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Kitten Care 101
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Kitten Care 101

This article is about how to care for your kitten in the first few months of its life. I have had experience with raising 3 litters of kittens and at one point had 13 cats/kittens!!

The youngest you should get a kitten is 8 weeks old. This is to ensure it has had enough time with its mother and has been properly weaned. A kitten should have been treated for worms and fleas before you get them too. This is another reason you should wait until 8 weeks old as by this time they should have been treated twice.

Getting Settled In

You should ideally try and get something from the previous owner such as a blanket or something that smells of the cat so that they don’t feel too separated from their mother. I would advise a short journey for the kittens on their first trip out as you may be cleaning up a mess when you get home!

If you notice that your kitten hasn’t been treated for fleas, there’s a good chance it hasn’t been treated for worms either. I would bath your kitten, comb it through with a tooth comb to get rid of as many of the fleas as possible and then treat it.

When you get your kittens home get them out of their carrier and put them into their bed. I would advise getting a bed with a bit of a hood on it so the kitten isn’t too scared. I would then just leave them alone. You will notice that they will start to come out a little and do some exploring. Now and again you can try getting them familiar to your smell, but don’t try too hard to get close to them as they will be scared.

Feeding

I would never recommend feeding a kitten any sort of food that contains gravy, as most of the gravy cat/kitten foods are high in salt and can give your kitten diarrhea. For the first few months of its life I would recommend specific kitten food. My kittens have always gone for the meatloaf variety as it is easy to eat.

You can also substitute your kitten’s diet with kitten milk, you can buy powdered milk that you make up with luke warm water, kittens love it (as do cats!). It is a misconception that you should give kittens or cats cow’s milk, a lot of cats can’t tolerate it.

Indoor/Outdoor

Your next big decision will be whether to let your kitten outside or not. I think there are great benefits to letting your kitten outside, my personal belief is that it is much more natural to allow your kitten outside. They can run off some steam and then come back into your home. It will save your house from being scratched and ripped to shreds (not completely, but will help).

If you choose to allow your kitten outside, and even if you don’t then you will have to get your kitten vaccinated. Kittens are usually vaccinated at 9 and 12 weeks and you have to wait a further week before letting them out.


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