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New Kitten Checklist

Cat tree (for climbing)

Identification (microchip, ID tag, breakaway collar)

Treats for training (or you can use the kitten’s food)

Clicker (optional training tool)

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First Stop for Your Kitten: The Veterinary Clinic

Your kitten will need lifelong veterinary care and the time to start is right now. Depending upon where you got your kitten and her current age, she may need to begin or continue her initial kitten vaccinations and deworming. Even if she has had her vaccinations before you got her, an initial visit to the veterinarian for a checkup is important before bringing her home, especially if you have other pets at home already.

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Your veterinarian can also give you guidance on nutrition, show you how to do things such as nail trimming and can provide answers to your questions about being a first-time cat parent. It’s also important to establish a client/veterinarian relationship now, while your new family member is just starting out.

You can find more information in the following articles:

How to Choose a Veterinarian

8 Tips on How to be a Good Veterinary Client

Why You Should Spay or Neuter Your Cat

New FelineVaccination Protocols

kitten playing on a sofa

Photo: Shutterstock

A Safe Place for a Kitten to Land

Even though you’re probably so excited to begin your life with the new kitten, keep in mind that your home environment is unfamiliar and big. That’s a lot for a little kitten to adjust to initially so it’s best to confine her to one room. I have always referred to this as the “sanctuary” room. It can be an extra bedroom or any room you can close off. This way the kitten can get her bearings without being overwhelmed.

Your kitten is also just in the learning stages of activities such as using the litter box, scratching, climbing, exploring, etc. It’s much easier for her to have everything conveniently located right now. Depending upon how young your kitten is, it’s crucial to have her litter box very close by.

Equip the sanctuary room with your kitten’s litter box, a vertical scratching post, a horizontal scratching pad, a few hiding places (paper bags or boxes on their sides), a cozy napping area, food and water (place these far from the litter box).