CARING YOUR HEALTY KITTEN
Kittens are unique, adorable and mostly fun if you have it. But it is important to remember that providing a home for a kitten is a commitment for its life time (which may be 15 – 20 years). Before you take on a new kitten in your home, there are a few things to consider.
Kittens are active, full of energy, mischievous and often time consuming. If you are particularly keen to protect your sofa, thing, curtains or your home furniture, then you may like to consider adopting an adult or older cat!!!
Because there are responsibilities involved in owning any cat and if you are thinking about adopting a kitten, you need to red Cats Protection’s.
Your new kitten will be a cat before you know it and you will need to understand how to look after their welfare throughout their life. Although they do not stay young for long, the care you provide for your kitten will help ensure their happiness and set the path for you both to enjoy a lasting companionship.
1). Kitten Feeding
Kittens should have access to fresh water and be given commercial kitten food to ensure their nutritional needs are met. Their food should be checked and replaced at least 3 – 4 times daily. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid giving less or more than the total daily recommended amount.
2). Kitten Sleep
Kittens are really playful and can race around and then fall asleep exhausted the next moment. A sleeping kitten can be very endearing but it is important not to disturb them as good quality sleep is needed for their growth and development, both physically and behaviourally. Kittens likes your child or just like babies, kittens need lots of sleep, so make sure they get plenty of time to rest.
3). Kitten Consistency
Be consistent in your approach to a kitten.
Particularly with regard to what you will and won’t allow, and make sure everyone in the household works to the same rules.
For example, don’t let them in a room one day, but not another!!!
It will make confuse them and may lead to behaviour you don’t want.
And be careful. Never punish your kitten as this can make them anxious or fearful.
Gently say ‘NO’ and ignore them for a short while or distract them with a toy. After that, don’t forget to reward your kittens when the behaviour you do want by offering praise or a small treat.
Remember there are certain behaviours inherent to a cat, such as hiding, climbing, hunting or predatory style playing, scratching and toileting. Ensure you give your kittens opportunities to express these which are acceptable to you both or they will find options you may find less appealing, such as shredding the curtains!
4). Kitten Litter Training
When it comes to litter training, most kittens are quick to learn. Usually they just need to be shown the litter tray and they know what to do.
Kittens learn an association between going to the toilet and the material that is under their feet.
The kitten forms a preference for toileting on that type of surface and will generally prefer this material throughout life.
The location of the litter tray is crucial for ensuring that cats are able to find and access it easily and feel safe when using the tray. It is best to place it in a secluded corner of the room, which is away from their bed, food and water bowls.
Make sure avoid busy walkways. It is important that your kitten is not disturbed while using the litter tray. Try to provide the litter type they have been accustomed to using already, and make any changes gradually.
5). Kitten Grooming
Whether you have a short-haired / long-haired kitten, it is important to gently groom them regularly so they get used to the feeling of being brushed. It’s easy.
There are a variety of kitten brushes and grooming tools available.
Grooming will help to keep your kitten’s coat and skin healthy. You can make it your own!!!
6). Kitten Need Veterinary Care
You will need to register your kitten with a veterinary. A recommendation from a friend or neighbour is a great place to start. Alternatively, you could phone around or visit the practice before making your choice. It’s important to build a good relationship with you vet. Take your kitten for a health check as soon as you can, as well as any time that they are ill or injured.
7). Kitten Vaccination
Kittens should be vaccinated from 8 or 9 weeks of age and they require a second vaccination from 12 weeks of age to protect them against some serious infectious diseases. Even if your kitten is kept indoors, it is recommended that they are vaccinated as they may be at risk of disease from other animals in the household or infections that have accidentally been transferred in from outside on an owner’s clothes, hand or shoes.
8). NEW KITTEN – Bring home
The first few hours after bringing any cat home can really affect how well they accept their new life.
First and foremost, be prepared to be patient and never attempt to rush your kitten into doing things they may not be ready for. Being creatures of habit, a change of environment is always stressful for a cat, so it will often take a few weeks for them to gradually settle and feel safe in their new home.
Before collecting your new kitten, set aside a dedicated, secure room. This area should include their food and water bowls, litter tray and ideally something that smells familiar that they have previously put their own scent on.
It is best not to leave a kitten alone until they have settled. Provide them with a warm, secure bed at ground level – a cardboard box will do. Once they’ve had a look around, show them where their litter tray, bowls and bed are by gently tapping these items. They may feel a little unsettled if they are used to living with their mother and siblings, so when you are not there, a soft toy or low-volume radio might help them feel at ease.
9). Let’s Kitten Outside
Sadly, many young cats are lost through straying or being involved in road traffic accidents. Even so, allowing your cat outside access will provide them with enrichment and opportunities to express their natural behaviour. It is sensible to take adequate precautions before first letting your kitten outside. Don’t risk letting your kitten outside until they have:
- Been neutered.Cats reach sexual maturity from four months of age and sadly many young cats are lost or injured in road traffic accidents while exploring their new environments and searching for suitable mates. Neutering may reduce this risk. At least ensure only supervised access outside before neutering and ensure your kitten is booked in for neutering promptly.
- Been fully vaccinated to protect them against some infectious diseases they may encounter outside.
- Adjusted to their new indoor environment and considers it home. The time this takes will depend on the individual kitten, but will usually be a few weeks at least. Your kitten should be showing confidence around you and others in the home and they will have built up a scent profile enabling them to find their way back.
- Been tagging. It is important that you can be traced quickly in case your kitten becomes lost and is found by someone else.
WHEN YOU DO LET THEM OUT:
- Open the door and step outside, encouraging your cat to go with you.
- Don’t pick them up. Let them make the decision to go outside themselves.
- Do it when it is quiet and just before a mealtime when they are hungry so you can call them back with their favourite food.
- Only let they out for short periods at first. You can gradually build up the time they are out until you are confident they can come and go as they please. Always keep them in at night, to protect them from injury and reduce hunting of wildlife.
- Leave the door open so they can run back into the house if they feel insecure.
- Make sure the immediate environment does not contain hazard
@ Jackie San