Kittens need extra love and attention when you first bring them home! You want to give them the best possible start in their life, so you need to know how to care for them. It’s just a little different than caring for a full grown cat, so let’s take a look.
Kitten Care Tips
Consider these things when you’re bringing your cat home. It’s important to give your cat the love and care they need.
Feeding and Food
After 8 weeks, cats no longer just eat their mother’s milk, and instead should be transitioned to kitten food. You’ll specifically need kitten food, which is formulated to help support your cat’s quick growth. That means they need more amino acids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Your cat will need to eat it three or four times a day to get the right amount of calories too.
To check and see that you’ve got a good quality cat food, check the label to see if it meets AAFCO standards. Look for anything saying complete and balanced nutrition too, so that you won’t need to supplement vitamins and minerals.
It’s best to start any sort of training early! Yes, cats can be trained if you’re patient and have the right treats. It’s even healthy, and can stimulate your kitty’s body and mind.
You can start with simple sitting as long as you have those treats in hand. Let kitty sniff the treat before moving it higher so they sit. When they do sit, give them lots of praise! Clickers may also help too, but whatever you do, don’t use punishment. Cats respond poorly and often just run away.
Get your cat used to you and the outside world as soon as you can. Socialization occurs best at around 12 weeks, and especially during the first 6 months. This means taking them on car trips, grooming them, and getting them used to you and life with you in general. This will help you out later when they’re not so afraid.
Bringing Kitten Home
When you first bring your little one home with you, they’ll definitely be scared and frightened. A new environment is intimidating, so start with one room. Put the food, scratching post, and bed in there. Slowly introduce your kitten to other areas of the house. If you see them tensing up, go a little more slowly and try not to startle them.
Litter Box Training
Cats don’t need too much help when it comes to their litter box, but they do need good quality litter and a nice box to encourage them to go. Get a large box with more than enough room. You may even want to consider an enclosed box for more privacy and safety when the kitten goes inside. It’s important though to remember not to buy clumping litter for kittens. If they happen to eat it, it can cause an impaction in their gut. Unscented and scoop-able litter is your best bet for your cleaning and your kitten’s sensitive nose.
Spaying, Neutering, and Vaccines
As long as your cat is at least 8 weeks of age, you can spay or neuter. Especially for female cats, it’s a lot easier on them if you spay them before their first heat.
Core vaccines are great for your kitten’s overall health too, but discuss what your cat needs with your vet. Around 6-8 weeks of age is the best time to vaccinate your kitten in four week intervals until 16 weeks.