Taking care of a kitten is so fun and enjoyable and it’s also a big responsibility. I’m going to give you a ton of help and information within this article and also provide you with several additional resources for taking care of a new kitten. Read my article, What Does a New Kitten Need? and also feel free to request a printable list of supplies you’ll need for your new kitten.
How to Take Care of a Kitten
I want to take a second here to congratulate you on your new kitten. I’ve owned many cats in my life and each and every one has been a source of love, companionship and entertainment! If this is your first time owning a cat, believe me, you won’t regret it. And don’t worry if you’re new at this – I have a ton of help for you! Let’s go over some guidelines to help you get started.
Find a Good Veterinarian
If you don’t already have a veterinarian, ask family members and friends for recommendations. If you adopted your kitten from a pet store or shelter, they can likely recommend a good vet in your area.
Kittens need to be taken to the vet as early as possible. Make sure you have all the information on what shots, flea treatment or deworming medication your new kitten may have already received if you adopted them from a shelter or pet store. Ask for immunization records and their spay/neuter certificate if that’s already been done.
If none of this has been done, then it’s even more important to get your kitten an appointment with the vet as soon as possible. Your kitten’s first vet visit is important to make sure your kitten is getting everything they need. And while you’re with the vet, you can ask any questions you might have about caring for your new kitten.
Getting pet health insurance for your kitten will be cheaper if you get it while they’re young. For help with this, read my articles, Is Pet Insurance Worth it for Cats? and Health Insurance for Pets – Everything You Need to Know. A good company for pet health insurance is Healthy Paws. You can read my full review HERE.
You may be surprised to learn that growing kittens need as much as three times more nutrients and calories than adult cats. My kitten, Whiskers, will have dry kitten chow for the first year, as well as canned food. Including moist food in our cat’s daily diet is important. For more information about this, read my article, What is the Best Food for My Cat?
You should get the best dry kitten food and the best wet kitten food you can afford. But don’t feel bad if you have to choose something in the lower price range. What’s most important is that you stay within your budget to provide not only quality food for your kitten, but also everything else they need like cat litter, toys and medical care.
Decide on a Feeding Schedule
You can ask your vet for advice on how much to feed your new kitten and when. I give my kitten wet cat food every morning and night, plus keep dry kitten chow available. Use your vet’s advice plus the directions on the food packaging for daily amounts. You can also refer to this article from Chewy.com, How Much to Feed Your Kitten.
Make sure your kitten always has clean water. Kittens tend to play in the water dish and spill it sometimes, so check it often. Don’t give your kitten milk. Contrary to popular belief, milk isn’t that great for cats and can give them diarrhea.
Choose a litter box that’s big enough for your kitten to comfortably move around in. Put the litter box in a quiet place, away from children or other pets. Remember to stay consistent with the location of the litter box and the cat litter you use. Cats may refuse to use the litter box if things change or if they’re not happy with their litter box for some reason. Read my article, How to Stop a Cat from Urinating in the House – 10 Reasons Why Your Cat Won’t Use the Litter Box.
Placing your kitten in the litter box often is the best way to teach them how to use the litter box. Kittens will sometimes play in the litter box (keep it clean so you don’t have a stinky kitty!), and they’ll sometimes eat the litter. Try to discourage this, but keep placing them in the litter box and give them a little praise each time they pee or poop in the litter box. Choose a quality cat litter, but again, make sure it’s within a comfortable price range for you, then stick with that brand.
Get a Cat Bed
Set up a kitty bed in a quiet place where the kitten can sleep without being disturbed. To learn more about your kitten’s sleeping habits, read my article, How Much Do Cats Sleep? Remember, cats are prey in the wild, so it’s their instinct to stay hidden and safe. It’s important to give them a safe place to sleep in your house, and places to hide or escape.
How to Train a Kitten
I highly recommend getting some help with kitten training, especially if you’re a new cat owner. Knowing how to prevent or stop bad cat behavior will save you a ton of time and aggravation, and possibly save your belongings and furniture from being destroyed by your kitten! I can recommend a very good resource for kitten training called, Complete Cat Training Guide from KingdomofPets.com.
This is a downloadable Ebook that contains step-by-step instructions for solving 25 real-life cat behavior problems. This program is $37 and comes with a full money-back guarantee.
My Personal Tips
That’s my little guy, Whiskers in the picture. So cute! Some things I’ve personally done with Whiskers and other kittens I’ve owned may help you. I recommend handling them a lot when they’re kittens. Touch each of their paws often, touch their face and head often. Hold them a little longer than they might like sometimes.
Doing this will help with things like vet exams and procedures, clipping their nails, and helping them to be ok around people and children. Not to mention it usually makes them way more snuggly. Whiskers is a lover boy! I hug and kiss him several times a day and he not only puts up with it, but purrs the whole time.
To keep up with cat fur in the house, brush them often. I always have blankets on my bed and furniture which I wash fairly often. This helps keep your furniture clean and get rid of cat fur.
Everyone has always said that they never smell the litter box in my house and wouldn’t even know I had cats. I scoop the litter box once or twice per day. Keep a plastic bag or small trash can with a bag in it near the litter box with a scoop. Once a week I clean out the litter box and put in fresh litter (or just add fresh litter if the box isn’t that dirty). I always add baking soda. This helps with odor.
I personally have made all my cats indoor cats. Most experts agree this provides a longer, healthier life for cats. For help on this, read my article, How to Keep Indoor Cats Happy.
I Donate to Animal Charities
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