The following is a list of supplies we recommend having on hand BEFORE bringing your first foster kitten home. Uses for these items will be described in the following pages of the manual.
* Plastic transport crate * Towels/blankets * Syringe (if needed, w/o needle)
* Kitten food/both wet and dry * Scratcher * Large wire crate (if needed for litters)
* Food and water bowls * Toys * Hiding boxes (i.e., shoe boxes)
* Litterbox and scooper * Heating disc * Sugar or Karo Syrup
* NON-CLUMPING litter (if needed)
Kitty City/Foster staff will provide you items marked “*” when you pick up your foster cat/kitten(s).
PLASTIC CRATES and KENNELS For Home and Transport
If you do not have a crate or kennel that will fit the size foster pet you would like to bring home, OPHS will loan one to you. Ask Kitty City/Foster staff if they can supply one to you.
FOOD and BOWLS
OPHS Kitty City/Foster staff will provide all foods needed for your foster pets. Please follow feeding protocols outlined FEEDING GUIDELINES.
Kitten Specific Criteria
Food should be specifically labeled as “KITTEN FOOD”. You will need both wet and dry food. Food labeled for “all life stages” does not apply. KITTEN ONLY.
Treats should only be a small part of a kitten’s daily diet and must be labeled KITTEN. Kittens have very specific dietary needs compared to adult cats. Food and treats labeled for adult cats are not appropriate for your foster kittens.
Bowls for Food and Water
Ceramic or stainless steel dishes that don’t tip over easily will work best for your foster pet. Make sure the water and food bowls are shallow enough that a cat can reach the food and water but not deep enough that a kitten can get inside and drown. Be sure to have enough bowls for the size of your litter, so kittens don’t fight over food or water. For wet food, you can use separate bowls or cut up paper plates into smaller sizes to put food on. We recommend you do not use plastic dishes since they tend to harbor bacteria and are extremely difficult to disinfect.
Kitten & Cat safe toys UNSUPERVISED OK:
- Paper bags
- Cardboard boxes
- Balls large enough so kitten cannot swallow them (ex: ping pong balls)
- Stuffed toys without small plastic pieces that can be chewed off. Avoid fillings such as polystyrene beads, nutshells or beans.
Kitten & Cat toys safe WITH SUPERVISION ONLY:
- String, rope or similar
- Laser pointers
- Feathers or Ribbons
- Fishing pole type toys
Toys UNSAFE for kittens:
- Plastic bags
- Catnip (ok for adult cats only)
Never leave kittens unattended with toys that have string, rope, feathers, rubber bands or other type pieces that can be chewed off and consumed.
You will need extra bedding on hand before you bring your first foster pet home. We recommend having at least 5 days’ worth of bedding on hand before you start. (Depending, of course, on how often you like to wash laundry!) Your foster kitten/cats need their bedding changed anytime they become soiled. There is no need to spend a lot of money on expensive kitten beds. Bedding can include items such as old throw blankets, towels, sheets or bath mats. In addition, you may purchase “kitten beds” or “crate mats” at pet supply stores.
Kittens & Cats like to nest. Place bedding into a shallow box, pan, or tray (such as a shoebox) so that kittens may snuggle into bedding in a nest-like manner.
Kittens need easy access to a litter box. You will need NON-CLUMPING, FRAGRANCE FREE litter or shredded paper to line the litter box with. For ease of cleanup, we recommend a scoop or sifter to remove dirty litter from the box.
The presence of quartz silica in clumping litter is extremely dangerous if ingested by small kittens. Do not use clumping litter until the kitten is over 4 months old.
QUARANTINE AREA aka “Kitten Room”
We highly recommend that you keep your foster pets separated from your personal pets. Kittens do well kept in a warm separate room such as a bathroom, kitchen, or laundry room with tile or vinyl flooring. Cleaning up after kittens kept on carpeting is extremely difficult.
Covered playpens, crates and kitty condos are excellent tools for securing your kitten/cats overnight.