If you desperately want to bring a new fluffy addition to your family, there’s a lot to think about before you actually decide on it for good and all. Being a cat lover, it’s impossible to imagine the house you live in without that adorable, whiskered creature running around, jumping onto your lap and purring as if the loudest engine was built into it. Kitten is a unique and interesting pet. Unlike dogs, they don’t require so much attention, they are independent and proud and they show their character and attitude without looking back. They can’t be subject to training as well as dogs and they’re definitely freedom-loving creatures who always like to do whatever they want to.
However, they’re also really loving and faithful animals. Cats develop a special connection with people, even more than that. It’s a unique relationship only cat owners may explain. They always manage to understand your mood and how you feel, they always come to youwhen you need it and try to cheer you up. But, some of them (Ok, most of them) try to show their owners that they don’t need human’s attention and care at all. A cat will walk away if he doesn’t want to be picked up or petted; he won’t play with you if it’s not in the mood for it.
Basically, they act like humans trapped in animal bodies. One moment cat shows its love and affection, but the next thing you know is that he walks away with its tail up and unsatisfied muzzle. You may read red letters in its eyes spelling “That human though!” Despite that, cats are so much fun even to look at, especially when they play with you or other people, or even entertain themselves. When they’re kittens, they’re so sweet that no one is able to resist their cuteness.
You never know what to expect from a cat, and that’s why it’s so exciting to be able to live by its side and spend a lifetime together. So, if you’re ready to start a journey of a cat owner, let’s see what you should know to take care of your pet properly and ensure your comfortable coexistence.
Preparing its own space and shopping for cat necessities
First of all, you’ll have to purchase all items to make your place appropriate for a little kitten’s needs. Bowls for food and water and litter box with litter are the things you won’t be able to do without. Then, you’ll have to buy a cat carrier to bring a kitten home from the breeder or shelter and to transport him in the future (to the vets, groomers, pet sitters, etc.). It should be not too big for a small pet and quite cozy. Consider the type of climate and weather in your local area, as a carrier has to be either warm enough or breathable, so that the cat is safe and comfortable in it. Also, it’s good to find the carrier with mesh or transparent ‘windows’. Your kitten will be able to see through them, so he won’t feel so trapped and scared.
Other cat ‘appliances’ are warm and snug pet bed, a scratch post if you don’t want those little sharp claws damage the furniture and the walls. Make sure to purchase a collar with an attachable ID tag, brush, toothbrush and paste. Cat food shopping requires a preliminary preparation, so we’ll come back to discuss this issue later.
Don’t forget to find toys that are safe and suitable for kittens. They shouldn’t be too massive and loud, as a pet might get scared of them. But, they shouldn’t include any little details, as a kitty might swallow them.
When you’ve finished your shopping, devote a space in your kitchen to place cat’s food and water bowls. Pick a spot for its bed and litter box (they shouldn’t be too close to each other).
Find perfect pet care services, as you’ll need to address them throughout the entire cat’s life.
Bringing a little kitten home
First few days
Those first moments and days are quite important, as they will determine your future relationship with a kitten. Besides, you have to make sure that your little one adapts to the new conditions normally and that his health condition is stable. During this time, kitten requires your maximum attention and care, as the separation from his mother and siblings is a huge stress for him. And, if you brought a cat from a shelter, he’s probably gone through a lot of trouble, so you have to pay attention to his behavior and spare even more effort to make him feel safe and loved.
Moreover, you should start ‘upbringing’ and disciplining right away, no matter how hard you want to just play and cuddle. If you allow too much in the beginning, you’ll struggle later on.
So, it’s possible, try to bring something from the previous kitten’s bed, a blanket for instance. It will have a smell of his mother and he won’t feel so abandoned and lost. So, the adaptation will be easier.
Choose a room for kitten to stay in during the first weeks, as it’s completely unnecessary to let him run free around the entire house in the beginning. He has to learn gradually. So, make sure that the room is cat-proof (no long curtains, opened fireplaces, poisonous plants, breakable things in easy access). Place the bed, food and water bowls in there (or in the kitchen). Provide a place to hide (like a small box with a blanket or a nest-like bed).
Show a kitten where everything is, including a litter box. Bowls should be already filled in, so that a kitten understands and remembers their location at once.
Pet sitters recommend getting a small pet crate to put your kitten in there for a sleep for a while is a good idea to get him used to new home and environment.
After some time, let a kitten explore other rooms and locations, but make sure that he doesn’t get stuck underneath a counter or dresser. Also, keep the doors and windows shut, as you don’t want him run away outside without vaccination and get lost in the uncommon environment.
But, the most important thing is to spend time with your brand-new kitten to start building a connection. Be patient and kind, don’t do anything a kitten isn’t comfortable with (just don’t make him stay in your hands if he doesn’t like it, he’ll warm up in the future).
On the other hand, don’t let him take over and think that he has a full control over the things.
Introducing to other pets
If you have other pets, especially cats or dogs, you have to be really careful when introducing a new little creature to their lives. So, maybe you should wait with it. Then, do everything gradually and stay around your pets as they get to know each other.
But, if you have smaller animals, like birds or a rodent, then make sure to keep them safe and let a kitten understand that they’re not the things to play with.
Finding a perfect cat food for a kitten and developing a consistent feeding schedule is extremely important considering its health and well-being. And, there’re several steps to do that.
It’s necessary to do your research and find a perfect dry and (or) wet cat food that contains a good amount of fish or any kind of meat, combined with vegetable components. Check the ingredients and see if the food provides enough vitamins and minerals. You may find that information on your own or consult with a vet to discuss your options. Find one on HireRush.com and book a visit. In any case, you’ll have to find a proper specialist, as a kitten requires medical care just as a child or a human being.
Remember that a kitten has to be fed regularly, at least each 6 hours if you’re planning to give him wet food. But, a schedule also depends on kitten’s age. For instance, if your kitten is under 12 weeks old, you’ll have to give him 4 meals a day. Also, if you’ll feed him dry food, then you just keep a bowl full throughout the day, but don’t exceed the daily portion.
Moreover, you’ll have to ask the shelter’s workers or people you got a cat from how they fed him. And, if that is different from what you’re planning to do, then it’s better to introduce the differences gradually. For the first days and even weeks, you’ll give him the kind of food he’s used to, but also replace some part of a portion with a new food. Increase the amount of new food gradually till it’s a 100% of his nutrition.
Don’t give your kitten human’s foods, as some of them might be inappropriate for cats. That’s especially important for particular breeds. Check in with a vet to make sure that your cat is allowed to eat this or that thing before you actually give it to him.
A kitten should always have water to drink, especially if his nutrition is based on dry food. Somehow, cats like to drink water not quite near their feeding spot. So, place several water bowls throughout the house to ensure that your kitten drinks enough.
Actually, it’s much easier to potty train a cat than a dog. The first benefit is that he can do his thing inside. Moreover, cats like digging in soft ground (or substances that remind it) and go to the toilet there.
Also, they copy their mothers considering going potty, so they acquire that habit quite early. Then, the only thing you’ll have to do is to show a kitten where the litter box is several times and make sure that he goes there. On the other hand, keeping a litter box clean, clearing it out every single day and replacing the litter once a week should become your habit.
Choosing the litter your kitten prefers is a matter of trial and error. The one thing I’ll say is that it’s better to avoid strong-smelling substances that include quite large pieces. Purchase a litter box carefully. It doesn’t have to be too large and too high to provide easy access for a kitten. If he can’t get in there easily, he may not even try at all.
Keep a litter box far away from the bowls, as cats won’t go potty near their food. Don’t wash it with a strong-scented cleaner, as a cat might not like that and resist going to the litter box.
During the first month, you’ll have to visit a vet quite often to vaccinate a kitten and make sure that he receives all preventive treatment against parasites, worms, etc. it’s just vital if you’re going to transport a cat and especially if you’re going to allow him outside.
Also, kitten might have some health issues during the first year of his life, connected with the growth and diet. So, keep an eye on that and don’t hesitate to address a vet when necessary.
Later, you’ll have to think about sterilizing a cat. This procedure has many pros and cons. Look it up to make the right choice. But, don’t delay making a decision for too long. Specialists insist that the best age for cats to be sterilized is around 6 month.
Visit pet groomers to trim kitten’s nails and maintain his fur. Take care of kitten’s fur on your own by brushing it regularly. Don’t forget to brush his teeth as well. Pick a suitable little brush and pet toothpaste.
Socializing and playing with your kitten
You should play with a kitten a lot, as it keeps him active and happy. Even adult cats enjoy running around the house and chasing a simple shoe lace. Some of them may even bring a toy in their mouth to the owner and ask him play with them.
Playing is an awesome opportunity to develop a bond with a pet, learn his character. Encourage him to interact with you. Pet him at every opportunity, invite him to sit on your lap and cuddle.
However, don’t let a cat feel like he’s a boss in the house, as they develop according behavior too fast. Tell him off if he does something wrong. If he climbs or gets somewhere he’s not supposed to be, come up, pick a kitten up and say a stern ‘No!’ If you do that over and over again, he’ll learn his boundaries.
Don’t leave a kitten alone for too long, as he’ll miss you, feel lonely. Also, he will behave distantly with humans if you do that quite often.