Move over everybody, there's a new kitten in town! And that means...torn up carpets, stinky poo poos, and hairballs...right? Wrong!
Getting a new fur kiddo adjusted to your home is a big step, but it doesn't have to be as messy as it may seem so long as you have all the right tools in place.
Here's a list of must-haves for your new fur baby. If you end up seeing something you like, click the picture to learn more!
1. Litter and Litter Box
When it comes to litter, there are plenty of types to choose from. In our experience, cats tend to stick their nose up at scented litters, and in a new home there are more than enough new smells for them to deal with. Start with a simple unscented cat litter and go from there. Fresh step is a common brand and has earned its place in the hearts of many cat owners.
Litter boxes, on the other hand, are a whole different ball game. You can go with your basic, open-box type, covered, or even automatic scooping!
To start, we highly recommend that you use an open litter box with a mat to keep the area clean. Some cats may be skittish or nervous as they are getting acclimated to your home and may find the dome-shaped cover of covered litter boxes too scary. The same goes for automatic litter boxes as well.
So try something basic like the product below. Oh, and don't forget a scoop!
2. Food and Treats
Now on to the fun stuff! Food!
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves, we realize that food preferences and dietary needs are vast. So we won't jump into specifics. However, it is imperative that you keep a close eye on your fur baby whenever you introduce new things into their diets. That includes any new kibble, wet food, or snacks. If you're not careful, you could overlook an allergy or digestion issue triggered by the diet change.
The same goes for any treats or snacks you allow your pet to have. In general, you want to avoid anything that is high-calorie or contains additives. Of course, cats are notoriously finicky, so it may be hard to find the perfect snackum for them. We suggest starting out with a grain-free, all-natural, freeze-dried product, like the minnow snacks below. Yum!
3. Vitamins and Supplements
Some cats come to the table needing a little more TLC. That means they may need extra supplements or a multivitamin to keep them happy and healthy. You should never start your cat on any supplements without consulting a veterinarian, so please talk to them before committing to one.
A common supplement for cats is Lysine, which helps control congestion in cats with certain ailments. Again...DO NOT SELF-PRESCRIBE VITAMINS OR SUPPLEMENTS FOR YOUR CAT AND ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR VETERINARIAN FIRST! In case you have spoken to your vet and are ready to try a Lysine supplement, we have had great luck with Viralys' treat version. Try these snackies with your kitty, or their powdered version sprinkled over food!
Obviously you love your cat and your furniture, but you shouldn't have to choose between the two. Making sure your home is equipped with the appropriate scratchers is vital. But don't forget you also need the right amount in the right places.
The best scratchers try to imitate textures in nature. So a tightly-knit cardboard pattern or woven rope would do well. You should also place them at different angles. Some scratchers come with adhesives for your wall or are built to lay on your floor.
Before you commit to one type, try a few inexpensive options to figure out which kind of scratcher your cat prefers best. Or...ya know...go ham and get this ridiculously cute mushroom scratcher...because why not??
In nature, cats love to stay in elevated places. That's because cats think they're better than everyone else and like to look down on everyone....okay maybe we aren't sure about that one, but it's a common opinion. Either way, it's probably best to keep your kitten off your countertops and cabinets for sanitary reasons. Though it's not an easy feat, you can train your cat to stay on their perch instead.
You can opt for a cat tree on the smaller side, or go all out with one that has multiple tiers, hammocks, and scratchers included. If you have more than one cat in the home, a larger perch is a great way to give them space.
6. Food and Water Bowls
There's normally not much to think about when it comes to serving up grub for your kitten. But you do want to consider a few things when choosing the right food and water bowls.
First of all, it's important to think about their feeding schedule.
Do you want to make food available to your pet 24/7? Or do you want to limit their feeding? If so, do you have the ability to keep a solid routine with them? If not you may want to consider a pet sitter or an automatic feeder. Otherwise, you just want to make sure you buy something sturdy (cats love to flip their bowls around to let you know they're empty) and, preferably BPA free. In fact, since some cats develop a habit of eating plastic, it may be best to go straight for a ceramic or stainless steel bowl instead.
7. Collars and Bells
Let us not forget the importance of cat fashhhioooonn! Cat collars and harnesses are not just for dolling up your fur baby.
If your cat is allowed outside, also consider a harness. Collars slip off easily sometimes, and other times they get stuck while your fur baby is sneaking around. In those moments, a collar can easily become a choking hazard, so we suggest that a harness is best in those situations. (Psst! If your kitten is young enough you can even train them to go on walks! Always consult a pro about this first.).
8. Nail Clippers
Sometimes the best scratcher isn't enough to tame super sharp claws. In those moments, nail clippers are a lifesaver.
If you start clipping your kitten's nails at a young age and associate it with something paw-sitive (see what we did there?) you can calmly clip your pet's nails throughout their life.
Some people find that clipping nails can be done easily with a pair of human nail clippers. For sanitary (and sanity) reasons, we do not recommend this. There are paw-some (oh god we can't stop.) options for cat nail clippers readily available. Clipping with nail clippers made for a cat's claw is always more hygenic, easy, and makes for a prettily groomed set of nails.
Nothing is better for a kitten's growing brain than a little stimulation. Playing with a variety of toys is a great way to get there! But, as we all know, cats can be particular in their taste. It wouldn't be worth it to dump your money on expensive toys, only to have your kitten enjoy hiding in the box.
Our suggestion is to start out with less expensive toys to see what they like. Feathers, for example, are inexpensive and almost always a crowd pleaser. You can also buy packs of small toys and see which your cat prefers best. Finally, the majority of cats can't resist a bit of catnip. Make sure you grab some and sprinkle it on (or in) whatever toys you buy to get your cat's attention!
As you get your new kitten up to date on all their shots, bring them in for occasional check ups, or if there is an emergency, you will be looking to grab a comfy and reliable crate to carry your cat in.
You never want to let your cat roam free in the car for safety reasons. So finding a good crate, and getting your fur baby used to it, are vital. There are a multitude of options out there for your cat, so do your research. For convenience purposes, we've found that a top-loading carrier is wonderful, but you must chose what's best for you.
No matter which type or brand of these products you choose, we know you will do everything you can to make sure it's the right pick for your fur baby.
That being said, pet sitters are no different. We encourage you to do your homework when selecting a sitter...and that includes us! Before you try Fluff, meet one of our sitters for free to make sure we're the right fit for you and your fur kid!