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Things to consider when getting a new kitten or cat.

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kitten on its back alseep

Sometimes the excitement of getting a new kitten or cat can make us all forget some of the crucial elements of cat ownership… We’ve all been there.

I have been caring for cats since I was a young kid. When my family first got Gizmo, she was a young adult. I was also too young to know what was going on. But as I’ve grown, I have looked after and rescued many kittens and have learned a few things here and there.

So, what to do when you finally decide to get a new cat?

Where do I start?

Going into cat or any pet ownership may seem like it’s picking the little guy up, and off you go. But this is far from the truth. Having the right tools ready before you bring your kitten home gives you the best chance of success. It may seem a little daunting as well, but we’re here to help you on your way.

What should I feed my cat or kitten?

This is quite a difficult question to answer. Hopefully, the rescue will give you a small amount of food to start with, but this will only last a day or two. You can always keep your new friend on the diet the place you picked up from gave you, but bear in mind that they often need to use low-cost food, so do your research on the brand they use.

White cat eating on a table with a group of grapes on a plate

Photo by cottonbro studio via Pexels

You’ll need to make an informed decision about what to feed. Personally, I go for Canagan Free Run Chicken. Canagan takes nutrition seriously, and I think going for this company will set you up for real success, but there are a hundred and one different companies out there vying for your custom. Look for a food that has a good amount of protein, and if you can, go for a food with either a single-source protein or at least a good-quality meat protein like salmon, chicken, or turkey.

In all honesty, though, the more expensive food may be off-putting, but they usually have a higher meat content and work out costing the same as the food goes a lot further. Cats need taurine in their diet and can only get this from meat. Feeding low-cost food usually has lower levels of meat, using derivatives instead with Taurine added to make it suitable for cats, but ultimately feed what you can!

My kitten needs to drink

You need to provide fresh water for your little furry friend.

Kittens are small, so it’s best not to provide a deep dish first, which normally wouldn’t be a problem for an older cat. Kittens have small heads and are not very good at working out where to put themselves and are still learning how to fend for themselves.

Don’t get me wrong, kittens aren’t too stupid, but accidents can happen. Having a shallow dish helps your kitten keep hydrated without the risk of dunking their head. If you’re considering a water fountain, which I can’t recommend enough, for a kitten, I would wait a few weeks or until your cat is big enough to use one. Read here on some things to bear in mind about cats and drinking.

My kitten is going to poop.

Absolutely, your mini cat is going to need an area for the most natural act.

Having a litter tray is a must, but be prepared, your little kitten may not be used to litter trays yet, so be patient. Getting multiple trays is always smart, especially if you have a multiple-cat house. When placing the litter tray, the best place is away from food and rest areas; cats are naturally clean animals. Watch how much they groom. I must say having the tray next to food or water will raise their stress levels, which is never good.

The litter I recommend using is clumping litter; this makes cleaning and removing any waste easier. I use Catsan; it’s not clumping but it’s amazing stuff. No smell and is antibacterial, so you can see easily if your kitten is using the tray.

The litter I must beg you not to use is silica-based. It tends to stick to your kitten and be ingested while they groom, which can lead to issues. Just don’t use it.


Now the fun part. Your kitten needs toys! There are hundreds of toys out there. Lasers, chasers, kickers, the list is endless.

Kittens have tons of energy and need to burn this off. Playing with your kitten before they eat improves their appetite and can help if you’re trying to change their diet. There’s no right or wrong with this subject. I would recommend small toys at first. Getting a kicker twice the size of Mittens might be too daunting.

Cat scratchers or trees?

Why not both? Cats naturally love being up high, and this is no exception for young Toe-Beans.

Black and white cat on a cat tree
Photo by Eva Kubíčková:

Photo by Eva Kubíčková via Pexels

Going for a cat tree may be a little excessive and confusing at first, but trust me, stick your kitten on one, and it will go nuts! Cats use scratching as a way to scent mark and sharpen their claws, so providing a few areas for your cat to scratch will reduce stress, allow it to stretch out, and avoid destroying your furniture. Put a tree next to a window and watch little Toe Beans watch the world go by.

Do I need to get my new cat vaccinated?

Short answer, Yes. No matter what, your kitten needs its vaccinations. These jabs are designed to help with cat flu, cat leukaemia, and cat enteritis. Even if you plan on never letting your cat out, you still need to vaccinate your kitten. The risk is high, so don’t run it. Note: your cat will need boosters after a year and will continue to for the rest of its life. Your vet will go over this with you, so don’t panic.

This needs to be done at a vet, so it’s time to contact your local vet and book them in. Have a Google for your local veterinary surgery unless you already have one then job done. When you visit the vet before they do anything, they’ll do a quick check-up. This is a great time to ensure everything is in tip-top shape and perfect condition.

Do I need to bother with insurance?

I would if I were you. Anything can happen, and you’ll kick yourself for not getting it.

On your first visit, the insurance company won’t cover you, but getting coverage is essential. Have another Google for the best insurance company out there.

If you do need to use an insurance company, just bear in mind you’ll likely need to pay upfront, and the company will reimburse you, and you’ll need to pay the excess.

Time to get your Kitten.

Should I buy a kitten or go to a rescue?

I will always recommend going for a rescue kitten; they will have been vet-checked and possibly had their jabs (depending on the shelter). If they haven’t, you’ve already prepared to book a vet appointment, so no worries.

If you want to buy your kitten, that’s entirely up to you; just be mindful and look at reviews of who you’re picking up from and visit beforehand, see the mother, and see how they’re kept. Kitten Farms are a real thing, and they are only in it for profit, which equates to a lack of care that can lead to a lot of vet visits.

You don’t want your first time getting a kitten to be stressful. It should be a fun and exciting new addition to your family, so be mindful and research a lot!


Congratulations on getting your new kitten! You’re both going to have a lot of fun together. This list is not exclusive, and there are many things I have missed out or forgotten,

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