Kitten Care Checklist

 

Essentials

Food (combination of wet and dry food)

  • Do try to consider grain-free, if it fits your budget – cats are obligate carnivores and not meant to eat rice, wheat, and other grains
  • Avoid any sort of food coloring at all cost – this makes it look nicer for the humans, but is not beneficial to the cats
  • Kitten food is formulated differently from adult cat food – please feed your kitten the appropriate food until she is at least 1 year old

Water (fresh every day)

  • If your cat looks like she’s not drinking enough, consider a cat water fountain (available on Lazada) because some cats like the look of moving water better!

Food and water bowl

  • Ceramic or glass rather than plastic, with wide base so it’s hard to tip over and heavy enough that it won’t move as your cat eats

Carrier

  • This is essential for transporting your cat – if she gets spooked while you carry her, she may escape your arms and run away to hide and you may end up losing her

Scratcher

  • The best way to prevent lasting damage on your furniture is to give your cat other options to express her scratching instinct
  • Feel free to add some cat nip to the scratcher so that she is more attracted to it
  • When she starts scratching things she shouldn’t scratch, gently pick her up and put her on the scratcher so she gets the message
  • Have a few lying around in various parts of the apartment, such as near her bed and also near the most vulnerable items like your couch or curtains

Litter box

  • Make sure this is placed in a quiet area but not closed off/inconvenient to get to – cats are not like people, they don’t need complete privacy
  • If you have more than one cat, it is advisable to have a separate litter box for each cat
  • We are skeptical about the litter boxes with tops on them – after all, what’s most important is that your cat likes it and wants to use it! But those closed off litter boxes are kind of the equivalent of a Port-a-potty. Closed, cramped and keeps all the smell in! It might be a bit more unsightly for you, but do the right thing for your cat and get her an open litter box!

Non-clumping litter to start (or shredded newspaper)

  • You’ll have easier clean-up when your kitten eventually graduates to clumping litter, but in the beginning, avoid clumping litter because sometimes small kittens will ingest the litter and it clumps in their digestive tract
  • Shredded newspaper is the most economical way to provide litter but you’ll have to change the whole thing every day
  • Otherwise, look for non-clumping paper-based pellets (not as great for odor control) but easier to clean up tracking and no danger to your kitten if she ingests it
  • When your kitten becomes coordinated and skilled with using a litter box, you can switch to bentonite clay based clumping litter

Kitten shampoo

  • Contrary to popular belief, kittens and cats do need regular bathing, especially if they have long hair
  • We recommend bathing at least once a month
  • Start this process early when they’re very small so that they get used to it and don’t develop an absolute hatred for it

Nail clipper for cats

  • The sooner your kitten gets used to having her nails clipped, the easier it will be for you!
  • A good time to do this is right after baths when she’s distracted with grooming herself and the nails are nice and supple

Safe space/cat bed

  • All cats and kittens need a safe place to retreat to
  • You don’t have to buy anything, but even a cardboard box with a soft towel in it will be enough

Vaccination card

  • All our foster kittens will have had at least their first vaccination (kittens need three in the beginning, one per month) and the vet provides their vaccination book
  • This will indicate when their next vaccination is; after their initial three vaccinations, they won’t need a booster until a year from now
  • Vaccinations are super important because it protects them from prevalent but fatal diseases like parvo which can be brought in just on your clothes or shoes

 

Optional

Toys (homemade toys will do)

  • You’ll notice that kittens will play with ANYTHING
  • But if they are homemade toys, please be cautious that there aren’t small parts that the kitty can chew off and swallow (not unlike a baby)

Collar (a bell is okay but please remove at night)

Walking harness and leash (leashes cannot be attached to collars for cats because they have soft throats, unlike dogs)

 

Things to Avoid

String

  • We’ve all seen the cute image of a kitten playing with a ball of yarn but this is dangerous – string can be eaten and stuck in a cat’s digestive tract and could even require surgery to remove it
  • Be smart, don’t let your cat have any access to a piece of string

Certain Household Plants

Unsupervised Access to Balconies/Terraces

  • Cats are known to land on their four paws when falling from great heights, but it doesn’t mean that we should test out this theory
  • Even at a distance of a few stories, they can land on their paws but will often result in broken bones and the force of the fall could mean she hits her head on the ground between her two front paws, which will kill her
  • Cats are smart – it is highly unlikely that she will jump down but they do have poor depth perception; therefore, it only takes a moment of distraction for her to notice a bird or an insect that might result in her falling off the balcony

Human Food