You are probably already knee-deep in love and cat hair, playing and brushing and snuggling with your kitten. In addition to the pet mice and the cat grass, however, there are a few other things that will ensure your kitten’s undying love and health.
The Feline Feedbag
You don’t think of a baby as a tiny adult, feeding and caring for him like a grown-up (at least we hope you don’t). Accordingly, a kitten has very different needs from a grown cat. Assuming that your kitten has been weaned, always look for a kitten formula when choosing food (your vet will have a few suggestions). Younger kittens (say, six weeks old) need four or more small feedings of wet food a day. As your kitten grows, you can increase the amount of food while decreasing the number of feedings. By six months, space out larger feedings to twice a day. When he reaches his first birthday, you can strap a cone birthday hat on his little head and meow to the tune of “Happy Birthday.” You can also treat him like an adult cat when it comes to food, adding in or switching to dry food. Regardless of your kitten’s age, however, leave a bowl of fresh water out at all times.
The Purr-fect Gift
Kittens are born blind and deaf (don’t worry, they don’t stay that way!) and they purr so that their mother can find them. Cool, right? As they grow, kittens purr for different reasons, to entice you to play, to express pleasure, even to convey fear. The volume and amount of purring can vary but talking and positively responding to your kitten might encourage more of a pet-parent conversation. You may not speak the same language but it won’t be long before you’re communication through the language of love (no, not French).
It’s Always Playtime
While a kitten may be small, he is a huge ball of energy and needs lots of play. Join in the fun as much as possible. Chase your kitten, dangle feathers on a pole, give him balls and toy mice to bat around. All this will help in his development as a healthy, happy pet.
Grooming is also important. Your kitten will most likely take care of himself with frequent tongue baths but there are a few things he cannot do. Brushing not only helps keep hairballs to a minimum, it also gives your kitten much-needed human contact. Clip your kitten’s claws regularly (wrap him in a towel if he’s squirrelly) or put soft nail caps over each claw and a slipcover over your sofa, if he’s, uh, enthusiastic in his scratching. Your kitten will also flip over a scratching post, one that is covered with rough burlap or shag carpet.
As a new pet owner, it’s important to select a veterinarian as soon as possible. Contact your vet’s office to schedule necessary vaccinations, checkups, and spaying or neutering. Like us at Trupanion, your vet is a great resource to call upon whenever you have questions or concerns about your kitten. We are all committed to offering cat insurance and ensuring your pet’s health and happiness.