How To Prepare For A New Kitten: A Complete Checklist

A ginger kitten sleeping on its back.

This article is a complete checklist for how to prepare for a new kitten. Bringing and raising a new kitten at home is an experience full of challenges and rewards.

Whether you are considering introducing a kitten or having welcomed a fuzzy little bundle of happiness into your life, you undoubtedly have to be the best pet parent for the kitty’s welfare.

Keep reading to learn about kittens and how to give your little friend the best possible care.

New Kitten Checklist:

You will need several supplies to help you take care of your kitten. Here are some basic things to look for before bringing him home:

  • Quality kitten food
  • Treats Cats
  • Food and water bowls
  • Trash box and cat litter
  • Cat bed
  • Cat carrier
  • Collar and ID tags
  • Cat brush and flea comb
  • Toothbrush and pet-safe toothpaste
  • Scratch post and kitten-safe toys
A complete new kitten checklist image.

What Food Should I Feed My Kitten?

Is it really important you feed your new kitten high quality kitten food, not regular cat food. Kitten food has been carefully created to ensure your kitten gets all the essential nutrients they need.

Cat Treats For Kittens

To help encourage bonding and training, buy cat treats and reward your kittens for good behaviour. But keep in mind that being overweight can lead to weight gain.

Look for low-calorie options or high calcium treats such as the Whiskas Kitten Miky Treats. You should use fewer treats as they should make up only 10% of your cat’s total diet.

What Food And Water Bowls Do Kittens Need?

Feeding your new kitten would not be complete without food and water bowls. Find small clean bowls before bringing the kitten home, so you do not have to worry about giving food and water in a hygienic environment.

You can replace kitten-sized cups with adult-sized cups as your kitten grows. To encourage drinking, consider water fountains and keep your cat’s food and water dishes away from each other, and cats often do not like to drink water that is close to their source of food.

Do Kittens Need Cat beds?

Kittens need a place where they can curl up and take a nap. While they may choose to do this on your sofa or bed, it’s still a good idea to buy a cat bed and encourage your kitten to use it.

Find a mattress that is easy to wash and consider one that provides enough space for your kitten to crawl or hide. Here is our recommended cat bed.

Do Kittens Need Cat Scratchers?

Introduce cat scratcher toys or posts because kittens and cats try to scratch everything naturally. This is a natural behaviour that relieves stress and helps cats trim their claws and mark their territory.

If you don’t want your kitten scratching your furniture or curtains, place scratching posts and scratching toys all over your home and pay attention to your kitten when they use it occasionally and give them a treat for using the posts.

[icon name=”info-circle” prefix=”fas fa-2x”] You may also be interested in our article on Top 5 Best Cat Trees

Should I Secure My Windows For My New Kitten?

Cats enjoy watching outside and sitting on high surfaces. To reduce the risk of falling windows, keep the windows closed when you cannot monitor your kitten.

If you plan to open windows in your home, make sure all windows are securely secured and have restricted access to your kitten.

Keeping Kittens Out Of Cabinets

Cats have a way of hiding in places they aren’t supposed to, and that includes unprotected cabinets. Make sure any cabinet that contains toxic or harmful cleaning supplies are appropriately closed and, if possible, locked.

Keeping Kittens Safe Around Uncovered Wires And Cables

Kittens are very playful and like to get their teeth into everything! Dangling objects, including electrical wires and cables, look like kitten toys.

You should use wire protectors and keep the cords away from colliding and moving.

Remove Poisonous Plants From Kittens

Some common houseplants are toxic to kittens and cats. Research the plants in your home and get rid of anything that could harm your fur baby.

We have a full guide on what plants are toxic to cats to help you decide what plans are suitable for your home. The guide also includes safe faux alternatives from Amazon.

Creating A Safe Place For You Kitten

Your new kitten may feel surprised and a little nervous when they first come home. You can eliminate some of this by creating a safe space in the bedroom or bathroom and allowing the area to be explored and used in advance.

If you have other pets in your home, make sure the introductions take place slowly.

How To Play And Exercise With Your Kitten

Beyond just socializing, kittens also have to play with exercise. This creates a bond between the two of you, but it also helps her be fit, which is essential for her healthy growth.

Set aside time each day to play with your kitten, whether it’s chasing a mouse on a string or having a light around the room.

[icon name=”info-circle” prefix=”fas fa-2x”] You may also be interested in our article on Best Electronic Cat Toys

How Much Sleep Does A Kitten Need?

Kittens sleep a lot at a young age – between 16-20 hours a day. Therefore, it is essential to give them a peaceful nap during the day and sweet sleep at night in a comfortable place.

You may want to keep the kitten in your bedroom, but then you have to keep its litter box in your bedroom too. So it would be better to section it off somewhere else in the house just for hygienic reasons. This will allow your kitten to be comfortable in her place without disturbing you.

It is not uncommon for a baby kitten to wake up in the middle of the night and hope to get your attention and meow loudly, unlike human babies who cry at night. Try your best to ignore your kitten, too, if they cry. Gradually, they will realize that it is time to go to bed at night, and you will not hear every cry.

All About Kittens: What to Expect

Raising a kitten is a very different experience from an adult cat. Kittens have a lot of energy and curiosity, which means they need a lot of your time and energy. Not only does it get a lot of love and playtime to socialize your new kitten properly, but it also requires a ton of supervision to keep her out of trouble. The fact is that kittens, while charming and cute, can be exhausting.

Remember that the kitten stage doesn’t last forever. Enjoy this step, and keep in mind, the bond you make with your kitten will last a lifetime.

Preparing for Your New Kitten

To make life easier for your new kitten, prepare the kitten list before bringing it home.

The first thing you need to do is look at each room and decide which room is better for the kitten litter box. Choose a room with no windows, vents, and any open holes because it is a kitten love to explore.

Move electronics and electrical wires, window blind cords and any other wires out of kitten’s reach. You should also remove items that may be at risk of suffocation.

It’s also a good idea to have a quiet area as a “base camp” to get your kitty used to your new surroundings. This area should be larger than other pets, and young kittens should only be admitted under adult supervision.

Decorate the space with bins, food and water dishes, a comfortable bed and a toy.

Keeping food and water out of the trash is usually a good idea, as cats typically don’t like to eat near where they do their business – but again, who does! This area will serve as a safe place for your kitten not only to get to know you but also to get used to the strange sounds and smells of his new home.

Introducing Your Kitten To Other Pets

If you have other pets, keep the door closed or use it to keep the pet door out. Slowly allow them to approach the gate and let kitten meet and sniff each other from a safe distance.

A grey kitten standing next to a golden Labrador.

When they show acceptance of each other’s presence without signs of aggression, allow them to make complete contact under their supervision.

Wait for your new kitten to be introduced to the other animals until the kitten gets vaccinated and receives a health certificate from the veterinarian.

Click here to read the research study on how to resolve aggression issues in kitten when introduced to the new house.

Feeding Your New Kitten

Ideally, kittens live with their mother and other littermates until they are at least eight weeks old. Where they should entirely be weaned and be able to regulate their body temperature by themselves.

However, if you find yourself in the position of caring for a newborn or baby kitten, you should keep the kitten warm and feed them with bottle-fed baby formula every two hours. It is best to consult your doctor about proper eating schedules and other special precautions in such cases.

Usually, though when you bring your new kitten home, he/she will already have been weaned onto solid food. If possible, ask the former guardian or the previous shelter to provide you with a week’s worth of food currently being eaten by the kitten.

If you decide to continue feeding kitten the same brand and type of food, mix a small amount of new food, change food slowly by mixing both foods, and increase the new food overtime in one week to stop digestive problems related to kittens.

How Often Should I Feed My Kitten?

Whatever you want to feed your kitten, find nutritious food specifically designed for growing kittens. Kitten food should be high in calories, rich in protein and easy to digest. Adjust your kitty’s meal schedule by age:

Up to six months:

Feed your kitten three to four times a day. At this stage of rapid growth and development, kittens need a lot of calories. It may be easier to feed your kitty for free at this stage by leaving a cup or bowl of kibble, where she can access it whenever she is hungry.

Six to nine months:

When your kitten enters puberty and becoming mature, your kitten needs fewer calories and should not be fed more than twice a day.

Nine to twelve months:

For twelve months, your cat is no longer a kitten. As she approaches puberty at nine months, you can begin to turn it into adult cat food. You should also start monitoring her weight to make sure she is not overweight.

Along with high-quality kitten food, make sure your kitten has easy access to clean fresh water.

Avoid giving her milk, which can upset her stomach. Cats may have heard of enjoying a cup of milk or cream, even though cats cannot digest milk properly, and such behaviour can cause diarrhoea, which isn’t a treat for your kitties.

Training And Socializing Your Kitten

On the first day of your kitten’s home, there should be a litter box training near the top of your priority list. Kittens who live with their mothers until they are fully breastfed usually learn the litter’s purpose by watching their mothers.

Generally, your kitten already knows what to do, and your only job is to show her the box. You may need to remind her where the box is and use positive reinforcements, such as gestures and compliments until she becomes accustomed to using it on her own without a hint.

At this stage, it may be helpful to have a few trash cans around the house, to make sure they have easy access to something while they are looking for things.

Beyond potty-training, training a kitten is usually about setting boundaries and domestic rules and enforcing them. Again, rely on positive reinforcements to train your kitten, and avoid punishing her or speaking harshly. Never, ever hit or shake your kitten. Instead, ignore her when she misbehaves. Give loves treats and appreciates her for her excellent behaviour.

If ignoring is not an option, divert attention. For example, if your kitten bites or scratches your hand, give her a toy instead. If it itches on the furniture, be patient and send it to the abrasive post or pad.

No matter what you think, cats can be trained in other ways. Like most puppies, kittens are very smart and have the ability to learn a lot. Kitten’s accessible nature may have known by every pet owner.

To understand kittens’ socialization behaviour, read this research article: “Social organization in the cat: A modern understanding.”

How To Train Your Kitten

As with any pet training, it requires patience. Start with simple commands such as calling to get her name. After that, you slowly teach them other commands such as sit, lie down and stay up. Again, this is important to use positive reinforcement if you want these commands to learn by your kitty.

Kittenhood is an essential time to socialize with your cat. To be a balanced adult, she should play with it and be comforted and exposed to more and more new sites, sounds, smell and regrets.

A tabby cat with blue yes with his mouth open.

When the cat is young, it is the best time to endure grooming tasks such as wearing a collar, riding in a pet carrier, riding in a car, bathing, brushing, nail trimming and brushing teeth. Remember that your is still a kitten and is facing the world for the first time.

The traffic sound or voices may frighten her. In these cases, it is essential to reassure and understand that you must take your kitty back to some calm and safe place when there is not too many voices or harmful stimuli present in the environment.

As a kitten begins to get used to these things, you can gradually offer more treats. However, you may find yourself surprised that kittens have a curious nature, and you might find that they can be fearless and explore more than you’d think.

Other Important Considerations For Your New Kitten

New cat parents will have to make other important decisions about caring for their kitten. Here are some things to think about when welcoming a new kitten.

Calming Aids For Kittens:  

Some kittens experience anxiety when they are introduced to their new home. If your kitten feels stressed, talk to your veterinarian about that and use pheromones to help reduce anxiety or use other calming aids that can help them relax.

Pet Insurance For Kittens:

Caring for your fur baby is a lifelong commitment, and unexpected injuries, illnesses and accidents can add to large veterinary bills. Consider buying pet insurance to protect your new kitten from helping with the cost of unplanned medical expenses. Various plans are available to meet your specific needs and budget.

Prevention Of Fleas And Ticks:

Indoor cats are still at risk from parasites like fleas and ticks. Fleas can enter the home via rats or other pets, including dogs. Humans can also carry ticks on their clothes. Protect your kitten from parasitic diseases by protecting it from fleas and ticks.

Vaccines And Health Check-Ups:

Your kitten will receive a health check-up within a week of having her home. On the first visit, your vet should check for parasites, Feline leukaemia, and other health concerns for the first time, and if she hasn’t had them yet, then the vet will give her drops in her first period of vaccination.

It would help if you also talked to your veterinary doctor about scheduling booster vaccination shots, introducing flea and parasite control procedures, and then spaying or neutering. This visit is the perfect time to ask your doctor any questions about caring for and feeding your kitten.


Raising a kitten can be a challenge, of course, but if done well, the kitten can give you love, loyalty and affection. Provide every essential care along with feeding, treats and training to help your cat grow from a tiny fluffy ball into a sleek and healthy adult.

Now that you know all about the kitten list, you must be well equipped to provide your new kitten with an exciting and welcoming home with excellent life.


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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