If you are a first-time kitten owner, there are a number of essential kitten supplies you will need to purchase before bringing your new pet home.
Essential Kitten Supplies List: The Basics
Ideally, you will need to purchase a high-quality kitten diet recommended by your veterinarian. Many vets recommend feeding canned food several times per day and leaving dry food available all day long (kittens only).
Multiple Food and Water Bowls
These should be either stainless steel or ceramic. Plastic bowls are popular but can cause skin inflammation ("feline chin acne") in many cats.
Litter Boxes, Cat Litter and Scooper
Remember, the general rule of thumb is that you need one litter box per cat plus one. One cat will need two boxes, two cats will need three boxes, etc. Cats prefer clumping litter that is fine, sandy and unscented.
Cats need scratching posts to play on, to "mark" using the scent glands on their paws, and to sharpen their claws. These will also protect your furniture by offering kitty an alternative! One large cat-tree for climbing coupled with one smaller post is sufficient.
ALWAYS put your cat in a carrier for travel to and from the veterinary clinic. It is not safe to carry your kitten in your arms. If a loud noise spooks her, she may get away from you. It is also a good idea to make the carrier into a bed and leave it out at home for the kitten to get comfortable with.
Essential Kitten Supplies List: Extras
Kittens prefer beds with sides/walls. You can purchase these, or make them at home using a shoebox lined with a soft fabric.
Not all cat toys are safe! Choose sturdy, fabric-covered toys that do not have small parts that can be swallowed, such as bells or plastic eyes. If the toy has a tail, be sure to cut the majority of the length off before giving it to the kitten.
Choose healthy treats such as those designed for cleaning teeth or choose Pill Pockets, which are designed for hiding medication. It is a good idea to get your cat hooked on these long before he needs a pill!
Essential Kitten Supplies List: Grooming Needs
If you have a long-haired cat, invest in a good pair of electric clippers for dealing with matts and keeping the fur on the rear end short! These are much safer than using scissors to remove a matt.
Brushes and Combs
Ask your veterinarian which type to purchase for your kitten's fur.
Cat Nail Trimmers
Again, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation and a demonstration of how to trim cat toenails safely.
Kitten Toothbrush and Kitten-Safe Toothpaste
Your kitten will also need a collar with tags, even if they are an indoor-only cat (all kittens need to stay indoors for several months at least), in case they get lost. Regardless of indoor/outdoor status, all kittens should be microchipped during one of their veterinary visits.
With these supplies, you will have everything you need for your new kitten. But don't forget to kitten-proof your home as well.