Congratulations on your new addition to the family! There are various things to consider now that you have a small kitten to care for. Taking your kitten to the veterinarian for a general health check is one of the essential things you can do. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on basic kitten care as well as provide any necessary vaccines and worming treatments.
In the meantime, here are some of the most important aspects of kitten care to consider:
To achieve a balanced diet, kittens should be provided a mix of high-grade commercial kitten food as well as some natural foods. Avoid providing cow’s milk to kittens and ensure they have constant access to fresh, clean water.
Although the kitten may want to sleep on your bed, it is crucial to give them their own space. Use a bed that is safe, easy to clean, and dry, and keep the bed in a cozy, private location.
Playtime is important for establishing a bond between you and your kitten. Kittens are very playful and curious and love to spend some of their energy chasing cat toys and interacting with their owners. Try to rotate different cat toys and try different games so your cat doesn’t get bored. Toys can include chase and catch toys, toys that you can put tasty treats in, and puzzle feeders.
Regular grooming is especially crucial for medium and long-haired cats. Begin brushing your kitten as soon as possible so that it becomes a pleasurable bonding experience, and as they grow, it will become a part of their maintenance. When your cat allows you to brush them easily, they should be rewarded with some treat, praise, and of course, petting. This will teach your cat that grooming is something good, which will make it easy for you.
Grooming your cat eliminates dust, dead skin, loose hair, grass seeds, tangles, and shed fur, which can help avoid ‘fur balls’ – long-haired cats, most of the time, will swallow fur when self-grooming, and this can pile up in the stomach and be vomited and make them uncomfortable.
Grooming should always be a comfortable experience for your cat. Avoid pulling on the hair or shocking movements. Knots and tangles should be gently removed with blunt-nosed safety scissors. Always point the scissors away from your cat and make sure the skin is not touched.
In general, cats don’t need to be bathed, and most cats can find it quite stressful. Therefore, generally avoid bathing unless recommended by your vet for medical reasons.
Cats instinctively scratch things to keep their nails in good condition and to express their natural behavior. It is important to place a scratching post or multiple scratching posts around the house, and this will help prevent your cat from scratching other objects, such as furniture, etc. If your kitten starts scratching furniture, cover the furniture with protective material and provide plenty of suitable alternative things to focus their scratching on. Some cats prefer a scratching mat.
You should book annual health examinations during which different topics such as microchipping, flea, or worm control should be discussed for the wellness of your kitten.
Desexing kittens before they reach sexual maturity helps to minimize the number of unwanted cats and kittens in the community by preventing unexpected and unwanted breeding. Desexing is also beneficial to your cat’s health and behavior, and it is known to help with issues including wandering and urine marking. Reducing the need to travel in search of mates also lowers the danger of cats becoming involved in catfights or other traumatic events such as being hit by a car.
Remember that some common plants, such as lilies, are poisonous to cats. You must familiarize yourself with them, remove them from your garden and home, and avoid incorporating them into flower arrangements.
It is important to be gentle with a new kitten and to know the appropriate way to care for them. Let us know in the comments if you learned something new about kittens in this article…