Equipment You will Need to Buy for a New Kitten
To give your kitten the happiest and healthiest start in life, there's some essential items of equipment that you'll need to buy. Here's a quick checklist of what you'll need in preparation for the arrival of your new kitten.
Here's a quick starting list of some of the things you'll need to buy when you get a new kitten:
- Water and food bowls or containers
- Equipment for your kitten's toilet needs
- Tools for grooming
- Apparatus and accessories for your kitten to scratch and chew
- A carrier for transporting your new kitten
- A bed to sleep on
This isn't the complete list - it's more of a starting point. Let's go into some more detail.
There's quite a few choices when it comes to picking a litter box for your kitten. The cheapest and perhaps most simple is a simple plastic tray, about 6 inches deep and 1 to 3 feet in length.
The style and features that a litter box comes with is also your decision. Some are 'A-framed' with an entrance. These provide privacy and also help to ensure that your cat doesn't accidentally miss the edges of the tray and end up with mess on the floor.
Some litter boxes are battery-operated and mechanically help in the disposal of the cat's waste. Others will be more elaborate and costly. It's entirely up to you in deciding which suits you and your new kitten best.,
You'll need litter to go in the litter tray. Again, there's quite a few options here, some cheap and some more expensive. The cheapest is litter made from sand or newspaper but these may not mask the odour of the cat's toilet too well and will need to be changed daily.
Other types of litter include wood chips, litter with perfume additives, flushable litter, deodorising pellets and granulated clay.
You might find that ultimately it's your kitten that chooses what the best sort of litter is. If your kitten doesn't seem to like going to the toilet in one type of litter, move on and try another. Finding the right litter material is an important part of ensuring that your kitten does not suffer from toilet trouble.
A litter rake is normally either metal or plastic, around 10 inches long, and slotted. You'll need to use the rake through the litter pan daily to help ensure it's free of fecal matter. A good rake will remove the kitten's poop but leave most of the litter in the tray.
Plastic liners are designed to fit into the inner surfaces of a litter tray to make it much easier to remove the used cat litter. It's as simple as gathering the edges of the liner together and pulling it out of the litter tray like a rubbish bag. Plastic litter box liners have become more and more popular recently as it really helps save time when it comes to cleaning out litter trays and giving them a wash.
A cat will need bowls for both drinking and eating. A popular choice these days is to go for stainless steel cat bowls. Ensure the edges have shallow sides. They are easy to clean, wash and sterilize. The material is up to you though - some kitten owners will be just as happy using ceramic bowls or glass bowls. Just remember that a kitten bowl should be nice and shallow - this will allow the kitten to smell, examine and reach the food easily.
Once your kitten has grown up a bit and is fully self-sufficient, you might find yourself needing to be away for a day or two. In this case, you can use an automatic cat feeder and a cat drinking fountain to ensure there's a supply of both water and food whilst you are away.
You should be fully prepared with food for your kitten as soon as he or she arrives at home. Ideally you should continue using the same kitten food that it's already used to - any sudden change can cause illness and lead to under nourishment during the kitten's most important weeks and months. New food should be introduced slowly - just reduce the old food and increase the new food bit by bit. Ensure your kitten has a nice quiet area that he or she can eat in, undisturbed.
Cats love a warm, comfy and cosy place to sleep and chill out. They also love a secure sense of territory. There's a huge choice when it comes to cat beds and your cat will no doubt appreciate some serious comfort. Whilst a wicker or plastic bed with a blanket in it will suffice, there's plenty of other more luxury beds for your kitten to choose from too. The choice is entirely up to you!
Something to scratch
Somewhere to scratch is a very important part of apparatus for any cat owner. Cats have an instinctive need to find somewhere to scratch with their claws. Since cats develop patterns in their behaviour from a very early age, it's very important to provide your kitten with a scratching area as soon as he or she arrives at your home. A scratching post is an ideal solution. Without providing one, your kitten will no doubt decide to scratch your furniture, curtains, carpet or anything else it can get it's claws into.
Again there's a huge choice when it comes to buying a scratching post. The most popular type is simply a vertical post, wrapped in carpet, rope or canvas, attached to a sturdy base. You should ensure that it's at least as tall as your cat, fully grown, when it reaches at full stretch on it's hind legs. For more information read our guide to choosing the right scratching post for your cat.
Play time is just as significant for kittens as it is for young children. A kitten will gain pleasure, happiness and good exercise through playtime - it's an incredibly important part of their development. Kitten play is enhanced greatly with the addition of toys. There's a fantastic range of toys to choose for your kitten including fishing poles, cuddly mice, balls, laser pointers, tickle sticks and much, much more.
Collar and ID tag
A cat carrier is essential for transporting your kitten from one place to another. Whether it's a trip to the vets, or you are moving house, a cat carrier is a necessity. When choosing a cat carrier, ensure that it's sturdy, of good quality and well ventilated. Again, the choices are endless as they come in all shapes, sizes, styles and colours. Read our article on cat carriers for more information.
Grooming your kitten or cat is another very important part of their care. You'll need the basic tools required for grooming your kitten as it grows up. The equipment you'll need will differ slightly depending on whether it's a long-haired or short-haired cat. You can find out more about cat grooming equipment here.