First Kitten: Things You Need to Know

Bringing a new kitten into your home is a very exciting moment. However, it is also a very stressful moment if you have no experience taking care of small furballs. If you don’t want to put a baby cat into a stressful situation, you need to make the transition smooth. You need to get all the essentials in advance. Also, you should learn how to feed, socialize, and entertain your kitten.

a little ginger devon rex kitten

Note, it should be grown enough before adopting. The ideal age of a baby cat is 12 weeks. Kittens of this age are strong enough to do what they like the most. It’s running, jumping, crawling, and climbing. Also, they can consume meals for cats in the form of pate and even use a litter box. However, there are still a lot of things you need to know about before adopting a kitten.


Opt for the required equipment for your kitten before bringing it home. Kittens grow fast, so they consume a lot of food and water, despite their small sizes. Buy large bowls for food and water. Some baby cats may refuse to eat from plastic bowls due to specific odor. Therefore, you need to buy metal or ceramic bowls. Ideally, they need to be heavy, so a kitten won’t be able to flip them accidentally.

A litter box is another essential that should be presented in your home when a kitten arrives. Also, buy different litters as kittens may consider some of them as food due to the attractive smell. If a baby cat eats even a small amount of litter, it will cause serious health issues. In case you don’t want your furball to sleep in your bed or a laundry bag, you should buy a bed for your feline or a cat condo.

Since 12-weeks kittens are quite active, you need to buy a scratching pillar, so your furball will sharpen its claws. Some baby cats may have a teething period, so don’t forget to purchase chewing toys. A tease-wand is one of the best toys that will help you entertain your kitten. Besides, you can opt for some brain-activity stimulating toys that will boost a baby cat’s development.

British shorthair kitten in a litter box

What To Expect

Kittens are very curious. A baby cat will want to explore everything in your house, get into every cabinet, and taste all the plants. Therefore, you need to make your home cat-proof. It means that you need to hide all dangerous and poisonous items in your house. You need to examine your home to ensure that a kitten won’t get outside and check if all plants in your house are safe for cats.

Also, you need to be prepared for any accidents. They may decide that a boot or a vase is better than a litter box, so you need to have a pack of wet wipes just for a case. They may break something, chasing around a house as well. In any case, you need to be patient as such problems won’t become permanent.

A kitten will fastly experience mental and physical development. During this period, a baby cat may sleep up to 20 hours, renewing energy for short exploration and development sessions. However, if a kitten is weak and doesn’t want to chase around your house, you have to bring it to a vet. Some baby cats may have a weak immune system and get infected by a virus from food or water. Therefore, don’t be shy about buying a carrier in advance.

kitten thinking about eating


Bringing a 12-week kitten, you won’t experience any serious issues with feeding your baby cat. In most cases, they stop consuming the milk at the age of 8 weeks. In the period from 8 to 12 weeks, they learn to eat food by themselves. It’s recommended to feed kittens with wet food or pate, so they will easily chew and digest it. Dried food may be difficult to consume for baby cats.

If you wonder how much to feed a cat, you can use an online calculator or call a vet. Note, you shouldn’t put a lot of food into a bowl and leave it there for the entire day. You have to feed a kitten 3-4 times a day. All the leftovers need to be removed in 20 minutes. Clean a bowl by using hot water, as any cleaning agents are dangerous for kittens.

Bottom Line: Health Checkups

Even if your kitten is active and looks great, you’re obliged to take it to a vet clinic for a checkup. A specialist will examine a baby cat’s health, development, parasites presence, etc. Then, a vet will provide professional recommendations on feeding and maintaining your kitten. Vaccinations are required if you want your kitten to be healthy. A vet will schedule vaccination sessions for your kitten and guide you on how to take care of your baby cat after this procedure. Some kittens may feel weak for a few days after vaccination.

Further Reading

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