How To take Care Of Your Kitten

Adopting a kitten or caring for a litter of baby kittens is a wonderful experience. However, although these animals are very independent and instinctive, during the first few months of their lives, they also need special care and attention.

If and only if you provide the necessary care to the kittens, then they will be able to grow up in good conditions. Therefore, it is your responsibility to provide the kittens with the care and attention they need to be in good health and in a state of optimal well-being.

In this article from Wildsecrets, we explain how to take care of a kitten.

How To take Care Of Your Kitten
Image by Quang Nguyen vinh from Pixabay 

How to take care of a kitten 

If you've never had a cat before and are wondering how to care for a kitten, here are some basic tips on how to properly prepare for the arrival of a cat in your home. It's important to be careful about what accessories you take and where you put them, as the kitten's successful adaptation and your relationship with her will depend on it.

The first step in providing the best care for your kitten will be to provide him with everything he needs on a daily basis:

Kibble bowl: it's important that the kibble bowl be kept away from the water bowl and the litter box, because cats are very scrupulous and may stop eating if they feel their food is too close to these elements. If you have several cats in the house, it may be a good idea to have several bowls to avoid potential conflicts.
Water bowl: it should be placed in an easily accessible place and the water should be changed regularly. In addition, it is advisable to use a quality container, preferably made of stainless steel. The water bowl should be kept away from the litter and kibble bowl. Have several water bowls if you have several cats at home. You can also buy a water fountain, which will benefit your cat's environment.
Litter: usually placed in the bathroom, you can also leave it on a terrace or in a quiet place. It is essential to have several litters if you have several cats at home and to clean them at least once or twice a week.
Scratching post: there are several types of scratching posts, so you need to find the one that attracts your kitten's attention the most, so she won't attack your furniture.
Resting area: Place your kitten's bed in a quiet place away from traffic so she can rest fully. Remember, this is essential for your kitten's mental and physical development, as well as for proper learning.
Kennel: During festivities at your home or in times of stress, your kitten will be looking for a place to take refuge. You can leave a kennel-type bed or a simple box in a quiet, elevated spot so she can hide whenever she wants. When the cat is in the kennel, it should never be disturbed.
With these basic tips, you now know how to care for a kitten. If you want even more information on kitten care, everything will be explained to you later!

How long does it take for a kitten to adapt to a house?

Knowing how to care for a kitten is not enough; you also need to know how long it will take for it to adapt to its new home. A kitten's first few days at home are usually very stressful for her and her guardians, who only want to receive her with affection and a desire to play. However, it must be understood that the kitten has been separated from her mother and siblings to arrive in a place she doesn't know with people she doesn't know either.

He will probably be very frightened and won't want to move from under the bed. So you need to be patient and act delicately. It is normal for him to be shy and insecure.

You can try to gain his confidence by leaving some food near his hiding place, using toys to encourage him to come out, or by using a soft, high-pitched voice when you talk to him. However, if the kitten doesn't want to go outside, don't force her, and respect her space for the first few days.

During the first night, don't expect your kitten to stay quietly in her bed. When the house is quiet, the kitten will take the opportunity to inspect every nook and cranny. This will help her orient herself.

Having a new cat in the house is a unique experience. Not all felines will behave in the same way and will not adapt at the same time, although in general, a cat takes between 1 and 4 months to completely adapt to a new home.

How to feed a kitten

To know how to care for a kitten, you'll need to start by paying attention to the food. The best food for a kitten is, of course, mother's milk. Not only will it provide the necessary nutrients, but it will also nourish its immune system by supplying the immunoglobulins (antibodies) that are already present in the mother's body.

If you've adopted a one-month-old kitten, it's important to go to a veterinarian's office as soon as possible to get artificial milk. It's very important to stress that you should never separate a mother from her kittens unless it's strictly necessary, because the kittens need the mother's milk and the care that only their mother can give them. Remember that you can make emergency formula, but it's a temporary solution.

Kittens can start eating solid food as early as 2 months of age, always gradually. She should be offered small portions of wet food or food that is specially designed for kittens on a daily basis. Later, you can moisten the dry food in water (or with broth, without salt or onion) and then switch to completely dry food. Consult your vet for advice on the best product to feed your kitten and the amount of food she needs, as this will vary from kitten to kitten.

You can adopt a kitten from 3 months of age, when she's completely weaned, immunized and has learned from her mother about grooming, urinating in the litter box and feline communication, among other things. At this stage, the kitten must be able to eat solid food without any problem.

Dry food or homemade food?

Each type of food has its advantages and disadvantages and it's up to each guardian to choose. Some kibble formulas provide all the nutrients a cat needs, but it's not easy to find balanced kibble that's affordable for everyone. Remember that a kitten needs age-appropriate kibble.

Homemade food, on the other hand, is much cheaper and is made from natural products. However, it's imperative to have your veterinarian's opinion on this type of food to ensure your cat's good health. In addition, the use of supplements will also be necessary to avoid nutritional deficiencies and strict internal deworming in the case of a BARF diet.

Another very important aspect to consider is that any changes to your kitten's diet should be made gradually to avoid possible gastrointestinal problems, as sudden changes can cause your cat to experience diarrhoea and vomiting. Caring for your cat takes discipline.

Socialization of the kitten

The kitten must be adopted between 6 weeks and 2 months of age. This way, he will have begun his socialization period with his mother and will finish it by your side.

The kitten's socialization is a sensitive stage, during which he will learn to establish relationships with other cats, people and pets. Poor socialization can lead to unwanted behaviour, such as aggression or fear.

Socializing an adult cat is extremely complicated, sometimes impossible, so it will be very important to continue socializing the kitten once she arrives at your home. You must introduce him to all kinds of people, objects, noises, environments and, if possible, other animals.

The kitten's behaviour

During the first weeks of life, the kitten has a limited movement pattern. However, from the fifth or sixth week, he will start running and exploring his environment, as well as developing new behaviours such as hunting, marking his territory, and voluntary elimination of urine. Later on, the kitten will begin to develop her senses, which is when you will observe all these behaviours more markedly.

 Take care of your kitten

When asked how to take care of a kitten, our answer is that there are 5 basic routines that you can adopt on a daily basis, your kitten will be delighted!

Brushing: Regular brushing will help keep your cat's coat in good condition and will allow you to quickly detect any health problems, whether they are skin diseases or the presence of parasites. This routine will strengthen the bond with your kitten, while providing a relaxing "massage".
Mental stimulation: Providing your cat with mental stimulation is fundamental to preventing behavioural problems. It helps to stimulate her intelligence and avoid stress, anxiety and depression. To do this, you can use cat structures, catnip, a simple box or intelligent toys (visual or olfactory stimuli).
Physical stimulation: Encouraging your cat's physical activity is essential to maintain the development of its muscles. Physical stimulation also helps prevent overweight and obesity. You can use all kinds of cat games for this purpose. Play time will also help your cat to stay in shape.
Play and diversion: Cats are very sociable animals and although many people think they are independent, this is not the case. A cat may get tired of a toy because it needs someone to encourage it to have fun. That's why we advise you to play with your cat on a fairly regular basis.
Love and tenderness: apart from all these routines, your cat also needs love. He will never be completely happy if he doesn't have guardians who love and care for him.
Setting aside preconceived ideas, the cat is a very affectionate animal who, if given the opportunity, can become an excellent life companion.

Vaccinations for kittens

Before bringing your newly adopted kitten home, especially if you live with other pets, it's essential to consult a veterinarian to check for parasites or diseases that could be contagious.

Kitten's Vaccinations

The kitten's care also includes vaccination. You'll need to start the vaccination program at 2 months of age, so you'll keep your kitten healthy.

To take care of your cat, the first vaccines to be given are the triple vaccination and the leukemia test. Your cat will then be protected against the following diseases:

  • Panleukopenia
  • Infectious Rhinitis
  • Calcivirus
  • Leukaemia
Your cat will need a booster shot every year. Also, to keep your cat healthy, you must strictly follow the vaccination frequency.

Kitten deworming

Deworming your kitten will be an essential aspect of her health as it will prevent unwanted infestations and also allow you to begin vaccination.

In order to take proper care of your cat, deworming must begin at one and a half months of age and it is imperative that it be supervised by a veterinarian. It is recommended to deworm the cat every 15 days until the kitten is 3 months old. Then, the deworming will take place once a month until the cat reaches 6 months old and finally once every 3 months.

It should be noted that the professional advice of a veterinarian is essential since both internal and external deworming must be done at the right dose and with products adapted for kittens. The frequency of deworming from 6 months of age will vary depending on each cat and its contact with the outside world.

Your kitten is likely to contract infestations of external parasites, the most common being fleas, ticks, mites and fungi.

If you want your kitten to grow up healthy, you need to visit the vet regularly. When you start the vaccination schedule, the veterinarian will tell you how often you'll need to perform complete tests to prevent disease.

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