Phone: 07-5715003 

Affordable Veterinary Care in Tauranga !

SmartVets Animal Hospital

511 Cameron Road, Tauranga, (Between 10th &11th Ave)

New Kitten

Congratulations on your decision to share your life with a new kitten! Whether the kitten is your first or an addition to your current pet family, it will bring to you a lot of excitement and joy. Nevertheless welcoming a new kitten is a serious commitment and you want to get off to a good start in order to ensure it gets a happy, safe, long and healthy life in your house. Regardless of where the kitten is coming from (shelter, breeder or street), it is you who can make the kitten’s transition into a new home easier.

How to start?
You want to ensure that you have all the necessary resources your new companion will need before you bring your kitten home. A list of such resources may include the following.

  • Food and water bowls: these can be made out of a variety of materials such stainless steel, ceramic or plastic. You might want to choose the ones that are more sturdy and easy to clean.   Some cats are allergic to plastic bowls and therefore stainless steel or ceramic bowls are typically recommended.
  • Litter accessories: Again a wide variety of cat litters are available on the market. While it is advisable to use clumping litter for complete removal of faeces and urine from the litter box, it is more practical to use non-clumping unscented litters for kittens aged 6-7 weeks or younger. Litter boxes could be of several types too: open trays, enclosed trays or self-cleaning. Your choice of a litter box is determined by your kitten’s personal taste as some cats adapt well to the covered trays, while others might feel vulnerable confined in a small space.
  • Scratching post: Scratching is an instinctive cat behaviour. Providing your kitten with its own scratching post will give it a place to do this and reduce the risk of using your furniture or carpet.
  • Cat carrier: A cat carrier is essential for trips to the vet or even bringing your kitten home. Choose one that is secure and comfortable to get your cat in and out of it.
  • Cat bed: Cats can spend a lot of time sleeping so creating the right conditions for sleeping is very important. You can choose a plain or a relatively fancy bed for your cat depending on your taste and budgetary restrictions. The position of a cat bed is as important as its size or fabric. Make sure the bedding is soft and washable. The bed should be placed somewhere warm and is ideally the sunny spot in your house.
  • Cat toys: Cats love interacting with their owners and it is possible to entertain them with very simple toys. A range of cat toys are available in the pet stores and you may want to talk to your vet for specific recommendations for determining the best type of toy for your kitten.

What and how should I feed my kitten?
When you get a new kitten, it’s advisable to provide it the same food it was eating in its previous home. Any change to another brand should be gradual to reduce the risk of causing a tummy upset.  You should also provide it with a bowl of clean fresh tap water and remember to change the water every day.

Kittens and mature cats have different nutritional needs. So, you should feed your kitten food that is specially made for kittens. Kitten needs food that is intended for growth. Many premium brands of food made for kittens are widely available on the market.

Although it is more convenient for most owners to fill a bowl with dry food that is available to the kitten throughout the day, it is better to establish a consistent feeding schedule for your kitten. A consistent feeding schedule helps to control the kitten’s diet and reduces the risk of obesity as your kitten grows up.

What other issues should I consider when I get a new kitten?

  • It is a good idea to let your new kitten settle in your house before you introduce it to other pets you might have. Rushing the situation is a bad idea.
  • Young children should not be left unattended with a new kitten.
  • It is highly advisable to take your kitten to your vet in the first week at home with you for a general check-up. Also do not forget to discuss your kitten’s vaccination, worming, desexing and microchipping during the visit.