Owning a kitten is such a great source of happiness and fun! However, having a kitten is a big responsibility. They require a watchful eye, special care, and a bit of research to make sure they do well. We’re covering the basics of kitten care so you know what to do and where to start. Read on to find out more!
The Basics of Kitten Care
Figure Out Their Age
How old your kitten is will determine what their needs are. Kittens who are 10 weeks old or less have very different needs than kittens who are older. Most kittens aren’t sold or given to new homes until they’re that age, but a kitten you found on the street will need to go to a vet as soon as possible. The vet will advise you on what you need to do and more.
Take Them to the Vet
A vet’s office will be able to test your kitten for common ailments and disease as well as birth defects, parasites, and leukemia. They will also give your kittens the shots they need to stay healthy and advise you on what you need to do in order to care for your kitten.
Get the Right Food
Kittens have special nutritional and developmental requirements. It can’t eat the same dry cat food you give an adult cat and have the building blocks it needs to grow a healthy body. They also need three times as much calories and nutrients than adult cats. Purchase a variety of wet soft foods for your kitten that are designed specifically for kittens. Never give them dairy milk as kittens have lactose intolerance! Also make sure that you feed them several times a day; your vet can advise you on the amounts and best schedules, but kittens need to eat more often or less depending on their age. Kittens 3-6 months eat three times a day, six months twice a day until 9 to 12 months (adulthood).
Kittens need to stay hydrated, so make sure that their water is always filled up and fresh. Change every day– twice a day for best results. Some owners find they have good results by filling up a few containers and placing them around the house. Cats dislike drinking when their water is too close to their food as well. Good quality water is also key; cats enjoy spring or well water much more than tap.
Play with Them
It’s also time for the fun part: playing with your kitten! Kittens need to explore, play, socialize and bond with their owner. They’ll get used to you and also have an outlet for their boundless energy and curiosity. Kittens love to run and play, so buy some toys for them too!
Set up a quality litterbox with litter in it and show the kitten to it. If they go to the bathroom, don’t get mad. Pick them up and place them in the litterbox, then praise them. They’ll figure out where to go quickly. The first time they do, give them a little treat! They’ll go there every time. Don’t place it too close to the food if you can avoid it.
Kittens love a warm place to snuggle up and they love comfy bedding. Make sure you have some on hand. Even if it’s just a small pile of blankets and rags with a warm hot water bottle, they’ll snuggle right up to it and go to sleep content.