What Does a New Kitten Need? Shopping List for Kitten Essentials

I’ve had the joy of having a new kitten three different times in my life.  One was a male, and two were female.  Each one was so adorable in their own way. Each had their own distinct personality, their own little cute habits.  I had one for 9 years, one for 14 years, and the last for 20 (yes!) years.  All three brought me unlimited amounts of joy and love.

So congratulations!  I’m so happy for you that you’re getting a new kitten.  I hope he or she brings you years and years of joy.

What Does a New Kitten Need?

Here are some essentials you’ll need to help you take care of your new little sweetie.

What Do I Need for a New KittenFood and Water Bowls

Of course, you’ll need food and water dishes.

You can purchase these cute fish dishes here.

Interactive Toys

Kittens are beyond playful and have unlimited amounts of energy.  Purchasing a few interactive toys for your kitten will be one of the surest ways for you to have a few minutes of peace and quiet here and there!  Toys will help them burn off excess energy and keep them entertained.  It also helps them to build their motor skills and over their lifetime, interactive toys will help keep their brain healthy.

You can find a nice selection of inexpensive, interactive kitten toys here.

What Do I Need for a New KittenCat Brush for Grooming

Most cats are pretty good at cleaning themselves, but you should still brush them regularly.  Not only will it help keep their coat clean, reduce hairballs, and reduce shedding (by a ton), but it’s also a very loving bonding experience for the two of you!

You can purchase the brush you see in the picture here.

What Do I Need for a New KittenScratching Post

Kittens love to scratch, and it’s a habit they usually carry with them their whole lives.  To keep your furniture safe from your kitten’s sharp nails, it’s best to provide him with his own scratching post.  He’ll get years of enjoyment out of it.

You can see a selection of scratching posts here.

What Do I Need for a New KittenCollar and ID Tag

Even if you have an indoor cat, they should still have a collar with an ID tag in case they get out.  And of course, cats who goes outside should always be wearing ID.  You can purchase an inexpensive collar, then purchase a pet ID tag that has the cat’s name and phone number on it.  Please don’t skip this step.  Honestly, if you ever lost your cat you’d be devastated!  I had a friend once whose cat carrier broke at the vet’s office.  Her tomcat fell from the carrier, took off down the sidewalk, and she never saw him again.  I helped her search for weeks and we cried buckets of tears.  If the cat had been wearing a collar with an ID tag, he could’ve been returned to her!

You can see a selection of inexpensive kitten collars here, and you can purchase pet ID tags at www.PetTags.com.

What Do I Need for a New KittenLitter Box and Litter

Of course, your kitten will need a litter box and litter. I started my first kitten using an aluminum pie tin with a handful of litter in it.  All she did at first was play in it!  But every day I kept placing her in it, and eventually she got the idea.  My husband and I clapped and cheered like dorks when our baby went pee pee in the litter for the first time – HA!

You should put the litter box in a quiet place where your kitten can easily get to it.  Most cats don’t like a dirty litter box, so make sure you clean it often.  I used to keep a plastic bag and scoop next to the litter box.  I’d scoop it every day, then throw out the bag at the end of the week, along with the litter, then replace with fresh litter.  This worked well for me.  My sister always said my house never smelled like cat litter – people usually didn’t even know I had a cat!  I also strongly recommend you read my article, How to Get Your Cat to Use the Litter Box so you’ll know from the beginning how to do litter box training correctly.

I used the “looks like a potted plant” litter box you see in the picture.  You can purchase one here.  You can also see a nice variety of inexpensive litter boxes here.

What Do I Need for a New KittenCat Bed

The picture on the right is of my little Miss Abigail the day I brought her home.  I could cry just looking at this – she was SO SO SO sweet!  Look at her little tail hooked up over the edge of the bed…it’s just too cute.

Anyway, kittens have tons of energy, but they also need to rest.  You should provide your kitten with a safe, soft, quiet place to rest.  You might put a towel over the bed so you can wash the towel often (the bed will wear down too quickly if you’re always putting it in the washing machine).

You can see a nice selection of cat beds here.

Decide on Food

For the first year, high-quality kitten food is the best choice for your growing kitty.  In my opinion, the rule for which pet food to buy is get the best quality you can afford.  Also, it’s crucial for you to know that MOIST FOOD is better for cats.  You can read about this in depth in my article, What is the Best Food for Cats?  Cats who live on dry food often end up with kidney problems.  Sadly, one of my cats had this.  For the last six months of her life I was giving her fluids through an IV.  I so wish I had known that moist food was crucial for her health. You can give your cat dry food, but make sure he also has a daily serving of moist food.  My opinion is roughly 75% moist food, 25% dry.

Also, be careful about treats.  The treats that are soft can sometimes contain ingredients that can actually be toxic for your cat.  I think the best treats are either just pieces of their dry food, or whole, real foods like little pieces of fish or chicken you keep in the fridge.

You can read more about this in my article, Best and Worst Pet Foods.

Find a Veterinarian

Your kitten will need vaccinations and should be neutered or spayed before they turn six months old.  It’s smart to choose a veterinarian right away because he can tell you what your kitten needs and when, and also be available and familiar with you, should your kitten have any sort of emergency.  If you need help paying for medical care for your kitten, read my article, Get Help With Vet Bills.

For more information about your kitten’s health, please read these articles:

Indoor Cat Health – What Vaccinations Do They Need?

Foods That Are Poisonous for Dogs and Cats

What Do I Need for a New KittenGet Pet Health Insurance!

I mean it – listen to me on this one!  I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars over the last 35 years on medical expenses for my pets.  For the first 15 years or so of pet ownership as an adult, I rarely had any more than the regular vet visits for shots, etc.  I had a miniature dachshund named Maggie who had a minor foot sprain once and that was about it.  Then later, one of my cats had a bladder stone and the surgery was $700.  My tomcat suddenly became ill and his bloodwork showed anemia and kidney failure.  He passed away, and to this day I don’t know what the cause of the illness was.  Then I got a second mini doxy named Taz and holy cow – her medical bills were out of this world!  She had three dental surgeries, two back injuries, x-rays, steroid shots for collapsed bronchial tubes due to severe allergies.  Then the poor baby was diagnosed with Cushings Disease.  The blood work you have to do for that takes place minimally once a year and costs between $175 and $350.  And the medicine costs between $75 and $90 per month.  I had Taz six and a half years and spent more than $20,000 on her medical issues.  During that time, my cat, Miss Abigail developed fatty liver disease and passed away – the ordeal cost me $2900.  Shortly after, my last remaining cat developed serious kidney disease.

See what I mean?  For most of my adult life my pets just didn’t cost that much vet-wise.  But then things happened.  One after the other.  And I was nearly wiped out financially.  GOD HOW I WISH I HAD GOTTEN PET INSURANCE FOR EACH ONE OF THEM!  It would’ve saved me thousands of dollars.  I’ll never, ever make that mistake again.

Get pet health insurance! For more information about this, please read my article, Is Pet Insurance Worth it for Cats?

Here are two companies I can recommend:

What Do I Need for a New KittenPetPlan

You can read my review of PetPlan Pet Health Insurance here.  Policies start at $10 per month, and this is the largest provider of pet health insurance in the world.

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE QUOTE

What Do I Need for a New KittenHealthyPaws

You can read my review of HealthyPaws Pet Insurance Foundation here.  They have been rated the Best Pet Health Insurance Company by their customers for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 at Petinsurancereview.com, Consumersadvocate.org,  PetInsuranceQuotes.com, and other leading review sites.  They earned this praise because they offer exceptional customer service!

CLICK HERE FOR A FREE QUOTE

Finally, Get Help With Training

The best way for you and your new kitten to have a long, happy, PEACEFUL life together, is for you to get the knowledge you need about cat training right from the beginning.  Here is a cat training program I can highly recommend.

what do i need for a new kittenUltimate Cat Secrets

You can read my review of them here.  This is a step-by-step cat training program that contains 12 sections.  It’s audio – you can listen to it right on your computer (you can also get a free transcript if you’d rather read than listen). It covers a large number of cat ownership issues – everything from health, nutrition, grooming, training – to dealing with cat behavioral issues.  It truly is the best way to have a well behaved, happy, healthy cat!  And the best part is that it comes with a 100% money back guarantee AND YOU GET TO KEEP THE PROGRAM.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

Enjoy Your New Kitten!

I hope this article has helped you cover all your bases as far as what you need to get ready for your new kitten.  Remember love, caring and affection are the greatest gifts you can give any pet.  They’ll love you back 100x more in return!  Debra 🙂

I Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of all commissions I earn on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals!  Debra 🙂

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How to Separate Fighting Cats – How to Break Up a Cat Fight

I personally think witnessing a cat fight is one of the most horrifying things you can see – and hear!  I made the mistake once of throwing down a pieHow to Separate Fighting Catsce of chicken onto my kitchen floor for my cats, not realizing they’d both lunge for it at the same time and the nastiest, meanest fight I’d ever witness would ensue.  And these were house cats – I can’t even imagine what fights between outdoor, stray, or “wild” cats must be like.  I shudder just thinking about it.  If you find yourself in this terrifying situation, try these tips on how to separate fighting cats:

Avoid hitting.

Hitting can make the situation worse and may cause the attack to be turned toward you.  Not to mention it creates even more stress and fear for the cats who are already in a terrible situation.

Don’t get your hands in the way!

Don’t get your hands anywhere near their mouths.  It’s best not to use your hands at all – your hands and arms could be torn to shreds pretty quickly with cat claws moving wildly about.  Here’s a great tip – use an UMBRELLA to separate the cats.  Open the umbrella and use it to “scoop” one of the cats away from the other.  Just managing to get the umbrella between the two may be enough to get one or both to flee. A broom may do the trick as well – hold the broom between the two cats to separate them (do NOT hit them with the broom).

Try a spray bottle, or hose.

Try spraying one or both cats with water.  If it doesn’t work, try aiming for the nostrils.  Don’t spray too much – all you need to do is get one of their faces wet to startle them out of fighting mode.

Prevent the fight from starting in the first place.

When two cats are in a frozen position, snarling and growling at each other but not yet fighting, try putting a magazine or newspaper between the two of them to block their vision of each other.  It allows an opportunity for the frightened one to run away and for you to pick up the dominant one if it’s tame. Don’t try picking up either of the cats unless and until you have done something to block their vision of each other.  Otherwise, your touching one of them might actually start the fight.

This works most times:

The fastest way to break up a cat fight is to make a loud hissing, spitting sound, followed by a glass of water splashed in one of their faces.

For more information about the reasons why cats fight, read this article,

How to Stop Cats From Fighting

How to Separate Fighting Cats

I Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of all commissions I make on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals!

 

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How to Keep Cats from Fighting

If you have multiple cats and they fight, it could very well be that they just don’t like each other.  But there are plenty of other reasons why cats fight, and fortunately, you can learn how to keep cats from fighting. The easiest way to approach it is to 1) figure out what they’re fighting about and 2) eliminate/solve the issue.

Always Consider Medical Issues First

Cats can develop emotional issues, hostility and irritability as a result of a medical issue.  Specifically, if they are sick or in pain, they won’t want anyone to come near them, touch them – and they certainly won’t be open to interaction with another cat.  Make sure your cats are seen regularly by a veterinarian, and always take your cat to the vet if there is a sudden change in his behavior. Refer to this article, Indoor Cat Health, for more information.

How to Keep Cats from FightingSome cats don’t like to share their food and water dishes.

Try providing a separate food and water dish for each cat, in separate locations. This will eliminate any competition over the food and water.

How to Keep Cats from FightingDon’t make them share the litter box.

It’s a good idea to have one litter box per cat, just for the sake of keeping it clean.  If you have multiple cats using one litter box, it’s nearly impossible to keep that one box clean, and you end up running into problems with getting them to use the litter box.  But having a separate litter box for each cat should also eliminate any fights about the litter box.

How to Keep Cats from FightingGive them their own bed.

Each cat in your household should have their own cat bed in a separate location.  Some cats like to snuggle up together, but some prefer to sleep alone.  Try to put each cat’s bed in a place where they tend to hide or nap in, giving them a private place to retreat and rest.

How to Keep Cats from FightingProvide enough toys.

Eliminate competition by making sure you have “enough for everyone.”

How to Keep Cats from FightingOffer separate scratching posts.

Cats scratch not only to sharpen their claws, but also to stretch and to mark their territory.  It’s the mark-their-territory part that causes fights.  Try giving each cat a scratching post, in separate locations.

How to Keep Cats from FightingProvide a high perch or two.

Some cats like to sit in high spots because they feel safe.  If you have a “fraidy cat” who doesn’t have a place to escape to, he’s going to the feel the need to protect himself and he’ll be in fighting mode all the time.  Sometimes just providing a place for one of the fighting cats to flee to will eliminate cat fights.  One option is to purchase a cat tree.

Try using window perches.  

These are great because they get to look outside, plus get away from the other cats.  Be careful about this, though…purchase more than one window perch, otherwise you’re setting up yet another thing to fight about!  Get at least two.

How to Keep Cats from FightingMake sure your cats are eating healthy.

Cats need the right nutrition – specifically a moist, balanced diet.  Well-nourished cats are less likely to develop emotional and medical issues that can result in inappropriate behavior.  Please refer to this article, Best Food For Your Cat for more information.

Are your cats getting enough exercise?

Many indoor cats don’t get enough physical exercise.  This can result in pent-up energy that ends up coming out as hostility toward other cats in the house (or you!)  Try interactive cat toys to get them moving.  And of course remember the simple things like a feather tied to a string – your playing with your cat with this simple toy will provide hours of enjoyment and exercise for your cat, plus it will enhance your bond with them (awwww…)

how to keep cats from fightingLook for signs of misdirected aggression.

Sometimes a cat is ticked off because of something that actually has nothing to do with the other cats in the house – but just like us, they may lash out at who ever happens to cross their path!  An example might be if you trim your cats nails and he hates it (imagine that…) – then afterward he immediately attacks one of the other cats…see what I mean?  They’re ticked off about something and are simply lashing out.  So whenever you see a cat lashing out at another, try to see if there’s a connection to a recent event or experience – what ticked him off?

How to Keep Cats from FightingCreate a calming environment.

A product like Comfort Zone MultiCat Diffuser can help calm cats down and reduce emotional responses such as aggression.  You might consider this if there’s a particularly stressful situation going on, such as the introduction of a new cat or dog to your household, a new baby, or moving.  This product produces a scent that is proven to help reduce the frequency and intensity of tension and conflict between cats.

If you weren’t able to prevent a fight and need help, read this article about How To Break Up a Cat Fight.

I hope this article has been helpful in bringing peace to your household! Please feel free to comment below if you have more ideas on how to stop cats from fighting.  Thank you!  Debra

For more information, go to Ultimate Cat Secrets.

How to Keep Cats from Fighting

I Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of all commissions I make on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals!

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How Long Can I Leave a Cat Home Alone?

It’s true that the reason many people own cats to begin with is because they believe cats can be left home alone for long periods of time. They think leaving out a big bowl of food, another bowl with water, and scooping the litter box before they leave is enough.  But after reading this article, I think you’ll realize that may not be so.

How Long Can I Leave a Cat Home Alone?

The truth is, leaving cats home alone for any longer than one day just isn’t a good idea. Here’s why:

how to stop your cat from peeing on the bedCats Get Sick

First, cats do get sick, and if no one is around for several days, your cat won’t get the help he needs until you return. Most veterinarians know at least one client who has come home to a desperately sick or dead cat. Read that sentence again…how would you feel if you arrived home to find your cat dead, then realizing he could’ve been saved if someone had been around?

Cats Shouldn’t Be Eating Dry Food

Most veterinarians will tell you that cats need a moist diet.  Kidney disease is the most common result of feeding a cat a lifelong diet of dry cat food.  A few crunchies here and there is ok, but the bulk of their diet should be moist (either fresh or canned food).  Obviously, you can’t go on vacation and leave moist food out. For more information on what you should be feeding your cat, refer to this article, Best Food for Your Cat.

how to get your cat to use the litterboxMost Cats Object to a Dirty Litter Box

Object.  That means won’t go in it!  Don’t act surprised when you come home to find the litter box overflowing, then a mess on the floor either near the litter box – or absolutely anyplace else in the house.

What To Do If You’re Going To Be Away from Home for Longer Than One Day

My recommendation is to arrange for someone to visit your cat at least once a day to feed him, scoop the litter box, make sure he has fresh water, and to spend a little time with him. If you have even one neighbor who has cats, it’s likely they’d be happy to check in on your kitty for you – especially if you offer to do the same for them when they’re away.  Otherwise, a friend, relative, or a professional pet sitter could do a daily visit.

A far less desirable option is to board your cat. This is almost never ideal, because cats can become stressed when kenneled away from home.  Stress leads to digestive upset, and a kitty who stops eating is very quickly a sick kitty. Also, most kennels require vaccinations that you wouldn’t normally choose for your pet. If you must board your cat, try to find a cats-only facility.  Cats do best in a quiet, calm environment free of barking dogs.

I Donate to Animal Charities

Thank you for visiting my website.  I donate 10% of all commissions I make on this website to animal charities.  You can see a list of the charities I donate to here.  If you like this website, please share it with your friends – every purchase helps animals!  Debra 🙂

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