Raising a kitten exciting as they can be so full of energy and a ball of fun! But it’s a big responsibility, this guide will help you through some of the basics of taking care of your bundle of fur fun!
Your kitten can get itself into a bundle of trouble when unattended. Make sure you work out a plan of where you kitten will stay when you are unable to watch over them or need to go out. If your kitten is staying in a room ensure there are no blind cords or curtain cords hanging down that can be reached. Try to have as little furniture in the designated room as possible, a kitten can climb up into couches and become stuck in springs etc. It is safe and a good practice to keep your kitten in a crate or pen area when unattended, this ensures a safe zone where your kitten has little risk of being hurt or getting itself into trouble. Never leave a collar on your kitten when unattended as the collar can get stuck and the kittens weight is generally not enough to break the collar free.
Kittens are cute, it’s understandable we wish cats could stay kittens forever. You as the pet parent are laying the foundation for your cat’s future, health and his or her behavior. All of your hard work during the first few months is heavily compensated by Kitten cuteness, snuggling and crazy adorable antics your kitten will provide.
1. Your Kitten’s Age
Your Kitten’s age is crucial information, they have very specific developmental needs for the first 10 weeks of their lives. Nourishment, warmth, socialization, and excretion this is why it is important for the Kitten to be with its mother until a particular age. If you are in a situation where you need to care for an orphaned kitten under 10 weeks old, it is best to consult with your vet for special instructions. Under 10 weeks of age the kitten will require extra care and special food to ensure the correct nourishment needs are being met and the Kitten develops properly.
2. Vet – First Checkup
If you do not have a vet then seek recommendations either online or from a family member or friend. If your Kitten comes from a rescue group or shelter, ask advice on vets they prefer to use.
It is important you take your new Kitten for a vet consult within the first few days so the vet can check your kitten out and have a record of the Kittens weight to use to check development going forward. The first visit is important for the owner and the kitten, it’s not only testing for health issues or birth defects, parasites, and cat flu. It also ensures you get a chance to ask any questions that you are unsure about. Kittens like children require special care when they are young.
3. Vet Advice
- Have your vet recommend a type of food, how often to feed, and portion sizes.
- Discuss safe options for controlling parasites, both external and internal for a Kitten. NEVER use Cat or Dog flea or worm treatment on a kitten under 12 months.
- Learn about possible signs of illness to watch for during your kitten’s first 3 months.
- Discuss how to introduce your kitten to other household pets properly to ensure they get along.
- Schedule visits for vaccinations
A Growing kitten needs as much as three times more calories and nutrients than adult cats. It’s important to find a good quality food designed especially for kittens. The age of your Kitten will dictate what type of kitten food you require. You need to ensure that your kitten gets the proper nourishment it requires in order to grow and develop.
5. Set Up A Feeding Schedule
To keep up with your kitten’s needs you have to establish a daily feeding routine. Prior to 3 months of age the Kitten will require small amounts of Kitten food every 2 -3 hours, if under 10 weeks of age will need to be a Weaning food which can be either wet / dry or a combination of both. At 3 to 6 moths of age vets recommend feeding your kitten three times a day. Once six months, you can feed your cat twice a day. Your Kitten has turned into an adult cat at approx 12 months of age. Make sure there is always a fresh water bowl filled at all times available to your pet.
6.How to Bring up a Sociable Kitten
When your vet has given your Kitten the all clear from disease and parasites it’s safe to let your new kitten explore its surroundings. If you have other pets in your home introduce them slowly over a period of time. It is normally best to have your kitten secure in a cage and allow other pets to visit for short periods of time over a few weeks. Handling and playing with your kitten every day will help form a strong emotional bond with you.
7. Room or Crate
You will need a space in your home that your kitten feels safe and secure. Before you bring your kitten home it’s best to designate a quiet area of the home or use a large crate as you would for a puppy. In this area you will need to put a few essentials like a comfy pet bed, small amount of food, water and a small litter box which is designed for a kitten. Tip: Remember, cats don’t like their food and Litter box too close together. Make sure you place the food dishes opposite to the litter box.
8. What do I require for a Kitten
- Quality food, specifically for kittens
- Collar and ID tags (do not leave a collar on the kitten when unattended)
- Food and water bowls
- Small Litter Box and cat litter
- A warm cat bed
- Cat carrier
- Scratching post
- Kitten safe toys. Only use when supervised, kittens can swallow small parts.
- Cat brush
9. Early Signs of Illness
Kittens are more susceptible to a number of illnesses, and it’s always best to catch a health issue early. With a Kitten they can go down hill very fast when sick, it is important to contact your vet immediately if your kitten displays any of the following:
- 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