If you are thinking of adopting a kitten or your cat is about to give birth to a whole litter of them, you best do some homework and take some preparations before bringing them into the comfort of your home my friend! If that is exactly what you are looking for, then you’re in luck! I am about to give you the lowdown regarding the fundamentals of taking care of a kitten and will be delving into a couple of things that you need to do right from the adoption process.
If you are adopting, you must adopt a kitten that is at least a year old. Anything less won’t do, unfortunately. Kittens younger than a month rely on everything for their mothers so even if you spot some kitten out in the wild at that age, it’s best you let it stay put and let its mother come back and care for it.
So after you adopt a kitten of appropriate age, what do you do? First of all, you’ll need to make some accommodation arrangements and these arrangements have to be warm and cozy for your cat to really be at home in the new surroundings. Ideally, you’ll want to keep this shelter away from other animals to let the new addition to the family get used to the new surroundings make itself at home.
Give it some time to adjust to its new surroundings before you introduce other human beings to the social interaction sphere. After it’s gotten used to its immediate habitat, it’s going to start going out to investigate the surroundings. In this time, you can get it around the house and discover all the rooms and such. If there are other pets to discover, this is the time they can start interacting but make sure they meet in your new kitty’s designated accommodation. Cats are territorial and you won’t want the new one to get into someone else’s territories!
Food, food, food! Kitten rapidly grow into cats and to sustain this rapid growth, they’re going to eat a lot! You need to supplement their diet with a lot of energy dense and protein-rich foods. Use formulations that are specifically made for kittens as food because they’re going to be tailor-made to meet all the nutritional demands of your kitten.
Because of the frequency at which a kitten at that tender age needs to eat, it might also be suitable to just have a bowl of food and water lying next to its shelter so that it can feed as per necessity. Do not underestimate how much food the little one is going to need, by the way! They feed as regularly as two hours between meals and their little tummies are going to go through all the food and water in their stomachs in no time!
Now, as the kitten grows, its need for social interactions and playtime will also grow. This is when you are going to have to step in and really contribute. A healthy kitten will eventually become very high energy fur balls, running around the place and trying to get your attention and play at will.
A part of this is to give her new toys to play around with. Yarn balls, posts of rubber that she can completely scratch the daylight out of and such, will be ideal play toys for young kittens as they are going to be eager to express their inner hunter spirits on whatever they can find. Toy mice are also a good shout for this because nothing gets a young kitty going more than mice! If you have watched Tom and Jerry as a kid, you’ll know that your young kitty is going to give any mice a good chase!
Another key element of taking care of your cat is grooming. Kittens particularly are restless and you might find it difficult to keep it still enough to groom yourself but it is very helpful to get in the habit of grooming your kitten often. As she builds up the habit, it’s going to get easier to keep her clean and groomed and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want their kittens being extra fresh!
You can’t socialize enough with a pet kitty and trust me, you’ll only get this opportunity in ample while they’re young! So you’ll need to have a lot of different interactions with your kitten and build up rapport and friendship and help your kitty learn different things in the process too. For starters, you’ll need to teach how to use litter boxes, despite cats naturally knowing how to use them as is. Make a habit of putting your kitten in the litter box after each meal or after a session of chasing mice and they will eventually make it a habit to use the litter box at appropriate times themselves.
Positive reinforcement and encouragement go a long way with kittens. Pet them as frequently as you can and always reward desirable and obedient behavior with treats, encouragement and physical contact. A good way to go about this is to try to teach her tricks and behaviors and when she starts picking them up, give her a treat. It works wonders to build good behavior! Also, your kitty is going to pick up a bunch of new tricks and whatnot this way too and grow up into a smart cat too!
Never behave poorly with them. If they behave inappropriately, just ignore their advances for a while and always discourage behaviors such as biting and scratching while your kitten is playing with people.
Finally, make it a priority to get your kitten checked regularly at the vet’s and make sure that she has all the right vaccinations and surgeries a kitten is likely to need. You’ll need to learn about the potential diseases a cat may contract and approach this accordingly.
With a little bit of caution and lots of love and care, you are definitely going to make a great parent and owner for your little kitten!