Kitten care actually involves hands-on care by human family members to help the kitten adjust to their new environment and providing for kitten’s overall physical health to support healthy growth. When choosing a kitten, be sure to choose one that has had its initial ten days of life in a kennel before you bring it home. Your new kitten should have been checked by your veterinarian for any disease or abnormality such as birth defects, metabolic problems or chronic illness. Also have the kitten examined by an Animal Doctor for any medical conditions or medical issues. Your veterinarian will be able to give you advice about the best food for your kitten and help you with basic kitten care. Kittens also require protection from cold weather and heat and so it may be necessary to invest in some extra warm clothes for your kitten to keep him warm.
Things you need to Know
Many people consider cats to be a simple animal that needs to be fed, walked and played with. Nothing could be further from the truth as this cat species is extremely intelligent and requires highly specialized care for each stage of their life. A kitten must go through many stages of life before it reaches maturity. At the outset, the kitten will require protection from its mother and this is done by a process known as ‘neutering’. A few weeks later, the kitten will begin its life in a foster-mother’s care until it is old enough to take care of itself.
While in the early stages, there are no specific rules regarding the care of your kitten, most cats will have to be fed and have clean water available at all times, as well as being monitored closely to ensure they are eating and drinking regularly. In fact, many veterinarians recommend that feeding is stopped after two to three weeks to prevent the loss of too many nutrients due to dehydration. Most kittens will start to eliminate between eight to ten weeks after they were born, but will start to urinate at four to five weeks and six to seven weeks old, indicating that they have come into contact with the elements and are now ready to take on their adult role.
As the cat ages, it will need more attention from its owner, especially as it moves into adulthood. Kittens spend more time outdoors than in the cat care center and will require more frequent medical attention, including vaccinations, a checkup at approximately six weeks, as well as regular batons and grooming. The vet will most likely want to take the cat to a veterinary facility for spaying or neutering as well, as this is standard cat care. It is extremely important that you work closely with your veterinary staff and provide them with any information and references that you feel may be useful in caring for your kitten, as they are going to be an integral part of your kitten’s life from its birth until it is weaned and begins to take on its own habits.
During the four weeks that your kitten is in the foster care system, it is vitally important that you interact with your kitten and form a bond. Forming a strong bond with your kitten ensures that it will form a long term relationship with its caregivers, and will eliminate the need to provide the foster parent with constant back up and care. A good bond is important during kitten care, as it is much easier to form one in a long term care situation than in a short-term placement. When you adopt a kitten, it is recommended that you keep it in an environment that allows it to have access to the following four basic needs. A fenced in yard that is clean and safe, appropriate shelter, an adequate nutrition level, and socialization with other animals.
When you adopt a kitten, you will also need to provide it with appropriate healthcare, including vaccinations, a checkup with the vet, and routine batons and grooming. The kitten care center will provide these services for free to you as the veterinary staff would rather see you enjoy the rest of your life with your new baby rather than have to go through all of the work. There will likely be a lot of work involved with this process, so be prepared for a large investment in time and money. If you are not up to the task of caring for a kitten, do not despair as there are many people who do not take the time to become familiar with cats before bringing them home. There are literally thousands of people out there who do not have the time or knowledge to properly care for a cat. This is why you are urged to consider placing your kitten with a loving family member or friend who has the time and skills necessary for kitten care.