Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

petMD Videos

Cat Health Videos

Hi, my name is Dr. Ashley Gallagher and I work at Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington, D.C. Today I’m going to be talking to you about how to take care of a new kitten.


Bringing a new kitten into your home can be as overwhelming as it is exhilarating. However, there are a few things that can help your kitten stay happy and healthy.


Cat food is an important place to start because the first six months are particularly vital for bone, muscle, and nervous system development. Consult with your veterinarian, but a diet specially formulated for kittens is considered most appropriate during this life stage.


Cat toys are another kitten essential. They enable kittens to explore their naturally inquisitive side while staying physically active. Cat toys with feathers, crunchy fillings and catnip are often among kitten favorites.


And don’t forget to get a scratching post or two — scratching is a normal cat behavior, and training your cat to use a post early in life can spare your furniture down the road.


Choosing a litter box is one of the most underrated decisions you will make for your new kitten. Covered or open litter box? Manual or automatic litter box? While many people choose litter boxes based on their own preferences, it’s vital to keep in mind that your kitten’s preferences are the deciding factor in whether he or she will use it.


Also, if you have more than one cat, you should have extra litter boxes to avoid territorial problems.


Last but not least – your new kitten supply checklist should include a comfortable cat carrier. Your kitten will spend a good deal of time shuttling back and forth to the vet during those first few months. Make the trip pleasant by investing in a well-ventilated cat carrier with padding inside. Your new kitten will thank you.


For more information on kitten health and care, visit petMD.com.