Kittens are the most playful and adorable creatures and taking care of one is one of the most fun things you will ever do, but like taking care of any other pet, raising a kitten comes with a big responsibility. So Heads Up For Tails collated few vital pieces of information on how to take care of that playful, purring bundle of fur
Kittens are so cute; it’s understandable that cat owners sometimes wish their kittens could stay kittens forever. This is the when you, as the pet parent, lay the foundation for your cat’s future health and behavior. Not to mention, it’s the stage where you have to decide what food to buy, what vet to visit, and where to place the litter box. Fortunately, all of your hard work during these first few months is compensated by loads of snuggling and love.
Just like puppies, kitten’s age is much more than just a number. It is crucial to know the age of your kitten to know specific developmental, grooming, nourishment and other needs. For the first 10 weeks of their lives, kittens need specific care. If you, by chance, find yourself in a situation where you need to care for an orphaned kitten under 10 weeks old, consult your vet for special instructions. Since the mother cat teaches the kittens everything including socialization skills, hunting, survival as well as excretion tips, you will be replacing the orphaned kitten’s mommy to be doing exactly the same.
Find a Good Vet
If you don’t have a vet in mind already, ask friends for recommendations. If you got your cat from a shelter, ask their advice as they may have veterinarians they swear by.
A good vet will be able to give you a lot of advice on how to feed and take care of your kitten. Get your kitten to the vet to get a full check up. The vet will be able to point out if there is any birth defect, injury, parasitic infestation or any other thing that needs to be fixed.
- Have your vet recommend a type of food, how often to feed, and portion sizes.
- Ask for medicines and anti-parasitic pills that are safely suitable for your kitten.
- Learn about possible signs of illness to watch for during your kitten’s first few months.
- Discuss how to introduce your kitten to other household pets.
- Schedule future visits and vaccinations to establish a preventive health plan for your kitten.
- Shop for Quality Food
Feeding a kitten isn’t as easy as grabbing a bag of cat food at the nearest convenience store. Growing kittens need as much as three times more calories and nutrients than adult cats. That’s why it’s important to find a good quality food designed especially for kittens. A name brand food, formulated for kittens, is the simplest way to ensure that your kitty gets the proper nourishment without supplements.
If you choose to give home food to your kitten, make sure that you consult your Vet on:
- Your kitten’s nutrition requirement
- Food that is good for your kitten’s healthy growth
- Food that is not right for your kitten
- How much to feed
Feeding your kitten
To keep up with your kitten’s appetite, you’ll want to establish a daily feeding routine. The best way to ensure that you’re not under or over-feeding your kitten is to consult with your veterinarian about how much and how often to feed. At 3 to 6 months of age, most vets recommend feeding your kitten three times a day. Once he’s reached six months, you can scale it back to twice a day. Keep stocking your pantry with kitten food until your baby reaches adulthood, 9 to12 months old. In addition, don’t forget to keep his water bowl fresh and filled at all times. But hold the milk. Contrary to popular belief, milk is not nutritionally sufficient for kittens and can give them diarrhea.
Once your vet has cleared your kitten as free of disease and parasites, it’s safe to let your new kitten explore its new surroundings and other pet roommates. Handling and playing with your kitten at least once a day will help him form a strong emotional bond with you. If you have children and other pets, monitor their introduction to the new kitten to make sure it’s a positive experience for both the kitten and child. If you have dogs in your house then make sure that the interaction is completely under your supervision. Reward the dogs when they behave well around your kitty. Before getting a kitten you must also check if your dogs are friendly around feline species to avoid any accidents.
Before you bring your kitten home, it’s best to designate a quiet area where the kitten can feel comfortable and safe. In this base camp, you’ll need to put a few essentials like food and water dishes, a litter box (preferably one with low sides), and some comfortable bedding. Tip: Remember, cats don’t like their food and litter box too close together. So place the food dishes as far away from the litter as possible within the space.
Here’s a list of basic essential things you need to be ready with to introduce a kitten in your house.
- Scratching post
- Enough cat food specially formulated for kittens.
- Kitten collar and bells.
- Cat carrier
- Cat litter box with a good supply of cat litter.
- Warm and comfortable bed for your kitten.
- Food bowls, preferably metal or ceramic
- Cat brush
- Kitten safe toys, no small pieces that your kitten can swallow
Emergency: When to see your Vet
Young kittens are more susceptible to a number of illnesses, and it’s always best to catch a health issue in its early stages. Contact your vet immediately if your kitten displays any of the following symptoms.
- Lack of appetite
- Poor weight gain
- Swollen or painful abdomen
- Lethargy (tiredness)
- Difficulty breathing
- Wheezing or coughing
- Pale gums
- Swollen, red eyes or eye discharge
- Nasal discharge
- Inability to pass urine or stool
Don’t forget to take pictures
Spread the love and joy by posting pictures and videos with friends and family. After all, who doesn’t want to watch cute cat videos..