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There’s nothing quite like welcoming a furry friend into the family.

If you’re the new parent to a precious kitten, you’re bound to be falling in love with the endless snuggles and playtime. Apart from enjoying time with your new pet, make sure you have all the essentials ready for them to settle into your home. Use this checklist to create a happy home that your furry friend will love.

Kitten upside down on couch

Litter and litter box

One of the first things you’ll need is a litter box. When it comes to choosing the right litter for your kitten, it really comes down to preference. Your cat might feel comfortable with certain litter and not others, so it’s a good idea to trial small amounts of different brands to find the right fit for your new kitten.

Food and water bowls

Food and water bowls are an absolute must for your new kitten. But this must-have is more about your personal preference than theirs and there are many colours, styles and materials to choose from. The only thing your kitten will care about is that they’re regularly replenished and kept clean.

Kitten food

Much like litter, what you put into your kitten’s food bowl needs to suit your fur baby’s preferences. Cat food is typically divided into two categories: dry cat food and wet cat food. It’s a good idea to incorporate both types of food into your kitten’s diet, and it’s important to buy food specifically for kittens until their first birthday. If your cat has any health concerns, consult your vet to find the best nutrition for their needs.

Scratching posts

Cats have a natural tendency to scratch to keep their claws healthy. Teach them to keep their claws away from furniture by setting up multiple scratching posts close to where your cat likes to rest. This will encourage your fur baby to stretch and scratch where you want, rather than damaging your furniture.

Toys

In addition to a few good scratching posts, your new kitten will also need toys to keep them entertained. Buy a diverse mix of toys, focusing on buying at least one that requires you to play with your new kitten. This will help strengthen the bond you share. If you notice that your four-legged friend becomes bored easily, try hiding half of the toys at a time and swap them regularly to keep your kitten interested.

Bed

If there’s one thing that cats love, it’s a whole lot of sleep. Provide your new kitten with a bed so they have a comfortable place to snooze the day away. Giving them their own space to sleep can also help minimise unwanted hair on your furniture.

Microchip, ID tag and registration

The last thing you want is for your kitten to go missing, but if they do, you need to have everything in place for a swift and safe return. In Queensland all cats born after 10 April 2009 must be microchipped before they are sold or given to you, and as the cat owner you’ll be responsible for making sure your contact details are kept up-to-date. Go to Pet Address to search for your microchip number, find out where your pet is registered and to update your details.

It’s also a good idea to get your new kitten an ID tag to wear around their neck so they can easily be identified and returned home to you. 

Lastly, some local councils do require you to register your cat, contact them directly to find out more.

Pet insurance

Your new pet is a member of your family, so you want to treat them like one. Pet insurance is easy to forget when purchasing scratching posts and beds, but it’s just as important. Getting pet insurance will provide your pet with illness and injury cover and make any surprise vet visits more manageable.

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The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs. You should obtain and consider the Product Disclosure Statement or terms and conditions relating to the products mentioned, before deciding whether to acquire any products.