Caring for your New Kitten

Items you will need

Before you introduce your kitten to your home you will need to buy a litter tray (from your local pet shop) and a bag of cat litter (from any supermarket). She should also have a bed. You should also buy a pet carrier. You will need a carrier  in order to keep your pet safe on visits to the vet or cattery.

Introducing your Kitten to your Home

It is best to set aside a quiet room or a quiet corner in a room and to confine the kitten to this area for the first few days. She should have her bed, litter tray, feeding bowls and toys in this area. Place her in the litter tray (she may jump out immediately – this is fine) don’t move the tray as she will return to this spot. The tray should be kept as clean as possible – line it with newspaper – remove faeces as soon as possible and replace the litter once a day. A kitten or cat will not return to a dirty tray and may begin to soil elsewhere in the house. Your kitten should not be allowed out of the house until it has been neutered.

North County Dublin SPCA Caring for Your kitten


Kittens aged 9 weeks to 4 months should be fed 4 times a day. You may like to start with soft kitten food pouches – one pouch daily, split into 3 meals.

Dry kitten food is considered preferable as it is better for the kitten’s teeth and digestion. Always leave a bowl of water with dry food.   Kittens will also enjoy cooked chicken and fish and minced meat in moderation. Two meals a day will be sufficient between the age of 4 and 6 months. Milk should be avoided.


Your kitten should be vaccinated against Cat Flu and Feline Enteritis at 9 weeks of age or older. A second injection will be given 3 weeks later.

Vaccination against leukaemia is now available and is advisable –  this can be given at the same time as the other vaccinations,

Adult cats should receive yearly booster vaccinations.


Your kitten should be wormed at 6 weeks of age and at regular intervals after this – our veterinary surgeon will advise. Flea prevention treatment should be used on an on-going basis.


A female cat can produce several litters of kittens each year.  An operation can be performed on your female cat at 5 and a half months of age to prevent her “coming on heat” and having unwanted kittens.

Male cats who are not neutered constantly fight and get injured in a way that will eventually affect their health.

Male cats should be neutered, by a routine operation at 6 months of age.

North County Dublin SPCA Caring for Your Kitten


This is a small chip – the size of a grain of rice – which is inserted under the skin – if your cat gets lost and is taken to an animal organisation or veterinary practice, this will be scanned and will help to re-unite you with your pet.

Cat Behaviour

Cats like to sharpen their claws –  you should give your kitten a scratching post –  if she tries to scratch the furniture, rustle a paper loudly or spray with water pistol (aim for body). If you value your furniture more than a  cat, please don’t get one!


Kittens and young cats have no road sense and should be kept in the home as long as possible.

Keep washing machine and dryer doors closed and check inside before using them.

Keep toilet seats down and kittens can easily drown in toilets and keep loose wires tied safely away – kittens love to chew on these.

Introducing Your Cat to an Already Established Cat

Be cautious – allow the older cat to approach the kitten in the safety of the cat carrier. Expect hissing and growling at first. This is the established cat’s way of intimidating the newcomer and letting her know she is on his territory. Homing the opposite sex is usually a better option.

Do not leave the 2 cats together unsupervised –  it may take several weeks or even longer for matters to equalise.

Leave them in separate rooms if you have to go out.

North County Dublin SPCA Caring for Your Kitten