Skip to main content

NEW KITTEN | Setting Up For Success

A New Kitten – Congratulations!

It’s so exciting to welcome a new family member. We know it can also feel a little overwhelming to make sure you have all the information you need to support your new companion. That’s where we come in – you’re in exactly the right place to get started.

Setting Up for Success – One Step at a Time

Consider this your home base for information as you and your kitten navigate your first few months together. We have created a series of resources designed to provide you with relevant information for the different growth stages your cat will go through. There are resources on everything from maintaining good health to training tips and tricks to behaviour support – we’ve got you covered. Plan to return to this reference guide over the coming weeks, as we want to help you make your new family member’s arrival as safe, smooth, and joyful as possible.

RESOURCES & REFERENCE MATERIAL
Stage One | 7 - 9 Weeks

Kitten Socialization Checklist

The most important time to expose your kitten to as many different situations as possible is during their first 16 weeks. This is when they are most impressionable, and diverse positive exposures during this time to a range of people, objects, surfaces, and environments can shape your cat’s future temperament, character, and behaviour. This socialization checklist will help set you and your kitty up for success!

Kitten Vaccination Schedule

Vaccines offer protection against specific diseases by stimulating the body’s immune system. This means that after vaccination the body is armed and ready to fight off, rather than to succumb to, an infection. This vaccination schedule gives you an idea of what to expect for this initial series of vaccinations, as well as a typical vaccination schedule as your kitten becomes an adult. Your veterinarian will work with you to determine the most appropriate vaccine protocol for your cat’s lifestyle and risk level.

Pet Insurance

Did you know that you can start your pet insurance (often with a free trial) right from your first veterinary appointment? There are two great reasons to consider obtaining coverage while your cat is young and healthy. First, your coverage is based on a baseline health assessment – with a minimum of preexisting conditions, your kitty is much more likely to be covered for any concerns that arise in the future. Second, kittens are unpredictable! All it takes is one ill-timed furniture leap or ingested toy to make that pet insurance invaluable.

Important Phone Numbers

Emergencies happen, often when we least expect them. Keep this important local contact list handy, in case you need emergency veterinary care, poison control advice, or help with a lost or found animal.

RESOURCES & REFERENCE MATERIAL
Stage Two | 10 - 12 Weeks

Dangerous Foods for Cats

It can be challenging to remember which human foods are no-go for our feline friends. This handy chart highlights some of the food items that are particularly harmful for cats, and what the effects of consumption can be. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list – if you’re ever uncertain about whether a certain item is cat-friendly, don’t hesitate to check with your vet.

Toxic Plants for Cats

Along the same lines as dangerous foods, there are some plants that it is safer to keep your kitty away from. The link above has a handy infographic with a few top contenders, as well as signs of toxicity to watch for. Looking for a comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants? The ASPCA has you covered!

RESOURCES & REFERENCE MATERIAL
Stage Three | 13 - 15 Weeks

Getting Used to a Cat Carrier

When you need to take your cat out of the house (to visit the veterinarian, on a trip, or whatever adventure you have in store), it can be a challenge to get them in a cat carrier if they aren’t used to it. Taking the time to teach your cat that the carrier is a safe and comfortable spot can save you both a lot of stress and struggle. 

Creating an Enriched Home Environment

This quick resource guide from the experts at Fear Free Happy Homes highlights easy ways that you can work with your cat’s natural interests and instincts to create a home environment that feels both safe and stimulating.

Looking for even more details and insights? Check out this in-depth journal article from Ohio State University on Environmental Enrichment for Indoor Cats.

RESOURCES & REFERENCE MATERIAL
Stage Four | 16 - 18 Weeks

Microchips

Collars and identification tags are important protective elements, but microchips provide an extra layer of identification if those tags are lost or removed. Microchips can also help prove identity and ownership in unfortunate cases of theft or abduction. Learn more about how microchips work, and how to keep your contact information current.

Parasites and Your Cat

It is fairly common for a cat to become infected with an internal or external parasite at some point in its life. Parasites can affect your cat in a variety of ways, ranging from simple irritation to causing life-threatening conditions if left untreated. We will work with you to establish a preventative product and dose schedule tailored to your kitten’s lifestyle – this is definitely a case where prevention is much better than treatment post-infection!

Benefits of Spaying or Neutering

Spaying or neutering your cat does more than prevent unplanned litters (although this is certainly a big consideration!). There are also significant health and behavioural benefits, including lowering the risk of reproductive health issues and prolonging the life of your companion.

What to Expect on Surgery Day

Anesthetized procedures like spays or neuters can feel like a big undertaking for you and your cat. The good news is, there are plenty of ways to help your kitten have a smooth and successful experience. This information walks you through what to expect, and explains how we make your cat’s procedure as safe as possible. We also provide plenty of details about how to help them have a smooth recovery.

RESOURCES & REFERENCE MATERIAL

Enrichment Feeders

Mealtimes can be so much more than a quick series of delicious bites! Enrichment feeders like puzzle toys or snuffle mats can help to keep your kitten entertained, boost their problem-solving skills, and even make them feel more full and satisfied after their meal. Check out this overview of the kinds of enrichment feeders available, and you’ll be sure to find an option that appeals to you and your cat.

Safe Outdoor ‘Catios’

A catio (“cat patio”) is an outdoor enclosure that keeps cats and birds and wildlife safe. Catios offer cats healthy exercise time as well as safety from outdoor hazards like cars, predators and poisons. Check out the extensive resources offered by Cats Safe at Home on catio ideas and construction.

Leash Training Your Cat

Learning to leash-walk won’t only come in handy for allowing some outside adventure time for your cat – it’s also helpful when you’re traveling or taking your cat to the vet. Leash walks are a great way for your kitty to get exercise, and can alleviate boredom-related behavior problems. This guide from Adventure Cats provides all the tips and tricks you’ll need to get started.