Maine Coon kitten in black and white playing with a red ball

Preparing for your kitten’s arrival

Moving to a new home is a big change for your kitten. To help them settle and stay safe in their new environment, it’s really important to get prepared.
Sacred Birman kitten jumping in black and white

Getting ready for your kitten

Before picking up your kitten, there’s lots to do to ensure you’re ready for their arrival. As well as buying the right supplies, you’ll need to prepare your home and family too. Key things to consider are:

  • Kitten-proofing your home and yard
  • Buying the right kitten supplies, such as a carrier, litter box and toys
  • Choosing appropriate kitten food
  • Preparing your family, pets and visitors for your new addition
  • Finding a veterinarian

How to kitten-proof your house

Kittens love to climb, explore and hide. So it’s vital to do some safeguarding in your home before you pick up your kitten to make sure it’s safe for them. Here’s our checklist to help you get prepared.
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6.Poisonous foods

Some of the foods that are healthy or enjoyable for humans can be poisonous for cats or cause digestive issues. These include onions, garlic, raw eggs, raw meat, chocolate, grapes and raisins. So keep your food out of your kitten’s reach and make sure your family knows they should only feed them kitten food.

1.Toxic house plants

There are some house plants, like lilies, for instance, that can be toxic for your cat. Ask your veterinarian for a full list and, ideally, remove them from the house before the arrival of the kitten.

3.Dangerous substances

Make sure medicine, cleaning products and other toxic substances are stored away safely. Some flea treatments for dogs are dangerous to cats; antifreeze is also particularly lethal for them.

7.Small objects

Put away any small items, such as buttons, needles, thread, dental floss, elastic bands, earplugs or children’s toys, that your kitten could swallow. Also be careful not to leave plastic bags or foam objects around as your kitten may chew on them and choke.

4.Hiding places

Kittens tend to hide in places like laundry baskets, tumble dryers and under furniture. Spot the places where your kitten’s likely to hide and either block them off or be careful as you move around your home to make sure they don’t get trapped.

5.Electrical cables and sockets

To prevent your kitten from chewing on cables or getting tangled in wires, hide them away by using covers or cable ties. Also remember to shield plug sockets with covers.

2.Toilets and trash cans

To prevent your kitten falling into your toilets or garbage bins, make sure you keep the lids down. Also keep your kitten away from garbage bag strings as they may become tangled in them or swallow them.

How to kitten-proof your backyard

Your kitten won’t go outside initially, but it’s important to make sure your backyard's safe and ready for when they do. Here are the important things to take care of:
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3.Hazards

Inspect your backyard for anything your kitten could injure themselves on or anywhere they could get stuck.

5.Tools and small objects

Check your backyard for small objects that your kitten could swallow or choke on. And lock away your sharp garden tools.

4.Ponds and water features

It’s safest to keep ponds with steep sides and water features covered to prevent your kitten falling in and drowning or drinking the water.

6.Dangerous substances

Store all garden chemicals, such as fertilizers, insecticides, paints and solvents, safely away in a locked area.

2.Toxic garden plants

As with house plants, many outdoor plants are poisonous to cats. Even if your cat avoids them, they may brush against the pollen and lick it from their fur. To be safe, ask your veterinarian for a list and remove the plants that present a risk.

1.Fencing and gates

Your kitten will soon be able to climb over fences and gates. If your garden is fully enclosed, it’s worth making sure there are no holes they can escape through while they’re small.

Things you'll need for your kitten

Before your kitten arrives, make sure you have everything you need to care for them and help them settle into their new home. Here are the essentials.
Grey tabby kitten standing inside eating from a stainless steel bowl

The best kitten food to begin with

Your kitten’s digestive system will be very sensitive, so changing their diet suddenly could give them an upset stomach and may even make them wary of their food. At first, it’s best to give them the same diet that their previous owner gave them.

Choosing the right food for your kitten is crucial as it’s essential for their health and development. As they grow, they need a precise balance of nutrients at each stage, including protein, vitamins and minerals.

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How to switch to new kitten food

A few days after your kitten's arrival, you will be able to gradually introduce them to new food. When switching to a new kitten food, make sure you take it slowly over a week-long period.

Sacred Birman kitten eating wet food in black and white on a white background

Kitten feeding and nutrition

Setting positive feeding habits and ensuring your kitten is getting the right nutrients in their diet is crucial to building a long and healthy life together.

Preparing your family and pets for your kitten

Kittens can easily be overwhelmed or even terrified by encounters with other animals and people, so it’s vital you prepare everyone in your household in the right way.

Preparing your family
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How to find a veterinarian

Your veterinarian will be an important part of your kitten’s life and will help them grow into a healthy adult. So it’s important to find one you can trust before you collect your kitten as they’ll need a check-up soon after they arrive.

Brown tabby kitten being held by a vet in blue scrubs
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What should you consider?

Asking friends and family for recommendations is one of the best ways to find a good veterinarian. You should also consider their:

  • Location – can you get there quickly? Is there parking nearby?
  • Premises – is it clean, well-equipped and well-maintained?
  • Services – do they offer emergency, evening and weekend services?
Siamese kitten sitting on an examination table at the vets
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Meet your veterinarian first

Some veterinary clinics today are designed specifically for cats and offer special surgery times or waiting areas. It’s worth checking if this is available or if the veterinarian has a special interest in cats. It’s also a good idea to meet the veterinarian before you decide to register with them to make sure you feel comfortable with them.

Once you’ve chosen your veterinarian, make sure that you put their emergency number somewhere you and your family can easily find it.

Grey tabby kitten standing on a table being examined by a vet
Sacred Birman Kitten in black and white playing with a ball

Collecting and welcoming your kitten

The first days together with your pet are a chance to create a healthy foundation for their future.

Maine Coon kitten walking in black and white on a white background

Find a veterinarian

It's important to have identified a local veterinarian before picking up your kitten. Find a veterinarian near you.