A kitten chews on a string toy
A kitten chews on a string toy

New Kitten Checklist: A Healthy and Strong Start

Congratulations on your new kitten! Understandably, welcoming a new kitten into your home is accompanied with some questions on how to properly prepare and care for them. This article will provide you with some helpful tips and advice to know about bringing home a new kitten.

New Kitten Essentials: Must-Have Kitten Supplies

Before you bring your kitten home, make the transition as easy as possible for you and your new pet by stocking your house with must-have kitten supplies. So, exactly what do you need for a new kitten? Browse through this supply checklist to find out.

Litter Box

To determine the right size, measure your kitten from their nose to the tip of their extended tail. Their litter box should be larger than that measurement in both width and length.

Cat Litter

It’s always best to opt for soft and unscented litter for kittens, as strong scents can deter them.

Cat Carrier

This is a must-have for transporting your cat safely and conveniently.

Cat Food

Talk to your veterinarian to determine the most suitable diet for your cat.

Cat Bed

Make sure to find a bed large enough for your kitten to turn around in comfortably.

Scratching Post

Kittens release energy and express emotions by scratching. Get them a scratching post to help prevent them from scratching furniture.

Cat Collar

Life with a new kitten is unpredictable. A collar can help identify your cat if they get lost.

Cat Toys

Deepen bonding and encourage activity by getting toys for your kitten and playing with them for 20 to 60 minutes a day.

Caring for Your Kitten: The First Vet Visit

Starting your kitten’s life on a healthy path can make a difference to how healthy and well- balanced they are when they’re older. To set them up for a good, long life, here are some health measures to consider talking about with your vet.

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A kitten gets its heartbeat inspected by a vet's stethoscope


Vaccines are designed to help prepare your kitten’s immune system to fight off infections. Ask your veterinarian which vaccines they recommend for your kitten. Kittens are often vaccinated against the following viruses:

  • Rabies virus
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline herpesvirus
  • Feline panleukopenia
  • Feline leukemia virus
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A kitten scratches its ear

Flea and Tick Control

Whether you have an indoor or an outdoor cat, fleas can pose a serious threat to your kitten. In addition to being a huge nuisance, they can also transmit diseases that are dangerous to your kitten, yourself, and any other pet in your house. Start your kitten on flea and tick protection as soon as possible.

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A kitten sleeps in a blanket while snuggled up next to a heart-shaped toy

Heartworm Disease Prevention

Just one bite from an infected mosquito can transmit heartworm disease to your cat, and currently, there is no approved treatment for heartworm disease in cats. That’s why prevention is so important. Ask your veterinarian about heartworm disease prevention for your kitten and at what age it can be started.

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A kitten wears a cone and lays on a rug

Spay or Neuter

Spaying or neutering your kitten when they reach the appropriate age is important for their health and behavior. Talk to your vet to determine when it’s recommended to have them neutered or spayed.

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A microchip balances on the tip of a human finger


Your veterinarian can place a microchip under your pet’s skin which can help locate them if they are lost. A study of 7,704 stray animals showed that cats without microchips were returned to their owners 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats were returned 38.5% of the time.1 Having a microchip placed is a relatively affordable procedure.

Download our printable new kitten checklist to take to your first vet appointment.

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Tips for Bringing Your New Kitten Home

Time to wrap up! Now that you know what to buy and how to take care of a kitten, you’re almost through your new kitten checklist. Here are some final new kitten tips to keep in mind as you raise your new cat.

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A kitten sleeps cozily

Create a Safe Room

Cats can become stressed when in a new environment or when they experience a significant life change. To help your new kitten transition to life in their new home, establish a safe room for them to reside in for a while. Keeping your new kitten in their safe place helps give them time to get accustomed to you, your house, and all its scents.


If the kitten is the only pet in the household, they may only need the room for a couple of days. However, if you’re introducing a kitten to a home with other pets, you’ll need to give all of your animals time to get familiar with each other’s scents. Be patient during this process and monitor your pets closely. This process may take weeks, but it’s an important step to help ensure your pets coexist peacefully.

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A kitten peers into the base of a potted plant

Minimize Dangers Around the Home

We love cats because they’re curious, adventurous creatures. But sometimes, their inquisitive spirit can land them in dangerous situations. Your new kitten will most likely climb, scratch, and chew common household items. To help keep your kitten safe as they explore, try to remove any potential hazards before bringing them home:


Secure breakable items

Lock up or put away anything fragile, and secure anything hanging on the walls.


Minimize electrical cords

Use as few cords as possible, and try to keep them out of view.


Secure windows, doors, and other potential exits

Help keep your cat safe by locking every potential exit when you’re not home.


Remove toxic houseplants

Even if you think you can hide them from your kitten, it’s best to avoid keeping plants that are toxic to cats such as aloes, lilies, and snake plants in your house.


  1. 1. Wuest P. Poll: Have the majority of your clients gotten their pets chipped? Today's Veterinary Practice. Published July 14, 2019. Accessed September 7, 2022. https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/news/poll-have-the-majority-of-your-clients-gotten-their-pets-chipped