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

How to prepare for a kitten

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. Royal Canin will be with you every step of the way, starting with this comprehensive overview.
Sacred Birman kitten jumping in black and white

Getting ready for your kitten

There’s a lot to do to ensure you’re ready for the arrival of your new kitten. As well as buying the right equipment, you’ll need to prepare your home and family too. When thinking about how to prepare for a new kitten, key things to consider are:

  • Kitten-proofing your home and yard
  • Buying the right kitten kit, such as a carrier, litter box, and toys
  • Finding a veterinarian
  • Choosing appropriate kitten food - you can discuss this with your breeder, shelter or veterinarian
  • Preparing your family, pets, and visitors for your new addition

Prepare your house for a kitten

Kittens love to climb, explore, and hide. So it’s crucial to do some safeguarding in your home before you bring your kitten to make sure it’s safe for them. Here’s our checklist to help you prepare.

1.Toxic houseplants

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

2.Toilets and wastebaskets

To prevent your kitten from falling into your toilets or wastebaskets, make sure you keep the lids down. Also, keep your kitten away from any type of discarded string as they may become tangled in them or swallow them.

3.Dangerous substances

Make sure medicines, cleaning products, and other toxic substances are stored away safely. For example, some flea treatments for dogs are dangerous for cats and antifreeze is particularly lethal for them. See the ASPCA for a list of all toxic household substances.

4.Hiding places

Kittens tend to hide in places like laundry baskets, 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 outlets

To prevent your kitten from chewing on cables or getting tangled in wires, hide them away by using covers or cable ties. Remember to shield electrical outlets with covers.

6.Poisonous foods

Some of the foods that are healthy or enjoyable for humans can be poisonous for cats or cause digestive issues. These toxic foods include, but are not limited to, onions, garlic, raw eggs, raw meat, chocolate, cow's milk, 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. See the ASPCA for a full list of all harmful foods for your kitten.

How to kitten-proof your yard

Your kitten won’t go outside initially, but it’s important to make sure your yard’s safe and ready if they eventually 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 yard is fully enclosed it’s worth making sure there are no holes they can escape through while they’re small.

2.Toxic garden plants

As with houseplants, 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 vet for a list and remove the plants that present a risk.


Inspect your yard for anything your kitten could injure themselves on or anywhere they could get stuck in or under.

4.Ponds and water features

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

5.Tools and small objects

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

6.Dangerous substances

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


New kitten checklist – the essentials

When considering how to prepare for a kitten, check out our new kitten checklist and tips on what you need to buy for a new kitten. 
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 skeptical of their food. At first, it’s best to give them the same diet their previous caretaker 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.

how to transition onto new food illustration

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 vital for a long and healthy life together.

Preparing your family and pets for your kitten

Learning how to act in front of your new pet is an important part of how to prepare for a kitten. Kittens can easily be overwhelmed or even terrified by encounters with other animals and people, so it’s important you prepare everyone in your household in the right way.

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. It's important to find one you can trust before your kitten's arrival as they'll need a health exam soon after they arrive in your life. They'll also give you further advice on how to prepare for a new kitten.

Brown tabby kitten being held by a vet in blue scrubs

What should you consider?

Asking friends and family for recommendations is one of the best ways to find a good veterinarian. There are also other important aspects to consider, such as:

  • Location – can you get there quickly? Is there parking nearby?
  • Premises – is it clean, do the staff make you feel welcome?
  • Services – do they offer emergency, evening, and weekend services?
Siamese kitten sitting on an examination table at the vets

Meet your veterinarian first

Some veterinary clinics today are designed specifically for cats and offer special appointment times or waiting areas. It’s worth asking 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 make sure you feel comfortable with them.

Once you’ve chosen your veterinarian, make sure you put their emergency number where 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

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

If you don't already have a veterinarian, we can help! Find one today to start ticking off your new kitten checklist.