Once you have fixed your eyes on a kitten to adopt or see the birth of a kitten just like a human mother to her new born infant, what comes next? The list below entails the following essentials:
Naming Your Kitty
It’s always exciting thinking of a name for your new kitten and give him/her a name that most describes on looks and personality.
Vet Check and Microchip
A trip to the veterinarian right after getting your kitten is most important as the vet does a general check of the kitten from vaccination, microchipping, deworming, defleaing, and also advising on spaying/neutering at the recommended age and the benefits. The vet will give you a vaccination card that entails first dose of vaccination usually at 6-8 weeks of age and repeated 3-4 weeks until the kitten is 4 months old.
Food and Water Bowls
Although there are 2 in 1 bowls where food is placed in one bowl and water the other bowl, it is recommended to avoid mess and food falling into the water, to have them separate. There is a huge variety of bowls made from plastic to ceramic to stainless steel and now elevated bowls for better swallowing too.
The best food to be given especially at this stage as development is so crucial. Hill’s Kitten Dry and wet food provides all the essential needs and requirements for kittens.
Cat Litter Tray
We all need privacy when doing our “business” so get a cat litter tray that is covered and to buy the right size is to measure the kitten from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail. Kittens are small so economically speaking, purchase one that is large. Kitten won’t have a problem jumping in and out of it.
Various types are found from sand (fine & coarse), pine, wood, recycled paper, soy, crystals. All depends on your pocket and level of care toward the environment. It is recommended to get clumping sand for easy cleaning. Clumping sand is an easy function whereby the minute kitten pees, the sand clumps into a ball. All you do is scoop that clump and poo that sticks to the sand and fill the litter tray with more sand.
Provide toys for stimulation, scratching post for removing old material from their claws and marking of territory that has a scent gland in their paws, perches where kitten can hide or get old boxes. Cats love to hide in boxes!
Firstly, cats are natural groomers. They spend ½ of the day grooming! But regular grooming is required especially for long-haired cats to remove matts, dead hair while maintaining the skin and distributing natural oils. Semi-long haired and short-haired cats still require grooming but not as frequent as long-haired cats like Persians for instance.
Malaysia has a tropical climate with a high humidity so get bedding that is suitable for our climate. If you get the usual bedding, you’ll find kitty sleeping on the cold hard floor after a while.
There are plenty cat carriers that can be found at pet shops, vet clinics and online pet e-stores. You have the traditional box-like cages that really hard plastic to the sling types that are transparent and lately the backpack types where kitty views the world with you!
Kitten Proof your House
Like human babies, they’ll crawl and explore what they can get their hands on and everything goes into their mouth. Kittens are the same so to avoid the phrase “Curiosity killed the Cat”, please abide the following:
String, plastic bags, festive ornaments especially Christmas decorations, cable ties, anything that can be bitten into pieces and long that can wrap itself round the kitten during play and choke kitty needs to be put away.
Stationeries like coins, staples, clips, pins, erasers should not be left on work tables. Instead, put them in drawers
Kittens love to open kitchen cupboards so have them child-locked as they love to hide in pots and corners deep inside. Refrigerators are another area of exploration too but not as bad as kitchen cupboards.
Cover trash cans and toilet lids too so kitty doesn’t fall in and make a mess jumping out or drown
Hide all wires especially at the television area to avoid biting and electrocution
Properly tie curtain and blinds cords to avoid dangling and Kitty swaying side-to-side and rod falling from its place
Keep strong chemicals and anything toxic in locked cabinets
Plants that are hazardous and toxic to pets must be removed like tomato, lily, daffodil, mistletoe to name a few but please ask your veterinarian for the latest list