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How To Care For A Kitten

Updated on February 25, 2016
Bob Schroeder profile image

I love all pets, but I especially love a kitten. They are smart, cuddly and more than able to take care of themselves in a family.

When Getting a New Kitten a Kitten Care Guide Will Help

A BABY KITTEN CARE GUIDE might just save your kitten's life and your sanity.

There is hardly anything cuter than a little baby kitten. It doesn't matter if it is a boy kitten, girl kitten, black kitten or white kitten.

They play, they roll around, they dab at your finger, they just win your heart.

Your kids love them, you love them, even your neighbors love them.......and then

THE KITTEN GETS OLDER it starts to claw at your furniture, rip up your drapes, scratch at your kids and even terrorize the dog!!!

Suddenly your "little baby kitten" comes in from outside, all beat up from fighting and in need of a Vet. Not a cheap proposition I might add.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone had given you some advice from ,day one, on raising a kitten and what to expect from your loveable little kitten?

This simple KITTEN CARE GUIDE might be just what you need to help you learn about kitten development, and what to expect. Hey...for warned is for armed.

I have had many cats in the past few years and each one has been wonderful to have around, but each one has had it's own set of problems.

I hope this information will make your life and that of your kitten a little easier.

photo from redgage.com

kitten care
kitten care

What Age Should The Kitten Be

Don't Be In A Big Hurry To Separate The Kitten From It's Mother

So you, your children or both, want a kitten. One of the biggest considerations in making that purchase (or taking a free kitten) is the age of the kitten.

Some people and some pet stores will try to sell or give away kittens 6 weeks old or younger. There are some HUGE problems with buying kittens at this very early age:

...kittens are extremely social animals and spend most of their early lives playing with and interacting with other animals, this allows them to learn good and acceptable social behavior which will stay with them all their lives

...mother's milk is very important to the kitten during the first 3 months of life. It provides important nutrition and antibodies

...mother cats must help the kitten go to the toilet by stimulating them in certain ways, during the first few weeks of life

...up until about the 7th week of life, a kitten has poor coordination and eyesight and must rely on the mother to remain safe and out of trouble

My advice would be to purchase (or receive) a kitten that is 12 weeks or older. At that point the kitten will be starting to become independent, will be healthy and ready for food other than mother's milk.

The kitten will have good eyesight and will have been taught how to keep itself safe.

photo from cutestkittenever.tumblr.com

Note to Self

Love my kitten

Love my kitten

NEVER TRUST MY KITTEN

Do You Get A Male Or Female Kitten???

Big Choice With Lots Of Considerations About The New Kitten

The first thing that usually comes to mind is...."should I get a male or female kitten". That becomes the million dollar question, and there are probably a million answers, talk to anyone and they will be glad to give you their opinion.

THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT THE SEX OF THE KITTEN:

Unless you are going to breed the kitten, it really doesn't matter which sex you choose

Male kittens grow into tomcats and will try to prowl the neighborhood

Male kittens may be more aggressive unless neutered

Female kittens will grow into female cats and will come into heat, unless spayed

Female cats in heat will do their best to find male cats to have more kittens with

Both male and female kittens will be cuddly and loving and can grow into very loving cats

Over the years I have had both male and female cats.

We spayed and neutered all our kittens, so we didn't have the "baby kitten" or prowling problems.

care of kittens
care of kittens

You Have Your Kitten Home

What Is The Best Baby Kitten Food?

The care and feeding of a kitten requires a little effort and a some good information.

Without a properly balanced diet, your kitten will not grow correctly, will not be free from illnesses, and you will not have a healthy kitten. You may have to try a few different foods until you find the 2 or 3 that your kitten will eat and enjoy.

Stay away from feeding table scraps, our food isn't good for your kitten

First and foremost-----always have plenty of fresh water available

Feed a nutritious food, rich in animal protein from fish or poultry

Avoid foods that have "by-products" or fillers

Foods with lots of preservatives should be avoided

Feed a variety of foods, food boredom could slow down you kittens eating and their healthy growth

DRY FOOD OR WET FOOD??? try both, maybe even mix them together--just watch out for excessive fillers and follow the amount recommendation on the label

Don't be afraid to give your kitten a "cat treat" once in a while. Hey--we all like a treat every now and then.

cartoon from

jhan311l.jpg

cartoonstock.com

kitten with hat
kitten with hat

Should You Spay or Neuter Your Kitten?

This Is A Big Consideration Of Kitten Care

First off---let me say that I am 100% in favor of neutering or spaying a kitten. I don't intend to breed any of my cats, so "taking care" of them means that I won't be contributing to the over population of the cat species.

6 to 8 months of age is the preferred age to spay and neuter kittens. Doing it at an earlier age could result in more health problems

THERE ARE SOME DEFINITE ADVANTAGES TO SPAYING OR NEUTERING YOUR KITTEN

"fixed" males can't develop testicular cancer, females cannot develop uterine or ovarian cancer

males and females probably won't develop mammary cancer

spayed and neutered cats live longer, 12 to 14 years, compared to about 7 for a feral cat that hasn't been "fixed"

spaying and neutering is a convenience for the owner, no worry about your cat having babies and no worry about the neighbors cat having babies

helps keep the cat population down, so there are less cats in shelters and roaming the streets

there is less male aggression and spraying (urinating around the house)

unneutered males are harder to control and are frequently injured in cat fights outside of the house while prowling the neighborhood

THERE CAN BE COMPLICATION AND PROBLEMS

this is a surgery and there can be bleeding

care must be taken to make sure infection doesn't set in

could result in obesity, watch their diet and exercise

Always consult with your Vet to make sure that your kitten is healthy and of the proper age to have the surgery

photo from

kitten_in_a_hat‑1303.jpg

graphicshunt.com

kittens
kittens

Should You Declaw Your Kitten?

Inside Or Outside Kitten Makes The Difference

My words of wisdom on this would be-----

If your kitten will become an outside cat, you don't want to declaw. You will be sending your cat into the world completely undefended. A cats claws are one of the primary ways they have to fight off other cats, dogs, rats and what ever else prowls the night.

But keep this in mind.....your outside cat may come inside and then all your furniture and drapes will be targets for clawing. It's a vicious cycle and there is a lot to consider when deciding on an indoor or outdoor kitten.

If your kitten will always stay inside (except when you walk them on a lease outside) then I would say, GET IT DECLAWED, you will hate your cat after they have destroyed your $1,000 sofa and $2,000 drapes, not to mention carpets, chair coverings and who knows what else.

We had a cat that would go outside then come inside to be with the family. He destroyed the front of our couch, tore up the screens on our windows (so he could get outside after something) ruined all the sheer curtains and drapes and came close to being "murdered" a couple of times. He was a rescue cat, about 2 years old and past the age to get declawed.

We had an inside cat and had her front claws removed, we left the back ones just in case she did get outside, she would have something to defend herself with.

If you live in an apartment, you might find that any cat you bring into the building MUST BE DECLAWED. Check your lease before buying a new kitten.

Having your kitten declawed should not change the personality of your cat!!

Having your kitten declawed is surgery. Any surgery can result in pain for the kitten, soreness when they walk (for a period of time), irritability until the discomfort goes away and a "bad attitute" for a short period of time.

After about 2 weeks the kitten should no longer have discomfort. After that you can begin playing with it and treating it in a normal way.

It's a good idea to check with your Vet on how they do the procedure, how many they have done and what pain killers they use during surgery. If you aren't comfortable with the answers, ask around to see if any of your friends have had the procedure done by another Vet and if they were pleased with the results.

photo from

496.jpg

premierphotographer.com

A Playful Kitten - Is A Happy Kitten

Kitten toys

scary kitten
scary kitten

How About Some New Toys for Your Kitten

Play Is A Big Part Of Caring For Your Kitten

Kittens love to play.

Before you get the kitten home, pick up a few toys that are designed for kittens.

Nothing so big that they can't toss it around,

Nothing so hard that they can't chew it,

Remember----your little friend will be teething and will want something to "work on" with their new teeth.

photo from

horrifyingkitten.jpg

lineout.thestranger.com

Vaccinate Your Kitten Regularly

This Is A Vital Part Of Kitten Care

Even though your kitten looks like it will grow up to be a fierce little lion, don't be fooled

Kittens and older cats are susceptible to many diseases and great care should be taken to make sure that they are given a healthy diet, taken to the Vet when they act differently and given medication recommended by the Vet

When you get your kitten, make certain that they have had their "kitten" shots, if not, have it done as soon as possible.

Some feline diseases are:

bladder cancer

skin cancer

feline acne

diabetes

urinary trac infections

Your Vet can recommend a schedule of vaccinations that will help insure that you will have a healthy kitten that will grow into a healthy cat.

Love Your Kitten And They Will Love You Back - Please Leave Any Suggestions For This Kitten Care Guide

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    • profile image

      Katie 12 months ago

      Before you recommend that all indoor cats be declawed, please suggest to wait to see how their indiviu cat behaves. I've had two indoor cats and they were happy with the scratch toys I gave them! The declawing surgery is a huge deal, and similar to taking off the bone to your knuckle on your hand!

    • LadyJasmine LM profile image

      LadyJasmine LM 5 years ago

      This is a very nicely put together, informative page, Kuddos! :-) Blessed by a squid angel. :-)

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      Some really useful advices here! I too made a lens about I love cats =D

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      we just got a new kitten, thanks for the tips, we're considering the declawing but will wait and see if her scratch posts keep her occupied, blessed..:)rob

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      we just got a new kitten, thanks for the tips, we're considering the declawing but will wait and see if her scratch posts keep her occupied, blessed..:)rob