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How to Care for your Kitten – 10 Tips for New Cat Owners

How to Care for your Kitten

You just brought home your new kitten and you’re wondering how to care for it properly. Although your cat will take care of itself in many ways, you have an important role to play as well! In this guide, we’ll help you learn how to care for your kitten by teaching you the basics of feline behavior, health, and nutrition so that you can be the best possible cat owner—and improve your bond with your new pet in the process!

1) Grooming

Grooming is just as important for kittens as it is for adult cats. If a kitten isn't properly groomed and cared for, it can develop hairballs, skin problems, and other issues that might require medical attention. It's especially important that new kitten owners pay attention to grooming. During its first two weeks of life, a kitten cannot clean itself or control its bowel movements; an adult cat will have some sense of when it needs to relieve itself, but a newborn can't make those connections yet.


2) Health

A kitten’s health is especially important. In most cases, a mother cat provides an adequate level of care. Unfortunately, if you acquire a kitten without a mother (or even if she dies), then you'll need to take on more responsibility and act as her surrogate mommy. It's not as hard as it sounds; in fact, caring for a kitten can be easy once you know what you're doing. Here are ten tips to help ease you into being a responsible pet owner. Once you get going, caring for your kitty will be second nature!

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3) Safety

If you've ever held a kitten, you know how delicate they are. The first thing on everyone's mind when adopting a kitten is safety. Not only can kittens bite and scratch, but they can also easily get lost because of their small size and limited mobility. It's a good idea to keep young kittens indoors so that they don't run into trouble outdoors, like cars or wild animals. If you plan on letting your cat outside once it becomes an adult, have them microchipped so that you'll be able to locate them if they do go missing.


4) Training

It's important that kittens are socialized. They should meet lots of different people and experience a variety of different situations during their first few months. It's also important that they learn not to scratch and bite and show other signs of aggression towards humans, especially children. Taking your kitten outside frequently is a good way to teach it how to use a litter box (which it should start using as soon as you bring it home). Never try to introduce a kitten into an existing cat household before neutering them all; you're likely just going to create tension within your family of felines! And always be sure that any new pet in your home receives its shots before coming in contact with an existing pet, especially if said existing pet is very young.

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5) Feeding

Feeding a kitten can be tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. Remember that kittens are smaller than adult cats, so use a small plate or bowl and keep meals light. You might have seen videos of cats gulping down food in seconds—this isn’t good for their digestion! And while kittens like variety in their diets, they also need protein-rich foods at every meal to help them grow. Before serving food to your kitten, taste it yourself first—this way you’ll know whether it has gone bad or become too spicy (which can hurt a kitten’s stomach). How much should I feed my kitten?


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6) Bedding

How do you take care of a little kitten? It’s very important that you provide your kitten with a safe place to sleep. Most adult cats will have their own beds, but kittens won’t. The safest bet is often a cardboard box since it doesn’t tip over easily and it can be used again and again as they grow up. If you don’t have any boxes laying around, you can get one from almost any grocery store or pharmacy for free—just make sure there aren’t any sharp objects inside like staples or paper clips. Make sure there are some soft blankets or other items inside too—it’ll be more comfortable if he has something cozy on which to snuggle up at night!

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7) Exercise

Exercise is an important part of taking care of a kitten. It helps build up their strength and keeps them active, so they can grow into happy, healthy cats. Before you get started, take a minute to think about what type of exercise you’d like your kitten to do. You have a few options: training on a harness and leash allows you to play with kittens as if they were dogs; another option is playing in or with cat toys, and agility training is great fun for both people and cats alike! Whichever kind of exercise works best for you, be sure to start out slowly - kittens' bones are still developing, so wear-and-tear injuries are common when kittens first begin using cat harnesses.

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8) Choosing the right cat litter

Choosing a cat litter is important because it’s where your cat will be spending a lot of her time. This is especially true if you want her using her litter box, as opposed to random places around your house. The best thing about choosing a cat litter is that there are plenty of choices available, so finding one that works for you and your kitten should be easy enough. If you choose wisely, then dealing with kitty litter can be quick and painless. However, if you choose poorly then cleaning up after the kitty could turn into an unpleasant chore. For more tips on caring for kittens check out: How to Care for Your Kitten — 12 Weeks Old.

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9) Hiding place and Scratching Posts

A hiding place is important for many reasons. First, it will give your kitten a place where she can feel safe, secure, and away from all of those scary new things in her life. Scratching posts are also a good idea, especially if you have one that mimics a tree. This will not only help keep her claws trimmed and healthy but will also give her something else to do rather than scratching up your favorite chair or couch.


10) Trouble Shooting Guide (i.e. solving litter issues etc.)

The first two weeks of kitten ownership can be incredibly stressful. In fact, if you’re not prepared and know what to expect, caring for a tiny kitten can be exhausting. Your biggest concerns are where your kitten should sleep at night, whether or not you need to introduce them to a litter box (or how quickly) and how much they should eat. Plus, it seems like you’re feeding them constantly. Here are some basic tips on caring for a kitten: Where should my kitten sleep at night? Kittens typically sleep from 12 - 14 hours a day in various stages of light-to-deep sleep. At nighttime, their eyes will remain closed and breathing steady but may blink open if startled or feel cold.


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