Kittens are the cutest creatures and are hard to resist with their super furry body and tiny feet. You can just fit these cute creatures in your hands and can cuddle with them all day long. There’s no doubt that these extremely adorable animals are friendly, loyal, loving, and easily attachable to owners. However, you have to treat them right to turn them into confident and loyal cats. During their entire lifetime, these cats don’t occupy much space having the highest ratio of bounding energy.
We won’t make any claim that raising a kitten is extremely easy, as it requires small efforts from time to time. However, we’ve reduced your load by listing some major tips for raising your kitten, from training to feeding and grooming to socialization, we’ve covered all the essential aspects. So, if you’re a cat lover and are considering adopting one, then have a read this article and follow accordingly.
Best Tips for Raising a Kitten
We’ve compiled our best tips to raise your kitten correctly.
It is essential to choose a cat food up to all the quality standards having the nutrients needed for proper growth and digestive ratio, according to your kitten’s size, activity level, and of course its age. You should pick the food having a high protein percentage and having dense energy so that it can be easily digestible by their small tummies. You can choose both dry and wet types of food or can combine the two, ensuring it’s appropriate for cats.
They need to be fed at least three to four times, when under four months of age for proper growth and immunity. After four months, you adjust the food schedule to two times a day.
Cats don’t like going out or roaming often, and when they’ve been observed, they are too lazy to wander anywhere. Even then, you should know their likelihood just in case they attempt to escape or take advantage of an open window or a door. The least you can do is put a collar having a name tag in it having your details on it. It would help if you went for breakaway collars instead of a casual one, having multiple directions of breakaway clips only found in these types of collars. They are essential when your cat gets tangled or stuck; it releases to lose the grip. You can easily buy it online or in a pet store.
If you want to take the protection to the next level, then you can install a microchip under your cat’s skin, making an easy recovery. The procedure for installing these microchips is fast and painless. Moreover, it can be done through a needle, similar to the vaccination. You can get it installed by taking a suggestion from your vet and register it right after the implantation.
Once they are adequately trained, cats are very strict when it comes to littering. They innately follow their schedule and system of littering in the box. On your part, you have to ensure the availability of at least two litter tubs or containers around the house. These litter boxes should be recognizable by your cat so that they can readily go there. You should start the training process while they are young, placing them in the litter box after eating or get them identification of it through your way. Moreover, the litter box should be cleaned regularly, as they tend to go for a clean place to litter.
After two to six weeks of birth, you’ll observe your kitten have some sharp teeth known as milk or baby teeth. However, these teeth tend to fall out after three months. An essential tip for teething is that the kitten’s mouth gets quite sensitive during the time so avoid giving them dry or hard to eat food and give them soft squishy toys to play with. Only after some months, they’ll get permanent teeth. During that time, they need extra care, as gum and tooth-related diseases are common in kittens. These diseases can have massive complications if not adequately treated. So, it is essential to check their teeth regularly. Even then if you notice any swelling, loss of teeth, or bleeding, consult your vet.
Just like humans, cats also need a constant supply of water. Fluids of any sorts can hydrate their body and make them active similar to every other mammal. It would be best if you changed the water bowl frequently, as they only intake fresh and clean water; otherwise, it can cause digestive problems.
While they’re young, it is essential to brush your kitten’s furry hair. It will help them get attached to the sensation, feeling themselves better after the process. You’ll also get fewer hairballs after constant brushing, and minimizing the dander's, as many people are allergic to them.
Another major part of the entire grooming process is trimming or shaping your cat’s nails. You are required to trim these nails once a month. This procedure is often troublesome for some cats; however, it is essential to start the training procedure. You have to start the trimming session while they’re young so that you can groom and handle their paws better. After your kitten grooms into a cat, its nails get hard which calls for a cat nail clipper. Moreover, these nails can be very sharp and can hurt you, so you have to be quick with the trimming session.
It is not entirely necessary to declaw your cats, but you’ll require extra protection against scratching or tearing of your furniture. You can also use soft claws which can stick to their nail preventing the damage to their feet. Now, their claws will become harmless and will fall after some period.
One of the essential ways of turning your shy little kitten into a well-adjusted, confident and satisfied cat is to spend time with them and socialize. You’ll have to introduce them to people around you and recognize them with different aspects of the world. You’ll get used to the clanging of dishes, big scary vacuums, loud music, and doorbells. It would help if you spared a specific time to play and cuddle daily with your cat and tell your house members to interact with it as often as they could.
If you want your cat to take part in outdoor socializing then take them out so that they can get used to smells and dirt. You have to initially take them in a carrier or a leash for introducing them to the real world.
Veterinarian & Vaccinations
After the adoption, you need to schedule a regular checkup with your vet. Make sure you have an overall evaluation, testing for parasites, checking for fleas, and heartworm. Once you have a detailed appointment, your kitten will need monthly checkups. It would be best if you had a series of vaccinations during the initial year. After every three to four weeks, you’ll have to vaccinate kittens, as they reach six weeks of age. After four months, this vaccination series terminates, including feline leukaemia, rabies, and RVRCP.
There are also some non-essential vaccinations which you can opt according to your vet’s suggestion. After reaching their adulthood, they’ll need checkups annually for both rabies and FVRCP.
Kitten-Proofing Your Home
Kittens are unique beings. They are adorable and make for great companions. Apart from being cute little pets, kittens are also naturally curious. Now this means your kitten will go into all sorts of places where you don’t want them to go. To avoid any accidents, it’s essential that you kitten-proof your home to save both your home and your cat from any harm.
Plants are one of the many things kittens love to chew on. Most of you might think that to be completely harmless. However, some plants can be dangerous to a cat’s health and do more harm than you think. To make sure your adorable kittens don’t hurt themselves by nibbling on hazardous plants, always research before bringing a plant home. See if those plants are safe for your cats and if they are not, keep them far away from places your cats can reach.
Just now, we talked about how kittens love to nibble on things and plants are not the only victims. Kittens can chew on the phone, computer, or electric cords that can prove very dangerous for your pet. It might give them a shock and also ruin the cable. This is why sorting your cables out is very important when you have cats at home. Keep your floor clear from all sorts of wires and make sure none of them is dangling off places.
One easy way to hide your cables is through plastic channels. They don’t spoil the look of your house and also keep your cords and your kittens safe.
Don’t you love the smell of some cleaning chemicals when you are in the process of making your home spotless? Well turns out cat’s love them too, and they might lick the places they can smell the chemical from. Even if you already cleaning everything, your kittens can lick the outside of cans and other containers of cleaning chemicals. If even a small amount of that chemical reaches your cat’s mouth, it can be harmful. Keep your cleaning chemicals and other toxic products inside cabinets, far away from your cat’s reach.
This one might not be much trouble for full-grown cats but can prove deadly for kittens. Kittens falling inside toilets might not be able to get back out due to them being either too wet or too small. To avoid the drowning of your kittens always make sure that your toilet seats and other deep, water containers are covered.
The last thing you want is your cat to be lost and all alone. Punctures, holes or rips in windows screen or screen doors can make way for your pet to escape. These punctures might not look big enough for a kitten to escape, but their claws can make these holes bigger. Fortunately, screens are straightforward to repair, and you can find help on the several guides available online.
Spaying has many benefits for both your cat and the environment. It controls overpopulation, unexpected pregnancies and can even protect your cat from testicular cancer or reproductive tumors. Just get your pet neutered or sprayed and be safe from all these troubles. The process is relatively simple and takes about 20 mins. They are also done under anesthesia, so that’s also nothing to worry about. Just make sure this procedure is done before your cat reaches six months of age.
A little care can go a long way, and these precautions will keep your kittens safe. These tips should serve you well when the time comes, and if you don’t already own one of these adorable pets, what are you waiting for? Your local shelter might have plenty of kittens just waiting for a good owner like you to pick them up.