Read about: Hide
- How to greet a kitten
- Kitten Care
- Specifics of care for certain cat breeds
- Kitten Adaptation
- Kitten’s health
Even if you think you know everything about kittens, the basic tips on how to care of a kitten will still be useful.
How to greet a kitten
English folk wisdom says that, in the cat’s opinion, all things belong to the cat. Well, there is some truth in that statement. However, before you bring a kitten, you need to buy a few things that will belong exclusively to your future friend and will help to take care of a kitten properly.
Cat litter box
Nobody canceled needs and hardly anyone wanted a kitten to go to the toilet in a hidden corner. Outdoor cats, of course, don’t know comfort, but domestic kittens (and especially their owners) need a proper cat litter box in the first place.
In short, litter boxes come in three varieties:
- open with filler;
- open without filler with a grid.
The first ones (closed) are aesthetic but expensive. This type of litter boxes requires gel or silica gel filler that locks up the smell. The pros of this type are obvious – it has a cool, tidy and pleasant appearance. Of the disadvantages we should note the large size of the litter box, there simply may not be sufficient space in the house!
The open type of litter box with filler is probably the most common and most convenient for apartments and for the four-legged baby. You shouldn’t buy a small size litter box for a kitten. No matter what age, the baby will overcome the high edges and you will save on constant change of toilets. So buy the litter box for the future, especially since this one will suit any type of fillers and it’s very easy to disinfect.
The advice to buy a tray without litter with only a grid is aimed at those who are constantly at home and can often rinse the grid and the tray itself. From time to time you should wash the litter box with a special chlorine product, and wish you have an odor-free and happy kitty!
There are also special trays for accustoming the kitten to the human toilet.
In the video, you can learn the general rules for those who don’t mind sharing a toilet with their pet:
Litter box filler
Keeping a kitten will be comfortable for both of you if the litter will suit the kitten’s taste, metaphorically, of course. You will find, though, when watching a one-month-old kitten, that it will probably try the litter.
There are three kinds of fillers:
- clumping litter;
The burrowing instinct, which is natural for kittens, should be realized at the moment he “powdered his nose”. Therefore, do not skimp on the filler, let the baby dig in plenty and, therefore, enjoy the visit to the toilet.
The most economical fillers are considered to be locking fillers. This type of filler is poured in large quantities into the tray, the moisture runs down the granules and is absorbed only in the lowest layer. The upper layers remain clean and do not allow the odor to spread. When most of the surface has turned yellow, the filler is refreshed.
Clumping filler dissolves with moisture, forming rounded clumps. It is removed with a special sifting spatula, the filler is added as needed.
Absorbent fillers are the most inexpensive and environmentally friendly. They are made mainly from sawdust, paper, etc. It can also be cleaned in parts as it gets dirty.
You need to buy in advance only three bowls for a kitten.
One bowl is needed for water. It should be as steady as possible. The other two are for dry food and for liquid food. The bowls should be easy to wash and comfortable for the kitten.
If you are often away from home for a long time, we recommend buying an auto-feeder and drinking fountain.
If you don’t buy a scratching post or put it off until “later”, then you’ll have to buy a new couch. Cats don’t just sharpen their claws. This ritual is an exercise for them, without which the animal feels uncomfortable. You have no scratching post – the baby will replace it with furniture. From the first day bring the baby to a scratching post or even a complex wrapped in sisal thread, and show him what to do with this blissful thing.
To consolidate the effect, spray the scratcher with liquid catnip, so attractive to cats.
A little patience will save your furniture and nerves in the end! Try making a cat scratcher with your own hands according to the video instructions.
Yes, on the dressing table of a decent kitten there should be a comb, and preferably several at once – the rule of kitten care. Of course, in case your pet is not a Sphynx or an adorable Levkoy. Human hair care items do not suit kittens categorically! Plastic combs are not suitable for them either, as they strongly electrify the hair.
Metal scratchers with sparse teeth are optimal. Hand-held brushes are very practical.
IMPORTANT! Try not to use slickers, better known as fluffers! They are needed in preparation for shows, and in the usual, non-show mode, the kitten’s coat can be very damaged by the slicker.
A baby needs toys. Like any crumb, a cat baby will be looking for a toy. It can be a golden ring, left out of habit under the mirror or a torn button. So buy a couple of toys in advance. Balls, furry mice, rattles or feathers on a stick will help the kitten to brighten the first days of separation from his mother cat. Or make toys for cats with your own hands.
Taking care of a 1-month-old kitten will be quite difficult. Until your patience and love develop the acquired instincts. Special sprays can help with this! Those come in repellent or habituating.
You’ll need the first to protect the places the cat can hurt or wean it from peeing in the wrong places.
These sprays are completely safe for your pet and very effective!
Newborn kittens were originally handled by the breeder. From the moment he handed you the banner of responsibility, you will have to make regular visits to the vet. That’s why a carrier is essential. It can be cloth or plastic (depending on the size, temperament of the cat, and the geography of transportation).
By the way, while the first trip still looms in the future, the carrier is convenient to use as a house for the baby. Put a diaper that smells like his first home in it and the kitten will feel safe inside.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Dental and gum problems often lead to serious health problems. Your cat’s mouth should be properly treated from a young age. Otherwise, this procedure will be painful for everyone later on.
Beef or salmon-flavored toothpaste and handy brushes should cure possible dental problems. It is very easy to take care of a cat who has been accustomed to procedures since infancy.
Anything that is not forbidden is approved. In fact, this is the basic rule of the feline menu. But centuries of human-cat coexistence have spawned a host of gastronomic myths. Care and feeding (and especially feeding) is an area of special responsibility. The approach to nutrition must be scientific – this is a basic rule of kitten care. Pedigree kittens or their not so aristocratic brethren are equally important to have the right menu!
How to feed your kitten?
Be warned at once – there are many bans and some of them will surprise you very much.
For example, we recommend you to forget about such “popular” milk. The cat’s body simply does not digest it and the products of undigested milk you will have to remove from the litter box often.
In addition to milk, not allowed:
- bones (chicken, fish);
- pork, goose, duck meat;
- sausages, smoked meats, pickles;
- sweets of any kind;
- egg albumen;
- salt, spices.
How do I feed my kitten? Natural food
Again, be warned at once – food from your table is not good for the kitten. Be prepared to cook your kitten’s food separately. So, what you can and should include in the kitten’s diet:
- raw frozen beef;
- boiled chicken meat;
- beef or chicken offal;
- egg yolk;
- milk porridge (only for babies under 3 months of age);
- fermented milk products;
- raw or cooked vegetables.
And all of that must be unsalted, warm, and, of course, fresh!
Ready cat food
Experts believe that ready-made industrial food significantly saves time on preparing breakfast-lunch and dinner for the kitten. In addition, it is well balanced and with this diet you don’t need to add vitamins to your kitten’s food.
Small animals are only fed with dry ready-made feed (canned food is only for adults!)
What kind of food to buy? Those marked “Premium” or “Super Premium”. Cheap ready-made foods, unfortunately, all too often cause diseases, sometimes incurable.
For kittens, you need to buy specialized baby food.
Do not mix foods from different companies, such food is no longer considered balanced.
Kitten’s feeding schedule
At home, it is best to feed the kitten on a schedule. If the baby is 2 months old, he is fed 5 times a day.
A six-month-old kitten is fed less frequently, up to 3 times a day.
An 8-month-old kitten is equivalent to an adult cat and gets two meals a day.
Some breeds are prone to obesity, so measure them 90-60-90 regularly and don’t overfeed your pet.
How do you take care of a kitten who is no longer under the breeder’s care? You took the baby into your care at three months of age (the most optimal age for separation) and now you are its mom, dad and next of kin. And you need to:
Clip a kitten’s nails
This procedure is easiest to do with special scissors. How to trim the kitten’s claws without hurting him?
If a kitten has white claws, look closely, you will distinguish a pinkish tint. This is the pink area you need to avoid when clipping the nails.
If the claw is black, there is a great risk of injuring the sensitive area. Remove about 1 mm of the claw. This will be enough to prevent scratches on skin or furniture.
Clean a kitten’s ears
For some kittens, this procedure becomes a favorite. The question is why do it? First, to remove dirt. Second, to prevent ear mites. These tiny insect parasites can live in the ear canals, causing infections and other bad things. Remove them ruthlessly!
We wrote about this procedure above. We can only add that you don’t need to brush your baby’s teeth too often. Once a month is enough.
Comb out the hair
The hair (if present) should be brushed regularly, once or twice a week.
Bathing for some breeds is prohibited at all, and for others – as severe dirt.
Specifics of care for certain cat breeds
British, Scottish kittens
Caring for these cats differs from the usual in a few nuances. Particular attention should be paid to their ear pads, which should be clean and pleasant smelling. Care of the ears implies the removal of tassels, if they appear on the ears. And, of course, fur care. British and Scottish cats are the only short-haired kitties who enjoy brushing against the coat. Grooming for cats of these breeds includes two brushes a week, long and massaging.
Sphynxes’ skin, eyes and ears need your regular care. Sphynxes sweat, so their skin should be wiped with a damp sponge regularly. Accidental hairs on the skin should be ruthlessly removed. It is also important to let sphynxes sunbathe a little (underline, a little).
Since kittens of this breed don’t have eyelashes, their eyes get dirty more often. Wiping with brew or special drops solves this problem.
And big (let’s add, also very hot) ears are just a reservoir for brown secretions. The ears of Sphynxes are cleaned at the slightest hint of soiling!
Short-haired Cats (Abyssinian, Thai, Siamese)
These breeds don’t require complicated care. Regular cleaning of the ears, teeth and eyes, gentle brushing and cleaning of the mouth. And the kitten is fine!
Long-haired Cats (Persian,Maine Coon, Siberian Cat)
How do you care for a cat so that its hair is of high quality? You will have to follow a certain complex routine. First, arm yourself with an arsenal of combs, and secondly, memorize the instructions on how to care for a long-haired pet:
- pick up loose hairs with a mitten-brush;
- comb the hair with a fine-toothed comb in the direction of growth;
- using a thick brush, go over problem areas (belly, pants);
- powder the coat. Voila – the kitten can be sent to a beauty contest!
The best age to pick up a kitten is 3 months old. His immune system is already stronger, his intelligence is developing, and his appearance is also visible.
How do you make your kitten accept your home as its own? Be prepared to help him or her for the first 3-4 weeks.
On your kitten’s first day in the house, confine him to one room. Let him look around, sniff around, and only then introduce him to the rest of the area.
Kittens develop better when playing, they perceive a playmate as their friend, so do not be lazy to spend 15-30 minutes every day playing with the baby. Some kittens are even better trained afterwards. Babies who were played with as a child are more cheerful than their gatherings who were ignored.
Friendship with a dog or other adult cat
First, the animals need to be introduced to each other. The advantage of a kitten is that it smells like childhood and an adult animal will accept it sooner or later anyway. Avoid direct contact during the first introduction. Lock the animals in different rooms and then swap places. This way they will get used to each other’s smells.
Afterward, arrange a “confrontation” once more. If there is no conflict, then consider that the friendship will definitely take place.
Kitten and Child
A young child can hurt the kitten accidentally. Therefore, contact should take place under adult supervision. Older children need to be taught the rules of playing with a kitten. By the way, the cat must also feel the limits of what is acceptable.
A cat knows how to purr forgiveness for anything. However, the destruction caused by the kitten may not be small. To prevent damage, you can cover furniture with double-sided adhesive tape, put valuable objects at an inaccessible height, and remove flowers and photo frames up high.
Limit the kitten’s passage in hard-to-reach places and, as an alternative to clipping claws, put special tips on the claws.
Once you get a kitten, start listening to the word of mouth. It’s very important to find YOUR vet! It won’t be hard to do it from the advice of your friends or from reviews on the Internet. At the first meeting ask the future family doctor about nutritional recommendations, options for dealing with parasites, the first signs of disease, and get a schedule of vaccinations and visits to the vet.
About 7 days before the first vaccination, deworming must be done. Subsequently, kittens are given this procedure every three months until one year of age. The best way to prevent parasites is to use broad-spectrum preparations.
Fleas are no joke. It’s especially no fun for the little ones who have these parasites. They cause itching, allergies, dermatitis, exhaustion, and blood diseases!
Did we scare you?
There are five kinds of anti-flea products: drops, sprays, shampoos, collars, and pills. Don’t rely on your choice if your pet is very young, better consult your veterinarian.
Vaccination is one of the most important parts of caring for kittens.
IMPORTANT! You should vaccinate both animals that live in the yard and those that don’t leave the house. Both the former and the latter can fall ill equally, so it is better to be reinsured.
The first time kittens are vaccinated is at 8-9 weeks of age. Vaccinations that do not contain the rabies virus are used.
Revaccination is done when the kitten is 12 weeks old. This comprehensive vaccine already contains the rabies virus.
The next revaccination takes place at one year and then once a year thereafter.
The schedule may vary slightly. Your veterinarian will suggest the optimal one.
Spaying/neutering is the most humane way to solve many of your future problems.
It is best to castrate a kitten at the age of 9-10 months.
A female cat should be spayed before her first heat, which is about 8 months of age.
At the end of this chapter, we will tell you about the signs that mean that your cat has a health problem. So, what should you always look out for? The following are reasons to go to the vet: poor appetite, poor kitten weight gain, vomiting, puffy belly, diarrhea, leaky eyes, pale gums, coughing or wheezing, nasal discharge, and difficulty urinating.
At first glance, it seems that keeping a kitten is very, very difficult. In fact, this case is very pleasant, because the word “maintenance”, with regular implementation of all our recommendations, will disappear from your diet and they will become just a way of life. And, believe me, when the fluffy lump settles on your lap and starts his endless: “purrrrr”, you’ll say it was worth it!
Still have questions about how to care for your kitten? Write them in the comments.