Caring for a New Puppy or Kitten: Petmate Helps Pet Parents Get the Right Tools

Pets infuse new life and energy into the family, and spring is a great time to introduce a new puppy or kitten! Pet parents will enjoy these adorable and playful young animals, and can look forward to years of happy and rewarding companionship. New puppies and kittens have many needs, and Petmate has everything you need to ease the transition and welcome the new bundle of joy.

New Kitten  

With their larger-than-life eyes, loud purr and boundless curiosity, new kittens have an irresistible charm. This is an exciting time for both you and the kitten, and the first few weeks together are critical for ensuring a happy and healthy life. For the trip to their new home, place your kitten in a sturdy cat carrier. Petmate offers a variety of cat carriers built for safety and comfort; so you can choose the carrier that’s right for your kitten. They may yell at you to let them out – but don’t do it! Consider using a carrier like the Kennel Cab® Traditional, which features a heavy-duty eco-friendly plastic shell, a convenient seatbelt slot to secure your pet, side and back ventilation holes, and a floor perimeter to keep your pet dry. The Soft Sided® Kennel Cab also offers safe, comfortable and reliable transport in a modern design. Great for a visit to the vet, or a longer trip, this kennel carries Fluffy in comfort and style with plush patterned bedding fabric.

Once at home, select a quiet, closed-in area such as your bedroom, and stock it with a litter box, food and water, toys, and a scratching post. The Lean on Me™ Scratch Post is a perfect choice, with its stable base of durable polypropylene in taupe and a replaceable scratch pad made of natural jute with a beautiful brown leaf print. Catnip “reservoirs” at the top of the post, under the jute, give cats multi-sensory play without the catnip mess. And, no skid rubber feet hold the post in place so floors don’t get scratched.

Let the kitten become acquainted with that area for the first few days. Spend plenty of time in that room to make your kitten comfortable. It is common for kittens to hide in the closet or under the bed – don’t force them to come out. Sit on the floor and talk to them or offer treats to help them feel safe. Your new kitten will sleep up to 16 hours a day, so establish a comfortable sleeping place for them.

When she’s not sleeping, she’ll want to play! Cats go wild for the Swat N’ Swing™, an adorable plush character filled with catnip and connected to a rod with an elastic bungee cord that makes for unexpected movement of the plush and keeps cats entertained for hours. The Bat n’ Bobble® is another option, with feathers on top, a bell cage ball in the center and a weighted bottom.

And then there’s the litter box. It is important to find the right litter box for your new kitten. And, with so many styles available, it can easily become a daunting task. A good rule of thumb is to find a box with lower sides that they can easily get in and out of (about 1 inch). Cats are very proper, and a hooded litter box offers them the privacy they like. Place your kitten in the litter box after feeding, and anytime she begins nosing in corners or squatting. Gently scratch the kitten's front paws in the filler. If your kitten has an accident, wipe it up with a paper towel and put it in the litter box, and place the kitten in the litter box. Do not punish your cat for having an accident. This won't help them learn to use the litter box – it will only teach them not to go to the bathroom in front of you. A great place to start is the Petmate Starter Kit Litter Boxes – perfect for welcoming a new kitten or cat into your home. Each pearlescent colored, eco-friendly litter box includes a 12-count box of liners, a small lightweight double-diner dish and litter scoop. The rimmed top helps control litter scatter, and a slightly lower lip helps little kitties get in and out with ease.

For a list of recommended supplies for new kittens, visit

New Puppy

New puppies mean high-energy play – so get ready to have fun! But puppies also rely on you to provide structure and discipline for their energy. There are millions of tips when bringing a new pup into the home, but here are some we at Petmate have found especially helpful – because we have pets too. 

If possible, have your new dog come home when you can be home for a few days. Get to know each other and spend some quality time together. Dogs need an active life, so be sure to have plenty of exercise and game time – and toys! The Small Dog and Puppy Eco-friendly puppy plush toy is sized perfectly for puppies, and features 100% recycled stuffing on the inside and natural wool on the outside. The Lil’ Bit Floppy Disc is a fun, durable, interactive fetch disc made of waterproof fabric and flexible tubing. This brightly-colored disc is gentle on your dog’s teeth and gums and can even be used as a portable drinking dish. And to give puppies a safe way to chew, the Small Dog and Puppy Soft Bite Plush toys are a soft plush toy that makes a fun squeaking sound.

You are a playmate, but you also need to let your pet know who is the boss. Decide what the rules of the house will be – where your pup can go, where to sleep, and when and where to go to the bathroom. When your pup does something he shouldn't, don't lose your cool. Redirect the behavior and reward him with praise when he does well! It’s a tough job to do alone, so sign up for a local dog obedience class and learn what a joy it is to have a well-trained dog.

Housebreaking your new puppy is going to take patience, especially since a pup is not physically able to control the muscle that allows him to hold it until he’s around 12 weeks old. Choose a housebreaking method that’s right for your puppy. All a pup wants is to please you, so the goal is to make her understand what you want.

One useful tool is a crate. To you, a crate may look like the canine equivalent of a jail cell, but to your dog, the crate looks like a den -- a room of his own! In addition to giving your new pup his own hip digs, crates make housetraining and obedience training easier and more pleasant for both you and the pup. A kennel like the Wire Kennels Training Retreat will help to house-break pups and halt behavior problems before they start. Created for both comfort and housetraining, the Training Retreat kennel boasts sturdy wire construction for safety, a rust-resistant black coating for durability, and a leak-proof removable pan for easy cleaning. A double-latch, single front door helps with control while also providing easy in and out access, and the handles on top make it mobile. It comes in six different sizes, and features an adjustable divider so the kennel can grow with the dog.

Like people, every dog is different and each breed has unique needs. Do your research and purchase supplies accordingly. For a list of recommended supplies for new puppies, visit

All New Pets

All new pets need vaccinations and health checks. Get connected with a good vet before you bring your new companion home.

Committed to the wellbeing of pets and the world they live in, Petmate is the trusted authority in smart solutions for devoted pet parents and discerning retailers alike. Sound advice and high quality products that are innovative, safe, practical and fun are Petmate hallmarks, as shown in our complete lines of: kennels, dog houses, bedding, litter maintenance, feeding and watering solutions, toys, collars and leads, and pet accessories. We, at Petmate, have pets too and are driven to create a healthy, happy life for your pets and ours. Petmate products can be found at pet supply stores nationwide. Call 1-877-PETMATE or visit for more information.