You are new to this, like many other people. It can be a difficult task but so very rewarding at the same time. Once you learn how to look after a kitten, it will change your life for the better. We will be going through a few things you need to know before and after your new kitten arrives.
How to look after a kitten: Preparation before they arrive
Be aware you need to spend some money before your kitten arrives. You would need to go buy a bed. Something nice and soft. You will most likely need a scratching post of sorts or a combination of a bed and scratching post like this from KatKabin.
Start doing some research on good vets in your area. Once you have found the perfect vet for you and you new kitten, make an appointment with him. He will inform you when to bring your kitty in for their vaccinations and regular check ups. They would also be able to tell you which kitten food you should buy to ensure that your kitten stays healthy and has all the proper nutrients and vitamins.
Go out and buy some cat toys. In the early stages of your kittens life, they would be extremely active and would want to play with anything and everything. To avoid them breaking or scratching the wrong things, get a bunch of toys that can keep them entertained. You can even make your own toys, with some string or a few soft balls.
You would also need to purchase a kitty litter box and some kitty litter. There are many types of kitty litter you can buy, from sand ones to crystal ones. They all do pretty much the same thing, which is to keep the kitty poop together. Some may help with the odor which you may want to purchase. Make sure the kitty litter box is in a quiet area where your kitten can access with ease and have some privacy. Cats don’t like to be seen doing their business.
Lastly before your kitten arrives, you may want to look at pet insurance. A good pet insurer is Embrace Pet Insurance. Pet insurance is not a must but can help, some medical costs can be quite expensive for cats.
When you bring your kitten home
This is the crucial part of learning how to look after a kitten. These first few weeks shapes their future. This is where they will learn behavior and social skills. They will learn what to do and what not to do. Positive situations will help them learn. Exposing your kitten to situations with other friendly cats and dogs would teach them great social skills early on.
This is also the time that you can start to enforce a routines. Teaching them which rooms they can go to or which furniture they can walk on etc. Rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior.
If your kitten is going to be an outdoor cat, then slowly start introducing them to the outside world. Take them to grass and let them walk on it. Let them feel the different surfaces of your garden. This is all crucial for the beginning stages of your kittens life.
This would also be a good time to introduce them to a cat carrier, as this is what you would use when taking your kitten for their check ups at the vet.
Try stick to feeding your kitten the same food, and giving them a routine of when they are fed. Certain times of the day and different sized meals.
After some weeks at home with your kitten (12 weeks +)
Your kittens mind has now developed, and should be fully functional to their surroundings. Keep training them as mind stimulation is important. Like hiding their toys and having them find it. Spend lots of time playing with your kitten, but also remember that training and playing is tiring so give them rest in between. Try teaching them to come when you call them, or tapping a spoon on their bowls when they need to come eat, would also teach them that a specific sound is associated to eating time.
This would also be about the time that their second vaccinations will be due. While at the vet speak to them about neutering your kitty, as at 4 months they will be ready. Speak to your vet about worming at this time too.
Your how to look after a kitten care training has come to a point of rinse and repeat. Keep doing what you are doing.
Now you should know how to look after a kitten, after some months at home
Your kitty is still learning and developing and positive reinforcement and time spent with you is now and will always be crucial. This is also a great time to speak to your vet if you may have any concerns about your cats development. You may want to look at your cats dietary needs as he continues to grow and become an adult. Try keep all experience positive with your cat which will help them and yourself have a better living experience.
Now that you have learned the basics of how to look after a kitten, you can carry on enjoying life with your amazing little one. They will become part of your lives and will enrich your life so much. Kitten care is very important but you should have some fun doing it too.
Depending on your kitty there may need some more research done to maintain a healthy life for your kitten. If you have a Sphynx kitten which may need special skin care, please make sure you do your research.
Good luck and remember have fun and love them to bits!