Making Your Home Safe For Your Kitty
Look! Up in the sky! Cats like to jump and climb, so kitty-proof your vases and other wobbly breakables by stowing them where they cant be knocked over. Not only will this keep your valuables safe, but it will keep them from falling on your floor after your curious kittys most recent adventure.You should also secure wires, window cords, floor-length curtains and any other potential hazards that might entangle a leaping feline.
Put Away Hazardous Plants and Chemicals: Some common houseplants are harmful to cats. Make sure theyre out of your pets way or relocate the plants to someone elses home. Its also best not to leave any chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, out on counters or tabletops where curious cats can get into them.
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Keeping your cat’s mouth clean is essential to its overall health. “Ideally, you should try to teach your cat to have its teeth brushed,” said Moore. But if that proves too challenging, dental treats are the next best thing. She also recommended using a water additive for stress-free dental care. For more options, check out our guide to the best dental products for cats.
Vaccinations And Health Checks
Your kitten should be taken for a health check within a week of having her home. On the first visit your vet should check for parasites, feline leukemia, and other health concerns, and he or she will administer her first round of vaccinations if she hasn’t yet had them. You should also talk to your vet about scheduling booster shots, starting a flea and parasite control regimen, and spaying or neutering at this time. This visit is also a great time to ask your vet any questions you have about your kitten’s care and feeding.
Raising a kitten can definitely be a challenge, but if done well the reward is years of love, loyalty and affection, not to mention the satisfaction of watching your cat grow from a tiny fluff ball into a sleek and healthy adult. Now that you know all about kittens and how to raise them, you’re well-equipped to provide your new kitten with a warm and welcoming home and a great life.
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Where Should A Kitten Sleep On The First Night
Try to confine the new kitten in one room to get them accustomed to their new surroundings gradually. As days go by, you can introduce them to the rest of the house, but it should also be gradual. Confining kitty in one room makes it easier for them to transition from their old home to their new home.
If you are adopting a kitty from a shelter, prep their new home before she comes in.
- Get rid of electric cords
- Put away any house plants
- Secure any breakable items
- Close up any potential run-away holes
- Make sure that windows and doors can close completely
- Set up a litter box in one corner
- Set up food and water bowls in the other corner
Some people may prefer laundry rooms or bathrooms because they are easy to clean and small enough. You can stack up the room with different toys and maybe a catnip toy for distraction when you are not around.
You can also consider having them sleep in your bedroom if it is big enough for you two. Remember, some kittens might not have spent a night alone, so having you close to them might ease their first night fright.
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“We definitely recommend cat trees,” said Farel-Friedman. “They not only provide cats with the ability of choice, but they also provide them with exercise and stress relief.” Dr. Moore agreed: “You want to have vertical space, especially people who have a small living area.” The ideal tree has built-in scratching posts and plenty of spots to snuggle up. That’s why we like the classic cat tree from Armarkat, which is the budget pick in our guide to the best cat trees.
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Enjoy A Little Outdoor Fun
Even if you’re not comfortable letting your cat roam outside, you can still have safe outdoor adventures together. Set up an enclosed outdoor space for your kitty to play in, like a catio or a cat tent that’s staked to the ground. You can also put your cat on a secure harness and take him outside for a short walk in the backyard on a leash.
Your kitty will need to get used to the harness indoors first. Some will “belly crawl” on the ground for a bit before they feel comfortable with the harness, and some might not move at all for a few minutes while they get used to the feel of it. But most will learn to love it with time, especially once they realize that putting on the harness means they’re going outside.
Create An Enticing Indoor Environment
Although cats tend to be safer when they’re indoors, they can also get bored. Create an enticing indoor environment for your new cat. Set up condos and cat trees so your kitty can climb. Open the shades and set up window perches to give your cat a little “cat TV” to watch outside. Put a bird feeder outside the window for extra fun. Get lots of toys for your kitty to play with, including interactive toys for when you’re not around.
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Natures Miracle Cat Urine Destroyer Foam Aerosol Spray
Every cat has accidents sometimes, especially when theyre going through the stress of being in a new home. This formula is designed to fight cat urine odors in particular, making it a great option for new cat owners. It uses an enzymatic formula to directly attack the source of the smell.
If you’re trying to find an enzyme cleaner that does it all, we highly recommend our favorite cleaner, the Hepper Advanced Bio-Enzyme Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator Spray.
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Flea Tick And Worm Treatments
Even if you have an indoor kitten, they are still at risk of being infected by parasites because you and your other pets can carry these in from the outdoors. Protect your kitten from the discomfort of a parasite infestation by regularly treating them with parasite preventatives. Use our Flea, Tick and Worm Treatment Finder or speak with your local Greencross Vet for more advice on the right products and treatment schedules for your kitten.
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Flea control is important regardless of whether a cat is indoor-only or goes outside. Most flea treatments are topical, but Seresto also makes a flea collar that many cat owners and veterinarians like. Not all cats will be comfortable wearing a flea collar, but for those that tolerate it, Moore said it’s a good option.
A reported 1,700 animal deaths and other adverse reactions linked to Seresto flea collars. It’s unknown if the EPA-approved pesticides used in the collar caused these incidents and this story is still developing. Always speak to your veterinarian if you have concerns before using a product and only purchase Seresto collars from authorized retailers.
Medical Milestones To Follow The First Year
Start your kittens life off right by hitting all the medical milestones with prompt veterinary care. Youll want to make sure you address any health concerns youve noticed with your kitten. The first year of veterinary care consists of vaccinations, flea and heartworm prevention, and having your kitten spayed or neutered. You should also decide if youd like to have your kitten declawed. This is a decision youll want to have with your vet and determine earlier on as there can be complications associated with waiting to declaw.
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Petluv Happy Cat Premium Soft Sided Cat Carrier & Travel Crate
Youll need a new cat carrier for when youre picking up your kitten and for when youre bringing him or her back and forth from vet appointments. But getting your kitten into the carrier is a feat that often proves difficult. This one has four access panels and a top opening, so you can put kitty in and take him or her out with less effort. Plus, it has a roomy design with optimum ventilation and all-around windows that let your kitty see whats going on. There are also adjustable seat belt loops, so you can strap the carrier in your car for added safety.
New Cat Product Checklist For Every Life Stage
Getting a new cat? Congratulations! Few things in this world are as soothing as the steady hum of a cat purr. And who doesnt love getting slow blinks from their feline friend .
While getting a new cat brings joy, its important to remember that there will be a transition period, which can be difficult for new furry family members.
Dr. Sandra Mitchell, owner of All Creatures Veterinary Services in Bangor, Maine, recommends keeping your cat in a separate room, like the bathroom, with all the basic cat supplies shell need so she has time to adjust to her new environment.
Moving into a new household can be very stressful, especially for mature cats, Dr. Mitchell says. Starting them off in one small area for the first day or two makes the transition less overwhelming.
This is especially important if you have other pets in the household.
I do NOT recommend introducing them cold turkey, she says. Most cats adjust better if the cats are kept separated and allowed to slowly get used to each other over 4-6 weeks.
As you welcome your cat into her new home, be sure to provide her with the right pet supplies to help ensure an easy transition. Here are the essentials to have on hand.
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How To Prepare For A Kitten
Once youve decided to get a kitten and found a good place to get them from, you can start to prepare for their arrival:
- Buy any supplies they need. This could include:
- Cat beds
- Litter trays and cat litter
- Plenty of toys
- Scratching posts, mats, boxes or frames
- Cat furniture like cat trees
- A large, secure carrier for transport
- A brush or comb for grooming
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All of our experts agreed that there is no such thing as too many scratchers. Carr likes the Bergan Turboscratcher which has a ball in the frame. “Cats get their scratch on while playing with the balls inside,” she said. “They can play and entertain themselves so even if you’re not home they have stimulation.”
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“Cats scratch as a scent marker, to help with their nails, and to relieve stress,” said Moore. Plus, your cat will be less likely to scratch your furniture if they have other options. This cat scratcher from Max & Marlow includes a 26-inch scratching post plus two attached toys. For more ideas, check out our guide to the best scratching posts.
Arm & Hammer Litter Clump & Seal
Preventing heartworms is essential for responsible cat ownership. We highly recommend investing in this brand because it is one of the best options on the market. Of course, you should speak to your vet before starting your cat on any new medication.
This particular box is a 6-month supply, so you wont have to worry about running out each month.
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How Should You Introduce Your Kitten To Other Family Pets
If your new kitten isnt the first animal to call your house home youll have some introductions to make. A new home and a new housemate can be stressful for all parties involved. Make sure you make these introductions gradually and with special attention given to the reactions of each animal.
While the instructions below are approximations of introducing animals, youll need to use your best judgment. Animal personalities vary just as much as human personalities. Some cats, especially shy ones, will do better with an expedited introduction process.
Kittens to Cats
Youll want your kitten and cat to meet one another through smell alone at first. This can be done by allowing them, free of will, to sniff one another from under the door where your kittens safe room is situated. After a few days of allowing them to meet one another through scent, you can begin exchanging their bedding daily to further introduce the two.
Now, as long as there are no signs of aggression, the roles will reverse. Let your kitten out of their room for a few hours each day while your cat goes back into the kitten-proofed room. From here you will allow them to finally meet through sight. This can be arranged by placing the kitten in a carrier or crate where the cat can greet them. Youll want to do this in short burst multiple times a day until the cats appear to be comfortable and no signs of aggression are shown.
Kittens to Dogs
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Cat Supplies For The First 36 Hours
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Providing Access And Privacy
If you have dogs or small children, be aware that these family members may be inexplicably drawn to your cats food or to her litter box. Unappetizing as it may seem, pups and toddlers sometimes cant resist playing in the sandbox where your cat does her business.
A reliable solution to this all-too-common problem is a cat door. Installing a cat-sized pet door in your wall or into an existing door within your home can allow your cat to pass in and out of the room where her litter box and food stays, while keeping curious kids and canines out. Cat doors come in a variety of styles for different wall and door materials and thicknesses.
And speaking of favorite places, consider pet stairs or a pet ramp to help your cat get up and down from chairs, sofas, beds and more. Cats are naturally spry, but giving them a boost up and down will help preserve their joints in the long run.
Essential Cat Supplies For Your New Kitten
Welcoming a new kitten into your home can be a wonderful experience. These tiny furballs offer friendship, companionship, comfort and endless entertainment with their playful antics. When you open your home to your new best friend, it is wise to be prepared by having the essential cat supplies on hand.
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