Ultimate Guide To Kitten Care: Nutrition, Health, and Hygiene

One has to have a heart of stone not to fall in love with a kitten. My first cat came into my life when I was seven years old. Minky was a tri-colored farm cat.

We fed our cats milk, which they shared with a nocturnal hedgehog family that lived in our shoe closet. How we look after young kittens and adult cats has changed drastically. We’ve learned so much about kitten nutrition, good hygiene, and health.

Kittens provide a lifetime of companionship and contribute to our well-being. Here’s what you should know if you decide to make a kitten part of the family.

Crucial Factors to Consider Before Bringing a Kitten Home

Kittens are easier than puppies. True. However, that doesn’t mean that choosing a kitten is easy sailing. Kittens need the following:

  • Balanced nutrition (solid food, canned or wet meat protein kitten food)
  • Feed-free feeding or a controlled feeding style; it works for most kittens
  • Safe drinking water
  • Veterinarian access to checkups and vaccination
  • Sanitation access to litter
  • Love and affection
  • Undivided attention
  • Basic understanding of feline needs

In return, you’ll get to watch them grow rapidly into loving, playful cats.


Ultimate Guide to Kitten Care

Here are a few tips to get you going:

Make your home kitten friendly

Cats and kittens tend to be curious and playful. Therefore, ordinary household objects can be harmful.

Remove and store these items:

  • Fragile items that your new kitten might knock over
  • Remove and safely secure household chemicals, alcohol, perfumes
  • Store delicate fabrics to prevent clawing
  • Read up on house plants as some are poisonous
  • Put up barriers to prevent escaping
  • Have a cat bed
  • Prepare a sanitation station litter box
  • Have suitable clean water and feeding bowls
kitten care

Bring kitten necessities

Kittens and cats have basic needs. You can save on toys by providing safe household items to play with, like cardboard boxes, paper rolls, and strings to entertain a kitten. But you can’t scrimp on proper nutrition and veterinarian health care facilities.

These are the must-haves:

  • Age-appropriate food fit for a cat or kitten's diet that is low on plant-based sources
  • Access to clean drinking water
  • A litter box or device
  • A cat bed (though the kitten will more than likely make do with a sunny spot or your lap)
  • Some toys

Caring for a kitten (we hope you opted for one from an animal shelter) takes time. Luckily, there is a bunch of new tech gadgets for pet owners that provide convenience, peace of mind, and enhanced care for pets.

According to World Animal Foundation, an automated litter box is one such device that offers several benefits for both cats and their owners. It saves time and effort by automatically scooping and disposing of waste, ensuring a clean litter box environment.

Find a vet

Being a pet owner means having a good rapport with veterinarians and their staff. A vet should make you and your feline comfortable and answer your questions and concerns.

A vet not only provides basic health care like:

  • Routine physical health checks
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Flea and tick remedies
  • Grooming advice

Veterinarians are also an excellent resource to help you decide on a diet for your kitten and tips on understanding the complicated nuances of feline parenting.

kitten care vet

Start following a proper hygiene routine

When your kitten enters your home, introduce them to the litter box. Cats are super easy to train, but you must provide the resources.

Kittens take quickly to automated litter boxes, and it’s the perfect time to introduce them. Automated litter devices make your life easier.

Here are some litter options:

  • Clumping and non-clumping
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Clay
  • Pine
  • Wheat
  • Grass
  • Corn
  • Walnut shell

Hygiene isn’t just about litter. It’s also about grooming, getting the kitten used to your touch, and handling its ears, toes, nails, and all parts of its body.

Caressing your cat is therapeutic for both of you.

caring for cats and kittens

Don’t overlook the socialization thing

Cats get pigeonholed as solitary creatures. They need socialization and contact with others at different stages of their life. You can introduce a kitten to your neighbors, friends, and the family dog. When you bring a kitten into a pet family, the introduction should be slow. Have a plan.

Train your Kitten

Cats are trainable despite what dog people say. A cat learns its name, and I suggest sticking to a simple two-syllable name. Repeat the name but don’t overuse it.

Basic obedience training

Cats respond well to methods like clicker training, positive reinforcement, and auditory markers to initiate your cat to words like ‘good cat,’ ‘yes or no,’ and other positive commands followed with affection.

Set these conditions for training:

  • The cat is awake and engaged
  • Limit training to 1 to 5 minutes only
  • Reward with treats or praise
  • Repeat but don’t overwhelm the cat
  • Train before supper but never withhold food
  • Teach one skill

Litter training

Many pet parents can appreciate how easy it is to litter train a kitten. Provide a safe, accessible, yet private place for the litter box or automatic device that the kitten can access freely. Keep it away from noisy or high-traffic areas.

Once you introduce a kitten to the area and box, they’ll remember.

Tip: Keep the litter box tidy. It’s unhygienic for the entire family.

okocat natural cat litter


Mental Stimulation Needs and Exercise

Cats are good at entertaining themselves with their tail. But here is what you can do to make life fun for your furry friend.

Engage your kitty in puzzle games

Puzzle games are a beneficial activity for cats. It provides mental and physical stimulation and echoes a feline’s natural hunting and stalking instinct. Further, it’s a great way to exercise a cat. Cat obesity is rising and leads to many health and joint issues. Puzzles make them work for their food.

Play hide-and-seek

Cats are natural game players. Hide and seek comes naturally to them, and don’t be surprised if they lurk behind furniture to pounce on you and yell 'Surprise!' Engaging cats and kittens in hide-and-seek can work both ways: they hide and you seek, or you hide and they seek. You can get their attention by calling their name or rattling their favorite toy or snack.

Daily walk and exercise

Harnessing and walking cats has become a popular activity. Training a kitten to a harness is easier than asking a senior cat. A senior cat will likely convey their discontent through body language.

Train a kitten to walk in a harness by:

  • Starting at a young age
  • Getting a proper and secure harness that is escape proof
  • Building a routine
  • Making it fun
how to care for kitten

Health Checkups

This is the most expensive part of cat ownership. Though most cats are healthy and only require essential medical attention, there are a few musts.


Protect your cat from diseases by keeping their vaccinations current, even if they're house cats. Animal healthcare professionals define vaccines as core and lifestyle vaccines.

Core vaccines and lifestyle vaccines are routinely administered starting at 6 to 8 weeks. Some shots are also required by law.


Sadly, our shelters are full of loving cats. In the US alone, we have roughly 58.3 million pet cats and 30 to 80 million feral cats. Repeat this worldwide. Please spay and neuter your cat and consider rescuing it from your local shelter.

Spaying and neutering not only protect from overpopulation but also promotes animal health.

Tip: A spayed and neutered cat will not spray your bedding or soft furnishings with urine. No amount of cleaning or disinfecting will get rid of this odor completely.

Grooming Needs

Cats are famous for grooming themselves and have flexible and compression ribcages to reach tough spots.


Helping your cat by brushing its fur promotes bonding and a healthy, shiny coat and removes excess fur.

Start brushing your kitten to get used to the habit. They may make a game of capturing the brush.


Good luck! Leave bathing cats to professionals. Cats don’t need to be bathed; they can swim but are not fussed about getting wet. Exceptions, of course, exist, and cats like to make liars out of us.

Oral and dental care

A healthy diet with crunchy food to help clean teeth is a good start, but cats can also develop tartar and gum disease.

We recommend that kittens get used to having their teeth brushed; after all, all the cleaning they do with their cat tongues invites bacteria. Ask your vet how to establish a routine.


Nutrition, health, and hygiene are the foundation of kitten and cat parenthood. When you bring a kitten home, you promise to commit to its lifetime with love, patience, and ongoing care.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the hundreds of valuable tips from vetted organizations.



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