With over 3.4 million cats in shelters in the United States, adopting a kitten or an adult cat might be more important now than ever. While there are several ways you can get a kitten, there are many things you need to know in order to help the kitty grow into a well-trained and properly socialized cat. Depending on the age of your kitten, you might need additional care tips.
Kittens will need a safe environment in which they will grow. This is especially important if your kitten was abandoned by its mom or is particularly young. In the wild or in a litter, kittens are generally protected by their mothers and are hidden away throughout the day. For little ones, you need to make sure that they have a cozy space that’s not too airy.
Smaller areas like boxes or laundry baskets will be ideal as cats use close spaces to help keep themselves warm. If a young kitten doesn’t have siblings, it will need all the additional body heat it can get. In addition, make sure you stock the box or pen with soft and warm blankets to make them feel more at ease and at home. For older kittens, you may choose a comfortable and snug pet bed.
It’s also a good idea to keep the kitten away from other animals until it can venture out to meet them himself or herself. Exposing a delicate kitty to a large or excited animal could make them shy and skittish later on in life. Until that time, keep your kitten in a quiet and calm area.
Depending on the size of the kitten, they may have different nutritional needs. If you are so lucky to get a cat that’s weaned from its mother, you won’t have to worry about getting special kitten formula and waking up every few hours to feed them.
With older kittens, it’s important to give them kitten food that’s a suitable size for their mouths. Kitten food also has special nutrients and minerals to help your kitty develop properly, physically and mentally, as he or she ages.
Once a kitten reaches a certain age, they should go through some basic training. Litter training can be done very early on, and it could save you a lot of time and cleaning later. Any time a kitty looks like they're about to urinate, take them immediately to the litter box, so they start to learn that is the area they need to potty.
Cats should also be socialized with other animals and humans. This will help them live more stress-free lives as they won’t be nervous or scared when meeting a new dog or human. Make sure to start slow and let your kitten get used to the people or animals. Always make sure that he or she has a way to escape. If they run, you can try again later, but it’s important to keep trying.
Spay or Neuter
Spaying or neutering your kitten is one of the most important things you can do for your cat’s health and for cats in general. Cats that are spayed or neutered tend to have less health issues, especially reduced chances of getting cancers related to reproductive organs.
Spaying and/or neutering your kitten will also eliminate the possibility of more kittens, meaning less on the street or in shelters.
Taking care of a kitten can be much like taking care of a baby. They need constant care and affection, so they can grow with confidence and be properly socialized. Make sure you are patient with your kitten because, just like humans, it can take a little time to learn and grow.
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