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.

Getting ready for your kitten

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

  • Kitten-proofing your home and garden
  • Buying the right kitten kit, such as a carry case, litter tray and toys
  • Choosing appropriate kitten food
  • Preparing your family, pets and visitors for your new addition
  • Finding a vet

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 collect your kitten to make sure it’s safe for them. Here’s our checklist to help you get prepared.

1. Electrical sockets.

Use plug socket covers throughout your house to keep your kitten safe from a scary shock

2. Windows, balconies and stairs.

Close or secure the access to every place where your kitten could get stuck or fall. Although cats are known for landing on their feet, it’s sadly not always the case, so it’s crucial to make the necessary changes required before their arrival

3. Drugs and Chemicals.

Keep medications and potentially harmful products locked in a secure cabinet

4. Small and sharp items.

Put away elastic bands, pins, needles, and small jewellery to protect your kitten from ingesting the objects or injuring themselves while playing

5. Dustbin and toilet seats.

Get into the habit of closing the lid on your dustbin and toilet seat to avoid your kitten falling in. Avoid using bin bags with ties as cats can swallow the string

6. Plastic bags and packaging.

Ensure that no plastic bags or foam objects are left lying around as your kitten may choke on them if swallowed

How to kitten-proof your garden

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

1. Fencing and gates

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

2. Hazards

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

3. 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.

4. Tools and small objects

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

5. Dangerous goods

Dangerous goods. Keep anything dangerous, including gardening tools, pesticides, weed-killer and other potentially harmful products far from your kitten. As a rule, if you have a pet, it’s best to clean and take care of your home inside out with non-toxic products that are safe for animals.

Things you'll need for your kitten

Before your kitten arrives, makes sure you have everything you need to care for them and help them settle into their new home. Here are the essentials.

Create a safe and cosy place for your cat to sleep. Some kittens like to change their sleeping spots regularly, so more than one bed may be necessary.

Most cats prefer porcelain, glass or stainless steel bowls. Again, especially for water bowls, more than one is recommended to give your cat choice.

At first, stick to the food your kitten’s been fed by their previous owner.

Make sure the collar has an identification tag and choose one that will adjust as your kitten grows. Breakaway collars are recommended to avoid your kitten getting stuck.

A covered tray is best for minimising spills and smells. Also buy a scoop to remove droppings.

Make sure you have non-hazardous, scentless cleaning materials on hand for any accidents.

Choose a brush or comb that’s suitable for your kitten’s coat and buy cat nail clippers too.

Buy a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for cats. A finger toothbrush may be best.

Help save your furniture by satisfying your kitten’s need to scratch.

A tree with at least two branches will encourage exercise and mental stimulation.

Choose toys from a reputable supplier that encourage your kitten to stalk, pounce and swipe.