A post about abandoned kittens desperately in need of fosters, your child arriving home from school with a bundle of fluff that was found behind the tuckshop, or it just arrives in your garden and there you go… you’ve been adopted.
Adopting a kitten is easy. It takes a moment to look into those little eyes, and once that first meeoow comes out, you’re hooked.
The problem is… you don’t have nine months to plan for it. There’s no time discuss names, choose beds, decide which food or litter to give them or which vet you are going to put your trust in.
Pet-parenting can just spring up on you and it can be a bit overwhelming (particularly if you are going to do it properly – I’m talking all the “Bells and Whiskers”).
Being a good pet-parent is what it’s all about, and this starts with planning for your kitten.
So, if you are thinking of adopting or you suddenly have a ball of fluff and aren’t quite sure what you’re in for, here’s a list of all you need for your new kitten:
The importance of nutrition in a growing kitten can’t be emphasised enough. Choose PREMIUM KITTEN FOOD that has been scientifically formulated to promote growth and prevent diseases. A mixture of dry and wet foods should be made available to your kitten.
Kittens younger than 6 weeks may need a KITTEN MOUSSE which can be watered down to allow them to lap up the mixture.
If your kitten hasn’t been weaned yet and still needs bottle feeding get a MILK FORMULA specifically for kittens.
NOTE – normal cow’s milk is not suitable for kittens or cats as they are lactose intolerant.
FOOD AND WATER BOWLS
This is the fun part! There are so many bright and colourful options to choose from … NON-SLIP BOWLS which are dishwasher safe are the most convenient. Placemats are also very useful and colourful additions making keeping the area around the food bowl clean super-easy.
It’s critical to have fresh, clean water available at all times and more than one water station is best. Many cats love running water and for these felines, a CAT FOUNTAIN is a real treat. Change the FILTERS and clean them regularly to keep the water fresh, clean and healthy.
Kittens need to start out with litter before they are trained to go outside.
Open litter boxes with shorter sides are a good starting point but if your kitty needs a more private environment to do his/her business you can try a closed litter tray. The bonus is that they decrease litter scatter.
There are many types of litter, but low odour, biodegradable clumping litter and silica crystals are most popular. Start off with SOFT-TEXTURED LITTER for kitty’s little paws. Remove solids daily with a poop-scoop.
BEDS, BLANKETS, IGLOOS AND NOOKIE BAGS
Make your kitten a safe and comfortable area that they can always return to, almost like a den. There are trendy and beautiful options that can actually work as features in your home, from igloos, to open beds to stunning cat furniture with hide outs and playstations.
Have fun with it!
TOYS AND SCRATCH POSTS
Kittens have lots of energy and are fearless and feisty. Without enough environmental stimulation and attention they may become destructive. Spend time playing with your kitty. Not only does this strengthen the bond between you, it will help them get rid of some energy (and allow you to sleep at night).
There are many options when it comes to toys but buy a scratching post too that they can sharpen claws on instead of your prized couch.
This is particularly important for long haired cats but all cats need to be brushed and groomed. A daily brush will help reduce hairballs and knots from developing. The sooner you get them used to a good grooming, the better and it’s a wonderful way to bond with your new bundle of fluff.
I personally recommend a softer brush for kittens.
TICK AND FLEA PREVENTION
Even if you don’t see parasites on your pets they can still be there. Not only do ticks and fleas carry diseases which can affect the health of your pet, parasites like tapeworms can affect you and your family too. Rule this problem out with a strict tick and flea regimen: monthly top-spot treatment, regular bathing with an appropriate shampoo or collars.
Make sure that you know whether the product has ongoing protection and how long until it needs to be repeated/reapplied.
Try the REVOLUTION for Puppies and Kittens and reapply every 4 weeks. This is for kittens up to 2.5kg and older than 8 weeks OR the FRONTLINE SPRAY for dogs and cats which can be used before 8 weeks of age. Just follow the instructions carefully when it comes to the dose.
Kittens should be dewormed at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age. Then at 12 weeks, 16 weeks, 6 months and every 3 months thereafter. Worms are not only a problem for your pets but for you and your family too.
Did you know that most commercial deworming products found in your supermarkets do not actually kill all worms effectively? Use veterinary endorsed products which will rid your cat of ALL worms, including tapeworms.
Although it doesn’t taste great, the PANACUR paste I find easier to dose very small kittens with but after 7 weeks of age, and BROADLINE is also a wonderful product as it does ticks, fleas and all worms – it is a top spot too so no need to worry about the taste!
A good quality carrier is a great investment. Every time you transport your cat they should be inside a carrier.
Cats are escape artists and they can panic in strange environments, just a small gap and they can get out through a car window or door. They can get stuck under seats or wedge themselves under the brake pedals, which can put everyone in the car at risk. The sooner you get them used to travelling in one, the better.
TIP – spray a spurt of Feliway 15 mins before popping your kitten in the carrier to help reduce any possible stress.
These cat accessories are there to make your kitten stand out … and literally so.
Reflective / glow-in-the-dark collars are not only trendy, but they ensure kitty is seen in the dark.
Collars with quick release buckles will prevent them getting caught on branches.
Consider putting your street address and phone number on the tag so people in the area can return your wanderer.
Once kitty has been microchipped by the vet, add that to the ID tag as well.