Image Alt

Albuquerque VetCo

 / cats  / Kitten Basics – Ready to Own Your First Kitten!

Kitten Basics – Ready to Own Your First Kitten!

Ready to own your first kitten? Lets look at some kitten basics.

It is hard not to want a kitten. They are crazy adorable! Plus if you spend any amount of time on the internet, all the cute kitten meme’s might just drive you into a kitten frenzy. As cute and fun as they are, being a kitten is a pretty important time in their life. This is when you set them up to be healthy cats.


Make sure you know your kittens age. You don’t need to know the minute they were born, but knowing how many weeks old they are is important. During the first 10 weeks of their life there are some important things that need to happen. Many shelters and breeders will wait until their kittens are older than 10 weeks before allowing them to be rehomed, to help make sure that the kittens are properly tended to. But sometimes we find kittens that have been abandoned and rehome them ourselves.

New Kitten: Getting Started

Bring your kitten to the vet for an exam. Your vet will want to check out your kittens overall health. He will look for issues like birth defects, parasites, feline lukemia, and nutrition. But this is also a great time to get some advice from your vet.

Ask your vet about:

  • Diet: what to feed them, how much, how often, when to switch from kitten food to adult food.
  • Controlling Fleas and Ticks- discuss your options. At Albuquerque Vetco we recommend Frontline to control fleas & ticks as the best year round treatment.
  • Best way to litterbox train your kitten.
  • Signs of illness: How to know when you kitten is sick and when to bring them into the vet.
  • How to introduce them to your other pets.
  • Vaccination schedule: what vaccinations do you need and when do you need to bring her in to get them.
  • When should you microchip?

When it comes to health, the best place to start is with their diet. If you are giving your kitten good quality food, you are setting them up for a healthy life. Food affects nutrition, overall health, coat health, energy, dental health, and more. Good food is a building block for a healthy cat. You want to make sure the food is a good quality and that you are not feeding them too much. People are often surprised at the amount of food a kitten needs and tend to over feed. An overweight kitten might be cute, but it can set them up for long term health problems. When they are young, it is often good to feed them 3 times a day, then scale down to 2 times a day when they hit about 6 months old. Consult with your vet about the best feeding schedule.

Always make sure to keep fresh water available for your kitten. You do not need to give them milk. Though many people think that milk is healthy for kittens, it is more likely to just give them diarrhea. Plus, do you really want your kitten who is still learning how to use the litter box to have diarrhea? Probably not. Give the milk a big skip.



It is during kittenhood that your cat learns to be sociable. It is important to handle them and play with them. If you have kids, make sure the kids play with them. If you want your cat to be ok with dogs, this is a good time to introduce them to the family dog. It is during this social play that your kitten will form their emotional bond with you and your family.

It is a good idea to give your kitten a safe space for them to retreat to. This is where they can be quiet and calm and undisturbed. Don’t put it right next to their litter box, and keep their litterbox and food separate. Much like people, cats don’t like to sleep or eat next to their toilet.


We have a great kitten checklist to help you get started with your cute furry new member of your family.