Getting a new kitten comes with an adorable, cuddly set of new responsibilities. Unfortunately, your feline fur baby doesn't come with instructions, but that's why we're here!
Adding a furry family member to your home can change your routine and leave you with quite a few purr-plexing queries involving training, socialization and preventative care, just to name a few. Well, sit back and relax, we’ve got the answers to leave you feline fine!
If you’ve found yourself in a position to care for kitties less than 8 weeks of age, you’ll need to bottle feed them around-the-clock, every three hours. You can find powdered kitten milk replacement formula at pet-food stores, veterinarian’s offices, or online. Between feedings, be sure to keep the formula refrigerated.
Additionally, kittens who've been abandoned can't excrete without their mother's help. You'll need a washcloth to stimulate the kitten’s abdomen and anal region so that your kitty can "go". Mother cats give their babies a thorough bath after each feeding, but a warm moistened washcloth can be used as a substitute.
Your newborns need a place to sleep that is warm, dry and away from elements like drafts or sunlight. We recommend providing a heating pad or hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to keep them warm. Just make sure that the kittens can escape the heat if they become too hot.
TREAT YOUR KITTEN LIKE A KITTEN
Kittens are usually weaned at 8 weeks of age and are ready to be adopted, but that doesn’t mean that they are finished developing. So remember to have patience the same way you would with a child. Your kitten is cultivating complex motor skills and will be extra rambunctious: playing, running, exploring, jumping, climbing and so forth. Over the next few months, she will have roughly 3 times the energy of an adult cat. So, it’s important to get physical and play games with them during this time. Playing with your pet is not only a great bonding experience, it also helps socialize them. Which brings us to...
Socialization is key for your kitty and will affect her behavior for a lifetime. If she’s not exposed to people, other pets, loud sounds, and new locations, you risk having a more nervous adult cat. Just make sure your kitten has a positive experience with the socialization exposure you provide her. Some great experiences you can facilitate include:
- Pet and play with her frequently.
- Get her used to weekly combing and grooming.
- Have friends over and play loud music.
- Provide appropriate scratching alternatives (like scratching posts) and do not allow her to scratch or bite during play.
- Reward friendly behavior with treats and cuddles.
To make sure your feline friend has a lifetime of good health, you need to start early with preventative care. Within the first week of adoption, set up an appointment with your vet. This not only helps in socializing your kitty, but it establishes a baseline for her health.
Above all else, give your new kitten lots of love and affection. Being a pet-parent can be one of the most rewarding (and cutest) experiences! We give it two paws up.