime friendship. Similarly, by providing enrichment toys and interactive play to your feline friend, it provides valuable health benefits mentally, physically, and emotionally. Further, it establishes a routine for your kitten and a safe space for them to play accordingly.
If you wish to enhance your space, for a more cat-friendly enriching environment, consider the following-
- Cat trees
- Scratching posts
- Interactive toys (like a play mouse or cat wand)
Also, the use of pet tech is trending over the years and can be taken on the go or if you are traveling. For instance, items like a laser pointer or treat dispenser can help provide hours of safe and interactive fun for all. Further, cat-friendly toys can help curb unwanted behavior cues.
Kitten care 101: essential kitten care pet items to have in your home
Pet care is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner, and a kitten care 101 guide wouldn’t be complete without it! Additionally, it’s not always easy to plan for what you need in order to keep your new pet happy and healthy, especially if you are a first-time kitten owner.
Dr. Wilde weights in on key necessary pet care items to consider –
Keep a brush available to use. There are multiple kinds, from bristle to slicker to matt busters and silicone. Your feline friend will certainly have a preference. Also, brushing your cat’s fur can help reduce shedding, distribute oils, and can prevent matting of the fur.
Every cat owner should have at least one set of nail trimmers to reduce a chance of scratching or snagging furniture, and to prevent nail overgrowth because not all cats instinctively sharpen their nails.
Home dental care involves brushing the teeth every day and reduce and help prevent tartar buildup and gingivitis.
No kitten home is complete without their own bed, litter box, food, and water bowls. Likewise, by preparing ahead and having these items already at home you don’t run the risk of leaving your new kitten home alone to run to the store. Further, it can help transition your kitten to their new home and they can become acclimated to their surroundings.
Best practices for getting your new kitten to adapt to their new home
Naturally, a new kitten is learning, growing, and becoming accustomed to its new home environment. Certainly, they need to have the opportunity to play and explore, but also feel as though they are in a safe space.
Wild explains the importance of having a separate space for your furry friend.
“Cat trees can give cats a place to go and climb to escape other pets and children in the house. Also, cats like cubbies and should have a safe space to hide.”
Also, always introduce your new kitten to other pets slowly and be mindful and supervise when children are around.
Have you kitten-proofed your home yet? Read more here.
Kitten medical care
Naturally, kittens are curious, because of this they have a tendency to get into things they shouldn’t. Be mindful of loose small household items, like string, hairbands, or risk potential ingestion complications.
Also, plants are a potential hazard for kittens. “Similarly, flowers can be very toxic to cats, so talk to your veterinarian about what flowers and plants to avoid,” points out Wilde. Although there are some pet-friendly indoor plants you can incorporate into your space. If you have any concerns or questions, about your new kitten, consult with your veterinarian for the best course of action and treatment plan.
For more on pet safe house plants, read here.
An unexpected illness or accident can happen at any time.
Learn more about how this pet owner had peace of mind for their new kitten Leo.
“My new kitten, Leo, got Uveitis in his left eye, at just 7-months old. I took him for an emergency visit to Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine and for a follow-up to Middlebury Animal Hospital. While dealing with the stress of Leo being sick, I had such peace of mind knowing Trupanion was there for us.”
Kitten care 101: necessary tips for a happy household for all
When you bring a new kitten into your home, you’re inviting and introducing a new member to the family. With the help of your veterinarian, preparation, and some everyday pet items, your kitten will feel at home in no time at all.
For more on cats, check out the Trupanion Cat Breed Guide.
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While you’re browsing our pet blog, please note that the views expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Trupanion. Our articles are reviewed by veterinarians for accuracy, but they are not a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Always consult with your own pet’s veterinarian for advice.