All About Kittens

kittensChoosing a kitten is an important decision as you will be bringing a new member to the family home. Before deciding on definitely getting a cat, honestly answer the following questions:

1.      How much time do we have to spend with a cat or kitten each day?

2.      Kittens need much more play-time and socialization than adults cats do. Am I willing to clean a cat’s litter box every single day?

3.      Do I want an indoor or indoor/outdoor cat?

4.      What sorts of predators live in our area that could hurt an outdoor cat?

5.      Can we afford to feed and care for a cat? This includes high quality cat food, vaccinations from a vet, and an emergency fund.

Choosing Your Cat: If you have honestly answered the key questions and have decided that a cat is for you, congratulations! Now you have to decide where to find your new cat. Do you want to visit a breeder or go to a shelter where lots of kittens and cats are waiting to be adopted?

What to Feed your Cat: Feeding your cat a high-quality mixture of wet and dry food is ideal. That way they can get the best of both types; many cats do not drink enough water and will get some through the wet food, and dry food can be left out for ‘free feeding’, assuming the cat is not overweight.

How to Train Your Cat: Training your cat should not be very difficult – most cats and kittens will be litter box trained before coming to your home. You will have to have toys for kittens to play with as they can become destructive if left alone and bored.

Having Your Cat Spayed or Neutered: As with all animals, cats should be spayed or neutered before they reach six months of age which is about the age they reach puberty. You will want to ‘fix’ your cat not only because it will help keep your pet safe as male cats will do almost anything to get to a female in heat, but it can also help keep your cat from getting cancer later in life.

Once you decide that a cat is what you want for family pet, give consideration to its temperament and health. If you decide that you want a pet you can show or breed, talk to a reputable breeder to make sure it will meet the breed standards. And on important thing to remember is not to buy a kitten form breeder who will not show you the mother.Lot of people will go visit a shelter to get their kitten – if you do, look for a kitten with bright and shiny eyes, glossy coat, clean bottom and alert demeanour. Make sure the ears are clean, nose cool and damp without any nasal discharge with pale pink mouth and gums.

How To Feed Your Kitten:

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Choose wholesome, high-protein food and make sure your kitten has constant supply of water. Kittens will need to eat more often than adult cats – here is a guideline:

  • Age 3-5 Months: 5 to 4 meals daily
  • Age 6-8 Months: 3 to 4 meals daily
  • Age 9-12 Months: 3 meals daily
  • Kittens should be feed canned or fresh food as part of a balanced diet with quality kitten dry cat food from a reputable manufacturer left down at all times to graze on. Your reward for feeding your kitten a well-balanced diet is a healthy beautiful adult cat.

Training Your Kitten:

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It is very important that your new kitten is fully aware of where the litter box is. In a new environment, the kitten may not be able to find the littler box alone – especially in a home with two or more floors and several rooms. Good idea is to restrict the kitten to one area for a few weeks and only allow him into other areas when under supervision.

Once you allow your kitten to run around freely, keep a watchful eye and keep returning the kitten to its litter box in regular intervals. If you are living in a very large house with multiple floors, it is advisable to have a litter box on every floor.

When your kitten first arrives home, it is advisable to use the same brand of litter that he is used to. Once you are sure that he knows where the litter box is located, you can change the brand if you wish. And your litter box needs to kept clean at all times – cats will quickly find an alternative if the box is not cleaned daily.

Getting to Know Your Kitten:

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All you have to do to establish a relationship with your kitten is to be patient – it will take a few days or even a few weeks. Kittens need time to bond and your patience will be rewarded!

For the first few weeks, it is a good idea not to let your kitten run around the house unsupervised when you are not there – put the kitten in their own designated room with their litter box, food and water. Also make sure your new kitten has a comfortable bed or basket to sleep in with some toys to play with. If you are gone most of the day, it may be worth considering to get two kittens – they provide a playmate for each other and won’t be lonely. And keep your kitten indoors at all times – it will take quite a while before he will be ready to cope with the dangers of outside life!

Hope you do decide to give a home to little kitten! I have one – not a kitten anymore but a cat who is now 14 years old and just keeps acting like a kitten! I can’t imagine not having him in the house, keeping me company and more often than not – entertaining me with his actions. His name is Biscuit – my sons named him when we also had another cat, whos name was Cookie…. You get the pattern here? Mama’s baking reflects in just about everything! Here is picture of Biscuit and I will be very happy to get your stories and experiences or pictures of your favourite pets!

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About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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