Being a new cat parent is exciting! Adding another member of the family takes some planning and preparation. If you just adopted a kitten or are seriously considering it, having the right equipment will help your feline friend adapt to their surroundings. With these tools, you’ll create a safe and supportive environment that ensures your cat is happy and at ease.
While it can be less expensive to get your cat vaccinated at a local pet store, it’s important to establish a relationship with your vet early on. Building rapport, trust, and familiarity with your cat’s doctor will help you get the best care for your furbaby. Take your time to find a local vet you love. Ask for referrals and do research online.
Your cat may be nervous about this first-time check-up, so make a point to arrive early to the appointment. The price of your first veterinary visit depends on their age, breed, if they have any existing health issues, and where you live. The vet will examine your kitten’s overall health, checking their vitals, examining their skin and joints, and looking for fleas and signs of parasites. The vet may also watch your kitten take a few steps on the floor. If your cat needs any medicine, blood work, treatment, or vaccinations, they’ll discuss the costs and procedures with you.
Spay or neuter procedure
If you got your cat through an animal shelter or foster parent, your kitten may already have been spayed or neutered. If you got your kitten through a breeder, you’ll need to take care of this yourself. Cats normally get spayed or neutered when they are between four and six months old. Spaying a female cat is normally more expensive than getting a male cat neutered.
Blood tests may be done beforehand to make sure your cat is well. Your kitten will undergo general anesthesia. The procedure itself normally takes around 30 minutes, and a small tattoo may be placed near the incision. Afterward, the vet will monitor your kitten for unusual activity. If all goes according to plan, your vet will give you pain medication for your cat and let them go home that same day.
A microchip gives your kitten a permanent and unique ID. (Note, though, that it does not track their location.)
The procedure is a one-time deal that your vet can do. It’s similar to getting a routine shot. The cost includes registration in a pet database. Microchipping provides extra protection in case your kitten gets lost. Register your cat with the city you live in, and you’re good to go.
A pet carrier will come in handy when your cat needs to go to the vet or if an emergency arises. If you plan on traveling often with your cat, you may choose to purchase an airline-approved carrier. Make sure you get one that’s large enough to accommodate your cat as they grow.
Don’t wait until you need to use your carrier to introduce it to your cat. Take it out after you first buy it so your kitten can get used to it. Your kitten may naturally be inclined to explore their carrier—this is good! Encourage them to play in and around it. Place soft pillows and familiar toys inside it to create a sense of comfort.
Kitty litter and litter box
There are several different types of kitty litter: crystal, wheat, and clay, to name a few. Some types of kitty litter fare better for areas with more humid climates. How each kitty litter clumps and how easy it is to clean are also important factors to consider. Try not to stock up at first, as you’ll want to experiment with different kinds to figure out which type works best for you, your cat, and your environment.
Keep in mind your kitten will have their own preferences. Monitor your cat’s behavior to see how well they respond to it.
Place the litter box in an area that is safe and convenient for your kitten to get to. Make sure it’s not near a washing machine or furnace, as that may make it uncomfortable for your cat to do their business.
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