New Book!
Home | Basic Training | New Kitten Checklist

New Kitten Checklist

How to Choose the Best Scratching Post

author pam johnson-bennett with her books


 Cat Trees

Your kitten loves to climb and it’s actually providing important skill-building for her. She’s learning about her strength, balance and speed. Provide those opportunities for her by having a sturdy cat tree available. This way she can climb there instead of scaling your curtains or bookshelves.

As your kitten matures, she’ll appreciate having the cat tree as vertical territory. Cats love being in elevated locations.

Here is more information:

Why Your Cat Needs a  Cat Tree

Grooming and Nail Trimming for Your Kitten

Unless you want to end up doing battle with an adult cat who won’t let you near her claws or will bite you whenever she sees a brush, get started now on the training. While your kitten is still young is the time to get her acclimated. Get a soft brush and start brushing her for a few minutes several times a day. Gently handle her ears and touch her mouth as well. Get her comfortable with being touched so she’ll accept it later when you start cleaning her teeth, cleaning her ears or if she needs to be medicated.

Claw trimming on a regular basis is a necessity. You’ll just want to trim the very sharp tip off the top of the nail. If you start the process when your kitten is young and are consistent about doing it, she’ll probably accept the process without complaint (or with minimal complaining) once she’s mature. You’ll probably need a hands-on lesson from your veterinarian the first time so you can learn the best method to do it and also so you can be shown how to avoid cutting too much of the nail. There’s a blood supply that runs through the nail and you certainly don’t want to cut the nail at that point because it’s very painful for the cat, will cause lots of bleeding and can lead to an infection. Ask your veterinarian or veterinary technician to give you a quick lesson in claw trimming.

Here’s a little more information:

Health Benefits of Grooming Your Cat

How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails

Kitten Environmental Enrichment, Playtime and Socialization

The indoor environment is the safest place for your kitten but you want to make sure that environment is filled with stimulation, fun and also security and comfort. Instead of leaving toys piled up in a box in the corner, locate them through your kitten’s area for her to discover. Create vertical territory through cat trees and safe cat shelving. Engage in several interactive play sessions per day and also socialize your kitten to people, sounds and experiences. Socialization now is important because it will help your kitten handle changes, and the appearances of unfamiliar people as she grows. Acclimate your cat to the carrier and take her for car rides. Have friends over and show them how to gently handle her so the kitten becomes comfortable with being held and also develops a good comfort level with people in her environment.

Here’s more information on the subject:

What is Environmental Enrichment and Why Does Your Cat Need It

Interactive Play Therapy

Gradually Introduce Your Kitten to New Experiences

Training Your New Kitten

If you want a well-adjusted, well-behaved cat, you have to put the effort into appropriately and humane training her. Start now and be consistent. Make sure all family members are on the same page as well so your kitten doesn’t get mixed messages. Training now will pay off greatly as your youngster grows into a full-grown cat.

For more information on Training:

What to do When Your Cat Bites You During Playtime

Teach Your Kitten to Enjoy Being Touched


Need More Help?

For specific step-by-step information on kitten training and behavior, refer to the books by best-selling author Pam Johnson-Bennett. Her books are available at bookstores everywhere, through your favorite online book retail site and also here on our website.


If you have a question about your cat’s behavior, you can find information in the articles on our website as well as in Pam’s books. If you have a question regarding your cat’s health, please contact your veterinarian. This article is not intended as a replacement for your cat’s veterinary care.