What to Expect When You’re Expecting – A Kitten!
12 April, 2016
When you first adopt a kitten, it can be a fun, but nerve-wracking process. After all, you are taking on a big responsibility and want your kitten to feel at home. There are so many decisions to be made and you want to make sure everyone gets along if you have other cats or dogs.
Below are some tips to help your kitten adjust easily to your home.
Make sure you to be home for a few days when first bringing your kitten home
The best time to bring home a kitten is when you have a couple days to help your kitten adjust to her new home. Remember leaving her mom and littermates is a big ordeal (or shelter), so everything you can do to make your kitten feel more comfortable will help. If your kitty is scared, you can reassure your kitten that everything is OK, make sure she is eating and pooping where he or she should.
Provide a separate room or space for your kitten
If possible, you should have a small room or space for your kitten for the first few days or weeks. This will help your kitten become comfortable and confident in her new home. Be sure to put your kitten’s litterbox (which should be cleaned daily) on one side of the room and food and fresh water on the other.
What to feed your new kitten
Your kitten needs two to three times as many calories and nutrients as adult cats. Kittens get everything they need from a mother’s milk for the first four weeks of life and are usually able to chew dry food by six to seven weeks and are completely weaned by ten weeks. Once a kitten is weaned, milk can give your kitten an upset stomach.
Make sure to purchase a high quality food with a high protein content and less additives. You can give your kitty wet food twice a day and leave out dry food. If your kitten tends to eat a lot, monitor the dry food to make sure kitten is not over-eating.
Take your kitten to your veterinarian for a thorough exam
You should have your kitten tested for feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus. Your vet should also give your kitten a full physical exam, tested and treat for parasites and vaccinated before introducing her to your other felines.
In addition to vaccines, your vet should check for intestinal parasites, a common problem for kittens. If your kitten tests positive for intestinal parasites, your vet will take an additional fecal examination and giver you treatment. If an external parasite like fleas, ticks and mites are found, your vet will treat them with products specifically for kittens.
Spay or Neuter Your Kitten – a must!
Kittens should be spayed or neutered by 6 months of age. Not only will this reduce the likelihood of behavior problems and certain medical conditions, but it’s the best way to control overpopulation. There is absolutely no reason not to spay or neuter your kitten and should be taken seriously.
Set up scratching posts or pads around your house
Since declawing is not an option, make sure to provide your kitten with scratch pads or posts around the house. Each kitten likes different types of posts, but they all love to scratch. Find that perfect post or pad for your kitten and start them using them at an early age rather than your furniture.
Clean your litter box on a daily basis
Most kittens will take to a litter box right away as it comes instinctively to them. Make sure to buy a litter box that is big enough for your kitty to sit properly and move around. You can start with a soft non-clumping litter and eventually try changing it to a pine mix or whatever you and your kitty like. And, clean your litter box daily which will help avoid any unforeseen accidents outside the litter box.
Kittenhood is such a great time and each and every experience will help them in their subsequent years.