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How To Care For A New Kitten

Updated on March 11, 2015

I have had experience caring for several kittens, whether it be through fostering or adopting them. Kittens are amazing little creatures that may bring love, joy and entertainment into your home. If you have just adopted or purchased a new kitten, you should know that in the first couple of days the kitten may cry or meow loudly. This is most likely because the kitten is in a new environment and it may be looking for its mother or siblings. Once the kitten is more comfortable in your home, it may stop the excessive meowing. Here are some tips on caring for your new kitten.


KITTEN SUPPLIES

Here is a list of basic supplies that you may want to have for your new kitten.

♦Kitten food
♦Cat food and water bowls
♦Litter box
♦Litter scooper
♦Litter
♦Cat toys
♦Scratching post
♦Cat carrier

FEEDING

Buy food specifically made for kittens so that your kitten will get the proper nutrients it needs as it is growing. Read the directions for feeding on the package of kitten food. The package should tell you how much food to feed your kitten each day. Keep fresh water out for the kitten as well.


LITTER BOX TRAINING

Litter box training should begin immediately. You may want to buy a small litter box to start out with so it is easy for the kitten to climb in and out of it. Place your kitten in its litter box. Then, take the kitten's front paws and make a gentle scraping motion in the litter box on top of the litter. Kittens will usually cover their waste like this after they use the litter box.

Sometimes a kitten will leave their waste somewhere else in the house besides the litter box. If your kitten does this, pick up the waste material and place it into the litter box. Then, bring your kitten over to the litter box and let it sniff the waste so that it will know to excrete its waste into the litter box.

Keep The Litter Box Clean

You may want to scoop the waste out of the litter box every day or every few days. It depends on how much the kitten uses the box. It is good to keep the litter box clean not only to keep it smelling fresher, but also so that your kitten doesn't do its business elsewhere in the house. Kittens like clean fresh litter. You may notice sometimes that when you clean the litter out and refill it, your kitten will jump into the box and use it right away.


HOLDING YOUR KITTEN

When you pick your new kitten up and hold it in your arms, make sure that you hold the bottom half of its body to support its legs. Do not just let your kitten dangle in your arms. Be careful when picking up your kitten as you may get scratched if the kitten is feeling energetic or does not want to be held.


GROOMING

Trimming Nails

Kittens pretty much groom themselves but you can also do a couple more things to help with grooming. If you feel comfortable enough, you can trim your kitten's nails. You could either use regular nail clippers or clippers made specifically for cats. You do not want to cut down too far because you could injure the kitten. Cut only at the tips of the kitten's nails. Try to cut the kitten's nails while it is relaxed or sleeping. If you just pick your kitten up and start trimming its nails when it is not tired, you might get scratched. You could take the kitten to a groomer or a vet to have its nails trimmed if you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself.

Brushing

You can brush your kitten with a cat brush that can be purchased from a pet store. You do not need to brush your kitten everyday, but sometimes it may be good to brush off some excess fur to help avoid it from shedding onto your furniture or clothes. Some long haired kitten breeds may need more frequent brushing to prevent knots and matting in their fur.

Bathing

Kittens usually bathe themselves with their tongue. You can bathe your kitten if you feel that it needs to be bathed. There are special shampoos that can be bought for kittens at a pet supply store. If the kitten is small enough, you could bathe the kitten in a sink and use a cup to pour water over it.


PLAYING WITH YOUR KITTEN

Kittens love to play! They are full of energy and like to play with different toys. Make sure that the toys are safe for the kitten to play with so that the kitten can not choke on them. There are plenty of cat toys out there, so you may want to pick a few of them and see which ones your kitten prefers. Every kitten I have ever played with always enjoyed a toy with a string and feathers at the end of it.

Kittens need exercise for a healthy body and to prevent them from getting bored. While kittens can play by themselves, I think it is a good idea to spend some time playing your kitten. This can create a bonding experience between you and your kitten. It might be more fun for the kitten if you play with it.


VET CARE

You may want to call and make an appointment for the vet when you bring a new kitten into your home. This way you can have your kitten checked out for any health concerns and also to keep the kitten up to date with any shots it may need. It would also be advisable to have your kitten spayed or neutered.


PETTING

Pet your kitten often so that it will get used to your scent. A good way to keep the kitten from being shy is to expose it to other people. Let friends or family members pet the kitten and play with it. This can help your kitten to be more sociable and get used to being around people.


DANGERS

There may be some things around your home that could be dangerous to curious kittens. Check labels on products to see if they are harmful to animals. Search the internet or ask a vet to find out more about these dangers. This is just a general list of things that may be dangerous to your kitten.

♦Certain house plants
♦Cleaning products
♦Exposed wires
♦Bug repellent sprays
♦Essential oils
♦Lit Candles
♦Dryer (Check the dryer when are loading it to make sure that the kitten didn't climb into it before you shut the door.)


SLEEP

Kittens have a lot of energy, but they may also sleep a lot too. Sleep helps the kitten to grow and develop. Try not to disturb the kitten too much while it is sleeping. Sleep is important to kittens just as it is to humans. I know it may be hard not to wake up a sleeping kitten because you want to play with it, but sleep is essential to your kitten's health and development. Maybe you could hold your kitten in your arms or on your chest while it sleeps if you want to be close to it.


ATTENTION

Having a new kitten can bring happiness and joy into your life. You are now taking care of another living creature and you may form a loving bond between you and your kitten that could last a lifetime. There may be times when the kitten acts up, but if you take the steps to properly care for your kitten, its behavior may get better.

Playing with the kitten and paying attention to it will help to prevent it from getting bored and behaving badly. Spend time with your kitten when you can. Show your kitten love and care and I'm sure you will receive many purrs and signs of affection back.

















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    • Sunshine Days profile image
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      Sunshine Days 2 years ago

      Thank you for your comment, Dressage Husband.

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 2 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      Useful information for anyone with a new kitten.