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Optimeal® Blog

Optimeal® Blog

New Kitten Checklist: Everything Your New Fur Baby Needs!

By Bridget Reed


Congratulations, you’re going to be a kitten parent! Amidst all the excitement of a new addition to the family, you may have questions about what you’ll need to prepare for the little fur baby, especially if it’s your first time as a pet parent. 

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ll walk you through everything you need to get before you bring your kitten home and a few simple steps to kitten-proof your house before their arrival. 

The following checklist will tell you everything you need to know to meet all your new fur baby’s needs. 

What Do You Need To Get Before You Bring Your New Kitten Home?

Once you decide you’re ready to be a pet parent, the second thought is usually, “Okay, what do I do now?”. The following section will closely examine 10 things you need to get before you bring your kitten home. 

Cat Food

It might seem obvious, but you first need to purchase food for your kitten. Kittens can safely eat wet or dry food or a combination of both. When selecting food for your little furry friend, the most important thing to consider is whether or not the formula was designed for kittens

Given that kittens experience such dramatic growth in the first few months of their life, you need to find food packed with nutrients and proteins. Most healthy, nutritious cat food brands will have a formula made specifically for kittens. 

If you’re adopting your fur baby from a shelter, continue feeding them the food they were fed at the shelter. If you don’t know what they were eating, stick to bland and simple food options for a few weeks. 

Your vet may recommend a change once your kitten is settled. If that is the case, you can slowly transition your fur baby from one type of food to another over the course of seven to 10 days. 

Water Bowl

Just like humans, cats need to drink water daily to stay healthy. You’ll need to find a suitable food and water bowl for your new kitten. Cats tend to be picky creatures, so try to clean your furry friend’s bowls daily. 

Litter Box

When it comes to litter boxes, there are a lot of choices. Although the thought of scented litter might be more appealing, most kittens tend to prefer an unscented litter box. Kittens also tend to like low-dust, clumping cat litter. 

To keep your house and your furball clean, scoop the litter box every day and change the litter completely at least once a week. Usually, cats do not have a preference between a closed and open litter box, so you can choose whatever fits best in your space. 

Cat Treats

It’s important to have a supply of cat treats before bringing your new fur baby home. During the first few weeks at your home, you’ll want to help your kitten feel comfortable in your space and train them to use the litter box and play with their toys. Treats can help make training a little bit easier and can help you build a bond with your furry friend. 


Cats of all ages love to nap, but kittens are especially fond of a good afternoon snooze. Although you don’t need to get your cat a bed, it can help your kitten’s transition if they have a designated place to sleep. 

Try to put an old sweatshirt or shirt on their bed. Sleeping with your scent can comfort your new furry friend and help establish the bond between you two.

Vet Visit

Before you bring your kitten home, you’ll want to schedule a visit with the vet. It is important that your kitten gets regular checkups to ensure they are properly vaccinated and looked after. Getting to know your vet will also help you feel more confident as a pet parent. 

Make sure to talk with your vet about all of your concerns regarding your kitten, from what type of food they should be eating to how often they need to be groomed. Remember that your vet is there to help you and answer all of your questions. 

Cat Carrier

Unlike dogs who tend to love the car, traveling can be scary for your kitten. If you buy them a comfortable, well-ventilated carrier, you can bring them to the vet easily. If your cat is an indoor cat but is curious about the world outside, you can also buy a backpack with a window to take them on walks.

Cat Collar and ID

It’s important to get a well-fitting collar and ID tag for your new fur baby. If you plan to keep your cat indoors, you should still get an ID tag in the event they get out. Just like kids grow out of their clothes, your feline will grow out of their kitten collar, so check regularly that it still fits their neck comfortably.

Toys and Scratchers

Kittens love to play. They will want to play with you all day long, so it’s important to get them a few entertaining toys they can play with while you’re at work or busy. Given that kittens cannot distinguish between toys and shoes, it is also important to get them a ball or toy mouse so they don’t take to nibbling on your favorite pair of sneakers. 

Along with their sharp teeth, your little tiger has claws that can damage your favorite furniture. Investing in a scratcher will give your cat a safe place to release stress, play, and tend to their claws. 

Cleaning Products

Everyone wants a kitten that immediately takes to the litter box and never has an accident. However, it’s best to plan for a few accidents by buying the necessary cleaning products. Make sure you look for products that are safe for pets and nontoxic. 

How Do I Prepare my Home for a New Kitten?

Now that you know all the essentials you’ll need to acquire before you bring your fur baby home, you also need to think about preparing your space for your kitten's arrival. Just like human babies, kittens are curious creatures. 

That said, a few simple steps can make your home as safe as possible for your kitten. 

  1. Get rid of all the poisonous houseplants you have around your home. Most common houseplants are poisonous for cats, so thoroughly research your plants before bringing your kitten home. Given that just a nibble can be enough to seriously harm your cat, removing any plants your kitten could possibly access is important.

  2. Secure your cabinets because kittens are incredible at sneaking into places they are not supposed to be. Given that cats like warm, dark places to nap, you want to lock your cabinets so that your kitten does not end up in a cabinet with harmful cleaning products.

  3. Lock your windows. Kittens are notoriously good at opening windows, and they may let their curiosity get the best of them if they can peek out an open window.

  4. Tuck away anything that is dangling. Kittens love to play, especially with objects dangling just out of their reach. Make sure you tuck away any electrical wires your new fur baby may mistake for a toy. 

How Long Will It Take My New Kitten To Adjust?

Although there is no set timeline for how long your kitten will take to adjust, remember that, like you, they will need a little time to get used to their new space. Inviting all your friends and family over as soon as you bring your kitten home can be tempting, but it may be wise to give them a few days to settle in before you begin introductions. 

If you have other furry friends at home, you may also want to make those introductions slowly. Make a safe space for your kitten apart from your other dogs and cats, and gradually let them meet one another. 

Remember that your four-legged friends will get to know each other primarily through smell, so allowing them to sniff each other is important. Keep an eye on them for the first few interactions to ensure everything goes smoothly.


Bringing a new furry friend home is one of the most exciting things in the world, but it can be stressful if you don’t know what to do. There are a few simple steps you can take to prepare yourself and your home for pet parenthood. 

From talking with your vet about what food is best to stock up on litter, there are several things you can do before you bring your new fur baby home to make their transition into your life seamless and stress-free.


Your Kitten’s Diet is Linked to her Health as an Adult | Tufts

Increasing Engagement in Kitten Fostering Programs: Lessons Learned From High Kitten Intake Zip Codes in Los Angeles County | Frontiers

Assessment of Clicker Training for Shelter Cats | NIH

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