Bringing home your new kitten for the first time is always incredibly exciting and you're sure to have plenty of fun times with your new pet.
However, a young cat is a big responsibility and if you want them to grow up to be fit, healthy and happy, you're going to need to take the time to understand the basic rules of pet care for kittens.
Everything you learn about caring for a kitten will vary depending on the breed, age and personality of cat that you bring home, but there are a few general rules that all new owners should bear in mind just to get them started.
The cat food you decide to raise your kitten on is extremely important, as all felines need a certain combination of nutrients to ensure they grow up strong and healthy.
For a young cat it's a good idea to stick to foods that have been designed specifically for a young cat, as their nutritionally needs differ from those of older felines.
There are a number of high quality brands such as Iams and Hills cat food which offer healthy and nutritious food for young felines, but if you're at all unsure what is best for your four-legged friend you can always ask for advice from your vet.
One of the first things you should do on bringing your kitten home is to book an appointment with your vet so you can discuss your cat's vaccinations, as well as other details such as flea and worming treatments.
"Kittens need to be vaccinated at nine and 12 weeks, and annual boosters every year thereafter to protect against flu, enteritis and leukaemia," explains Nikki Burville, veterinary nurse at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.
"It's important to make sure you're registered with a vet and that your cat has regular flea and worming treatment."
The first visit to the vet is also important as it will give your vet the opportunity to check over your kitten for any illness or potential medical problems, and to give you the peace of mind that your kitten is healthy and happy.
Although cats don't respond to training in quite the same way as dogs, you're new kitten is going to need to learn a few basic rules such as where to go to the toilet and not to damage furniture and carpets.
The key with training is to be firm but fair, and to always praise your cat for the good behaviour while ignoring the bad. So if you find that your cat has soiled where they shouldn't simply place them in the litter tray or outside and then praise them when they use this instead.
Before your cat starts to explore outdoors it's a good idea to buy them a collar and identification tag, as well as speaking to your vet about getting them microchipped.
"It's important to get your new pet microchipped and wearing a collar and tag so should it get lost or go missing there's more chance you will be reunited," says Nikki
Written by: Hannah