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My first kittens!

in Pets & pet care
9 replies 1.3K views
So we are getting two kittens, they are currently 2 weeks old so we wont be getting them for a while yet but i have been to visit them twice already and they are beyond cute!

anyway, I have had a dog before but never cats, so not really sure what to do/not do. what do I need to buy for them?
How do i know what food to start them on?

basically i am rather clueless!



  • SensibleSarahSensibleSarah Forumite
    456 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Congratulations! Kittens are so much fun - you'll find them better than TV for a while :)

    In terms of things to buy...

    At least 2/3 litter trays. The recommendations are for 1 tray per cat plus a spare. With adult cats this is because some will only 'go' in a totally clean tray, or not wee in the same one they poo in. Also one cat will often try a bit of dominant 'tray blocking' from the other cat by putting themselves between the other cat and tray. Having several trays in different areas will mean both cats can always get to one when needed and avoids conflict. With kittens, having a tray in each room they have access to means there are less chances of accidents. Ask whoever you're getting them from what type of litter they are using and buy the same so the kittens recognise straight away what it is.

    You'll need separate food bowls for each kitten and a couple of water bowls which you should put in different places to the food as cats generally don't like to drink in the same place that they eat.

    In my experience there isn't much point buying beds for cats, they'll sleep where they want. Invariably the most inconvenient place possible e.g. On clean laundry.

    Depending on your house layout & other pets you might have, you might want to borrow or buy a large dog crate for them to safely stay when you're not there. I use an extra large one for foster kittens so can easily fit in food & water, litter tray, blanket and even a small scratch post & some toys. Otherwise I'd recommend you keep them in one room for a few days at least until they find their feet.

    Food-wise just find out what they are eating one weaned and buy the same. You can gradually change them over to something else if you prefer but do it slowly with a percentage of new food at a time to avoid upset tummies.

    I'm assuming that whoever has them now is worming regularly from now onwards? If not then the first thing you should do is get them wormed & treated for fleas using something like milbemax & advocate respectively - available from the vet & miles better than anything you can buy in a supermarket.

    Buy some toys & I'd recommend a scratch post or cat tree too, ideally one with both horizontal & vertical scratching surfaces as some cats prefer one type over the other.

  • MupetteMupette Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    In my experience there isn't much point buying beds for cats, they'll sleep where they want. Invariably the most inconvenient place possible e.g. On clean laundry.
    :rotfl::rotfl: yup she's right.

    I have a couple of cat beds one is being used now the other neglected, and my nice big pink cushion for sitting outside was stolen by Gizmo :(

    2nd the food and littler ask the mothers owner what they use, makes it a little less stress for the kitties.

    maybe get some feliway plugins to help keeping the place calm.

    Oh and don't forget cat toys things with feathers for them to destroy whilst learning their hunting techniques, definitely a scratching post / tree.

    and just a word of warning kittens love to climb things with their very sharp claws, like your legs at feeding time,

    And they can be bitey bitey and their teeth are blinkin sharp.
    Terry Pratchett
  • tealadytealady Forumite
    3.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Debt-free and Proud!
    Please note there is an unwritten rule on this forum that we have to see pics of your kitties.
    On a serious note please speak to your vet about how early to get them neutered. A mature Tom can spray and a queen is capable of getting pregnant whilst nursing a litter.
    Anyway hope you have many happy years together.
    Find out who you are and do that on purpose (thanks to Owain Wyn Jones quoting Dolly Parton)
  • GwylimTGwylimT Forumite
    6.5K Posts
    Ah two weeks old, super sweet! Right, that means you have eleven whole weeks to get ready!

    Food, for the first two weeks feed what they have been weaned on to, after that you can move them slowly on to different wet or raw foods. Please do not feed dry food, it causes obesity, dehydration, diabetes and kidney disease, and no it doesn't clean their teeth, just like biscuits don't clean ours.

    At least three litter trays spaced out, kittens get distracted like toddlers so expect the odd accident in the first few weeks.

    A decent breeder worms, vaccinates and neuters before rehoming, so for the first year you just need to worm which is nice and easy.

    They should come scratch post trained, so make sure you buy the same kind of scratch post for use in the house.

    Claw trimmers, kittens can't go outside unless on a harness or in a cat proof garden, this means you can trim their claws which stops curtain climbing and leg climbing. If you choose to let them out when they become adults their claws need to be given eight weeks to fully grow back.

    Food and water bowls should be far away from each other, although a raw or wet fed cat wont drink a lot as their food keeps them well hydrated, so don't worry if little drinking happens.

    Dental health
    Logic is a very good toothpaste, it is also good to use plaque off in their food.
    A comb and slicker are the best for daily grooming.

    Until they are settled use the same litter they have used with mum, make any changes very slowly, the breeder should give you a bag of dirty litter to put in your tray. Natural clumping litters like oko are the most economical, you simply remove clumps, top up and only do a full change if wee/poo touches the tray. Ours hasn't needed doing since March.

    Remember, always put the toilet lid down, kittens will get into the toilet bowl and then cuddle you covered in toilet water.

    Check all the plants in your home to ensure they are cat safe, then if allowed out as adults do the same for your garden.

    So, wheres the photos?
  • tiggerjjtiggerjj Forumite
    259 Posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    Hi everyone, thanks for the tips.
    The kittens arent coming from a breeder but from a friend so I will check with them about vaccinations and deworming.

    Feliway - ill see if i can get that over here. im ex-pat (living in europe so wondering when i will need a visa ;) )

    Photos - how do i put them on here?
  • helcat26helcat26 Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Don't forget to encourage them to play at jumping in and out of boxes and paper bags. When they are good at it you can earn a fortune on youtube:D
  • scaredy_catscaredy_cat Forumite
    7.8K Posts
    when you get them, i'd advise to get them used to touching their feet d toes, so that when you need to trim their claws they do't struggle and try to get away. i did this with my old Sugar cat by just gently stroking the feet and gently pressing the toes so the claw was exposed. she would quite happily cradled in my arm while i trimmed her claws.
    Cats don't have owners - they have staff!! :D:p
    DFW Long Hauler Supporter No 150

  • fairy_lightsfairy_lights Forumite
    9.2K Posts
    Something else I'd get is a big pack of unscented baby wipes, for the inevitable occasions when they manage to get covered in their own poo.
  • MupetteMupette Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    We still want pictures :D
    Terry Pratchett
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