Kitten Care Checklist

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Are you thinking of getting a new pet for you or your family? Kittens are active, social pets who love having a home and family, and kittens make great pets for families of any size. Before you adopt a furry friend of your own, however, you'll need to get a few cat supplies to help you take care of your new kitty.

Caring for Your Kitten:

  1. Feeding: You need to take care of your kitty's basic needs first, and that includes providing food and water for her. Make sure you have food and water dishes that aren't too tall for a small kitten to eat and drink out of. You can upgrade to larger bowls when she gets older. Look for bowls made of metal, glass, or ceramic, as plastics can harbor bacteria in scratches.

  2. Sleeping: Cats, especially kittens, spend a large part of their day sleeping and napping, typically 16 hours a day or more. Your new kitten will love to curl up on your lap, but for the times when you're not available, a cozy cat bed is the next best thing. A round or oval shape is ideal for cats who like to curl up as they sleep.

  3. Playing: Cats of any age are playful, and kittens are even more so. Playing helps them learn important skills, like hunting, balance, and self-defense. Even indoor cats can stay healthy and active by playing up their natural instincts. Your kitty will likely run and jump on everything in your house, but you can help her hone her skills by giving her a few cat toys she can swat at. You can get in on the fun and help foster a bond between you and your cat with some interactive toys too, like a laser toy or feather wand.

  4. Cuddling: Cats are social creatures who thrive off interaction. They love to be petted and have their ears scratched, and these actions also strengthen the bond between owner and pet. New kittens, in particular, need lots of attention and affection because they are used to having a mother and siblings around. Make sure you spend quality time with your kitty every day, petting, playing, or even just letting her sleep on your lap.

  5. Pottying: A litter box is necessary for keeping your cat clean and healthy. A regular-size box may be too tall for your kitten to climb in and out of, however. You can find special kitten-size litter boxes or cut a cardboard box to the size you need. Make sure to change the litter daily to keep it fresh and clean for your kitty. You'll also want to avoid scented cat litter because kittens are extremely sensitive to chemicals.

  6. Safety: Keep all cleaners and other chemicals in closed cabinets to prevent your kitten from getting into them. Don't just store them in a high place because cats are expert jumpers and climbers. You'll also want to let your cat adjust to her new home on her own terms; otherwise, she may become frightened and uncomfortable. If there is an area in your home that would be unsafe for a kitten, such as a workshop or laundry room, keep the doors closed to prevent her from wandering in.

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