Happy New Kitty!: Six Ways to Prep for Your New Bestie

Happy New Kitty!: Six Ways to Prep for Your New Bestie

Congratulations! You have just embarked on the adventure that is cat parenthood!

While there are many fun times ahead, it's important to be practical and have all your ducks in a row before your kitty is settled in their fur-ever home.

Here are six “musts” to include on your kitty-prepping to-do list:

1 Transporting

A carrier is essential for trips and vet visits. Even though some cats travel to other locations, most cats learn to connect trips to the vet's office with the carrier. That means it's essential to make the carrier a safe place by gradually introducing it. Use treats and positive reinforcement to encourage them.

The goal is to make the carrier a happy – or at the very least neutral – space (rather than frightening). One way to ensure this is to put something that smells familiar in the carrier, like a favorite blanket, as you introduce your cat to it. It's essential to ensure the carrier is the right size so the kitty won't feel trapped or cramped.

Here are some more tips on how to choose a carrier and get your kitty to happily use it.

2 Grooming

Cats love to groom, but they also enjoy getting a little help from their friend(s)! To make them purr-fectly beautiful, you'll need a good brush, a flea comb, nail clippers, and cat wipes for regular upkeep. Cleaning mildly dirty fur is simple with just the cat wipes, but add some cat-friendly shampoo to your list.

Most new cat parents are happy to hear that baths are not a regular thing, so don’t worry if you're just not up to facing the challenge of giving them one just yet. Most cats only need a bath about once a year!

You can learn more about the basics of grooming with our recent blog post, Grooming 101.

3 Cat-safe-ing

You'll want to ensure your cat cannot get to anything that should be off limits - particularly in the kitchen or the bathroom, where chemicals like cleaners pose a risk. You'll also want to have a plan for your house rules regarding food preparation. Kitties will often learn to hop on counters if tempted by a prospective feast, and that can become a real problem. Be sure to store foods properly (especially those that have an enticing smell!) and do everything you can to keep stove burners or hot plates out of paws' reach.

Look around and see your flat surfaces from your kitty's perspective. Get rid of loose objects your new pal might chew on or choke on. Keep an eye out for kittens chewing on electrical cords and gathering stray objects like paper clips (which full-grown cats and young kittens alike may swallow). Push pins and thumbtacks are also super risky, so keep them in a tightly-shut container.

We've got some great hacks to help with kitty challenges right here.

4 Prepping

You likely have a plan for transporting your family to safety in an emergency. This plan should also be modified to incorporate your new kitty, with everything from a "go bag" at the ready to a backup plan for accommodations. Remember, most emergency shelters don't take kitties, so you need a solid plan for what you'll do if you leave home.

Your "in case of emergency" call list should include the phone numbers for your veterinarian and the closest 24-hour animal hospital. And remember kitty's meds if you need to leave! Consider creating a documented plan on your phone and sharing it with your loved ones so that everyone is aware.

Here is everything you need to know about disaster prep for your kitty!

5 Budgeting

Now is the time to create your budget for your kitty's initial medical expenses and their ongoing maintenance so you'll have enough funds to purr-ovide everything a kitty could desire. You’ll need a vet visit fund as well as money set aside for a microchip (if desired), vaccines and having your kitty altered. Some examples of the regular supplies you’ll need to account for include food, treats, ear mite/flea/tick treatments, bowls/dishes, placemats, litter, litter boxes, and cleaning supplies.

Psst - one of the many beautiful reasons to adopt from a shelter is that microchipping, vaccines, and even spay/neuter services are included in the adoption fee at many!

If you're concerned about healthcare costs, you might want to consider pet insurance - here's the 411.

6 Playing

Here is the one you've been waiting for – whether your kitty is a youngster or has been around a while, they are going to love to play as a way to enrich their lives and get exercise to prevent obesity. Is the chilly weather making kitty sedentary? Here are some pointers on banishing boredom this winter.

It’s tempting to put together a tricked out toy chest. The thing about toys is kitties can be downright picky, so don't go buying everything at once. Try some different categories – say, one wand toy, once mouse toy, one kicker toy. Then you can do some trial and error to see which your kitty prefers and spoil them rotten by getting more of their faves!

On a tight budget? Check out or simple ways to make your own kitty toys!

The Takeaway

With a little preparation, you’ll have this cat parenting thing down pat in no time! And now that you have your new bestie in your life, you're going to want a sitter to give them the same love and attention you would! That is just what we are here for. Take a meow-ment to get matched with your perfect sitter here: https://meowtel.com/search

Photo by Alessandro Armignacco on Unsplash

Categories: Cat Ownership