New Kitten Shopping List: 9 Must-Haves


We dare you to go to your local animal shelter during kitten season and not come home with an adorable little furball (or two) to call your own. If you’re thinking about getting a new kitten, try to avoid an impulse adoption before you have a chance to buy some basic supplies, kitten-proof your house, and check with all other members of the household that a new pet would be a welcome addition.


Here’s a handy shopping list to take with you to the store when you pick up your new kitten supplies!


1. Food and water bowls

Experts recommend choosing stainless steel or glass over ceramic and plastic. Plastic and many ceramics are porous and can trap bacteria (especially in those scratches that you tend to get with plastic bowls). Cats can be prone to chin acne and dirty bowls are a prime culprit. Make sure you run your bowls through the dishwasher every day to get them as clean as possible.


2. Good quality canned and dry food appropriate to your kitten’s age and physical condition

Talk to your vet about recommended brands and the pros and cons of wet vs dry food. Many cat nutrition experts encourage feeding kittens nutritious wet and dry foods…but if your kitty grows up to be a little on the chunky side, you might want to cut back on dry food later on.


3. Litter box, kitty litter, scoop, and dustpan

What type of kitty litter is best for young kittens? There are many choices out there, including traditional clay, non-clumping formulas, and eco-friendly litters made from things like grains or wood shavings. Cats tend to prefer the fine texture of clumping litter, but wait until your kitten gets a little older because there is some risk of ingestion with this type.


4. Hard plastic carrier

Bring a hard plastic carrier with you when you pick up your new kitten, then keep it around for any trips you will be making in the car. Very small carriers are fine for kittens but if you don’t want to buy another one after your kitten outgrows a small one, opt for a carrier made for a full-grown cat.


5. Toothbrush and toothpaste made for cats

Start getting your kitten used to a toothbrushing every few days. Be sure to use toothpaste and a small toothbrush made for cats. Many come in a set, and also include a fingertip-style toothbrush, if you prefer using that. Like people, some kittens just grow up to be adults with bad teeth and gums, so start the toothbrushing routine early.


6. Comb, brush, and nail clippers

Like toothbrushing, you can get your kitten used to regular nail trimmings if you start them out young. Sometimes it helps to have another person to hold the cat while you do the trimming. Look for little scissor-like tools with a hole cut out in the blades to insert the nail. Whether you choose a comb or brush depends on your cat’s fur. While slicker brushes are fine for shorthaired cats, many groomers like good quality steel combs for longhaired cats.


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7. Scratching post

The combination of regular nail trimmings and providing your kitten with a good quality scratching post will go a long way towards saving your furniture. Avoid posts that are covered with carpet and go for the ones covered with sisal or other similarly rough material. In nature, cats look to very rough surfaces like tree bark to scratch on, so be sure to provide your kitty with the right post.


8. Toys and treats

Kittens love to play with almost anything so buying toys is easy. Look for toys they can entertain themselves with when you are away as well as interactive toys you can play with together. Try wand toys, ping pong balls, mice, larger plush toys they can grab and kick, and puzzle-type toys to keep your kitty engaged. Stick to all-natural treats like freeze-dried chicken or salmon and avoid highly processed, high calorie supermarket-type treats.


9. Pet first aid kit and non-toxic pet mess cleaner

You can buy a ready-made pet first aid kit or make up your own. A basic cat first aid kit should include things like gauze pads and rolls, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, cotton swabs, hydrogen peroxide, rubber gloves, scissors, saline solution, and tweezers. Clean up kitty messes with pet-safe cleaning products from the store or homemade ones using vinegar or baking soda.


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