When you keep a kitten, you don't just keep it for a few days. You'll have to take care of it for at least a couple of years, which may be your life's most rewarding time. If you are considering acquiring one, make sure you know what you need to do to have a cute but friendly pet. This article will provide you with tips on how to take care of an adorable little kitten.
1. Preparation for the Kitten
Make sure you have a space in your home to keep the kitten away from other pets and children. Cats are solitary animals and need plenty of room to move around freely. They do not like to be held or cuddled by humans; they find it uncomfortable and stressful. So make sure that this room has everything that is needed for your pet, such as food, water, a litter box, etc.
Buy all the supplies you will need once the kitten arrives home. This includes food bowls, litter boxes, treats, etc. You should also buy toys for your pet but ensure they are appropriate for cats so they do not get injured while playing around with them! Make sure that no sharp object is lying around which might hurt the animal if it steps on them accidentally while moving around or playing around with its toys.
2. Consider the Age
Kittens come in different ages — from newborns (called kittens) to adults. The younger they are, the more help they need from their mother and other older cats in the litter. When they're still nursing, kittens also need to eat every 2-3 hours around the clock, so you should plan on keeping them indoors until they stop needing help (this usually happens around 4 weeks).
A mother cat usually raises her kittens until about 8 weeks old, but if she stops caring for them or dies, you'll need to step in and do it yourself. You'll also have to continue feeding them frequently until they're weaned at about 4 weeks old — that means several times a day for several weeks! That may be hard for someone who works full-time because it's tough to find someone else who can take over this responsibility when you're not home.
3. Things a Kitten Must Have
A kitten must be fed at least once daily and given fresh water. You can provide them with milk for the first few weeks of their life until they develop their digestive system. However, only provide them with water and dry food after that period.
You should also ensure they have somewhere comfortable to sleep and rest after playing around in the house. This will help them grow into strong cats capable of surviving independently when they get older.
Cats need toys to play around with when they get bored with other activities like sleeping or eating meals. You can buy toys from pet stores or online shops where they sell them at affordable prices, so you don't have to spend too much money on your kitten's toys when you are just starting with this new hobby because it is fun to watch kittens play around with different kinds of toys. Still, it also helps them grow up into healthy adults who do not develop any behavioral problems.
4. Book for Vet Chek-Ups
The other thing you need to do when you get a new kitten is to make an appointment at the vet's office. You'll need to have your new pet checked out before bringing them home, and the sooner you do this, the better.
If you already have other pets in your household, it's also important that they have all the vaccines needed. Your vet will be able to give each animal a physical exam and recommend any necessary treatments. They'll also be able to screen for possible diseases and treat any illnesses your cat might contract during its first few weeks at home. Taking care of a kitten isn't tricky, but there are some things you should know before bringing one home.
5. Consider Hygiene
Kittens are susceptible to various illnesses and parasites and can pass them on to other pets and people in the household. Some of these include the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which is similar to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) but not as severe; feline leukemia virus (FeLV), which causes lymphocytic leukemia; roundworms; fleas; ringworm; and ear mites.
To protect your kitten from these illnesses, ensure that everyone in the family washes their hands after handling the kitten or cleaning out its litter box. Also, be sure that all surfaces exposed to your kitten are thoroughly disinfected with an appropriate cleaner before they're used again by another person or animal in the house.
Suppose you don't want your cat to become infected with these diseases or parasites, keep her indoors at all times — that way. In that case, she won't be exposed to them outside or accidentally brought into your home by another animal or person who has been out recently.
6. Check on Nutrition
Kittens are growing up fast and need a complete and balanced diet to support their development. The amount of food you feed your kitten should be adjusted as he grows. A good rule of thumb: For every month old your kitten is, he should weigh one pound more than when he was born. If your kitten is still nursing, the mother's diet must be supplemented with quality canned or dry food for pregnant or nursing cats. After weaning, kittens need access to fresh water at all times. Kittens have tiny stomachs and can quickly dehydrate from diarrhea or vomiting. They also have high nutritional requirements, so it's essential to feed them a variety of foods every day. At about 8 weeks old, kittens start eating solid food.
7. Consider Playtime
Playtime is an essential part of a kitten's life. Play helps kittens learn about their environment, hone their instincts, and develop social skills. Kittens typically start playing when they're between 2 and 4 months old. It's essential to provide appropriate toys for your kitten so he can play safely and enjoyably.
Many toys are available for kittens, including balls, mice, and stuffed animals that make noise or have bells inside them. There are also catnip-filled toys designed to entice your kitten with the scent of catnip — which cats love — but these toys can be expensive and aren't always necessary. You can make your toys by filling empty paper towels or toilet paper rolls with catnip or other herbs that appeal to your kitten.
In addition to providing toys, make sure your kitten has plenty of space in which to play. A roomy enclosure with plenty of climbing areas is ideal because it offers exercise and privacy for your pet.
Like us, cats are intelligent animals who experience emotions such as happiness and sadness. They need affection and mental stimulation just as much as they require food, water, shelter, and veterinary care. The tips above will be handy if you're the lucky new owner of a kitten—but even if you already have one, many of these ideas are worth considering.