How to Care for Your New Kitten



Becoming a first-time cat owner is an exciting time, but it can certainly raise many questions. Here is a basic checklist of being a new cat owner. Check them off and enjoy your new kitten!

  • Kitten-proofing: Before bringing home your new friend; be sure to clean up any small objects or string-like objects. Also check for house plants which may be poisonous to your cat, loose power chords, and other potential hazards.
  • Diet: Be sure to feed your kitten high-quality kitten food until he reaches about 1 year of age.
  • Kittens will generally use litter boxes by instinct, however you can help teach her to use it by placing her in the box after meals and play sessions. Make sure the litter box is always available to your kitten and cleaned frequently
  • Pet her frequently
  • Get her used to weekly combing and grooming.)
  • Introduce her to toys
  • Allow her to experience different walking surfaces (carpet, linoleum, etc.)
  • Give her objects to explore, such as boxes and paper bags
  • Play loud music and make noise
  • Have friends over and ask them to play with her and give her treats
  • Provide appropriate scratching alternatives (such as scratching posts) and reward her with toys, praise or treats when she uses them
  • Do not allow her to bite or scratch during play. If she does, redirect her attention to a toy.
  • Expose her to other cats and kittens (as soon as they’re up to date on vaccinations, of course!). There are even kitten socialization classes; do an internet search to see if any are available in your area.
  • Take your kitten on car rides, giving her treats the whole time, and get her used to her carrier.
  • Reward friendly behavior with treats or praise.
  • Do not reprimand bad behavior, instead, ignore her when she displays inappropriate behavior. Give the kitten a time out.
  • Challenge your kitten to think by teaching her tricks.
  • Always be patient

Make Preventive Care a Priority

The first step in bringing home a new kitten is to get your pet a veterinary examination to ensure good health.

Schedule an appointment early. No matter what, schedule your kitten’s first vet appointment within a week of getting her. Early and frequent vet visits will help socialize your kitten with the vet and help the vet establish a baseline for your kitten’s health.

Ask about intestinal parasites. Have a veterinarian check your kitten for worms and intestinal parasites, and have her de-wormed, if necessary.

Ask which vaccinations your kitten needs and how often: Preventive care for kittens may include vaccines for feline leukemia, rabies and distemper. After that, your veterinarian can set her up on an adult vaccination schedule. He or she may also recommend additional vaccinations.



Featured dog: Blacktop AKA Topper or Blackie

Blacktop was found on I-15 by a family visiting from out of state for the Thanksgiving holiday. He spent the night with them before bringing him to the animal shelter. He was good with their dogs and with all the family members. Blacktop is about 1 year old and is a labrador mix. He loves people, playing with rope toys and does well walking on a leash. He knows sit but still needs training with other commands. He is very active and will need plenty of exercise. He will also need to have a high secure fence as he is interested in learning all about what is happening in the outside world. He would do better in a family with no small children due to his enthusiasm of being with people.

Other available dogs-

Bamboo- dachshund/Chihuahua blend. Wonderful dog, loves people does great on a leash.

Featured cat: Baloo

Baloo was found as a stray. Very friendly and used to being with people. He has some unusual facial markings that make him even more extra special. He likes to play with toys but his favorite pastime is sitting on your lap snuggled in a soft blanket purring and keeping you company while you watch TV or take a nap. Under a year old

Other available cats-

Nicky- Another snuggle kitty. Loves to be held and with you. Loves soft toys and carries them around the room. 4 – 5months old

All animals will be spayed or neutered prior to leaving shelter and receive 1 year rabies vaccination and city license. Ages are approximate.

The City of Mesquite Animal Shelter located at 795 Hardy Way is open for adoptions from 11am until 1 pm, Monday through Saturday, Sunday 1pm -3pm. Please call 702-346-7415 during these hours to speak to the front desk. Animal Control may be reached by phone or voicemail at 702-346-5268 

The animals submitted to the media may have changed so please visit our Petfinder website for a current listing and more detailed information on the animals.

Please also check our Facebook pages for lost and found animals along with pet information. and