There are a lot of reasons why getting a kitten is always a good idea. Aside from the health benefits you can enjoy as a pet owner, a kitten can also keep your property rodent-free. Kittens are low-maintenance because they can bathe themselves and require less grooming.
Taking care of a kitten can be a lot of fun, but it requires responsibility and commitment. Aside from investing in higher quality kitten foods, you have to create a safe environment for the kitten so they can grow healthily. You also have to make sure that the kitten has its own litter tray, water bowl and scratching post inside your home.
Before you get a kitten, it’s important to know the following things first:
Preparing for your new kitten’s arrival
A kitten, regardless of the age and breed, will require you to make adjustments in your home. You can think of this kitten as a new member of the family who will also need time to adapt to their new environment.
And for them to stay comfortable during this transition, you should prepare yourself and your home for their arrival. So, take note of the following tips:
- To assess if your home is safe for a kitten, you need to view the area through their eyes. Get on your knees and check if every room in your house is kitten-proof.
Make sure that all of your windows and vents are closed. Any electronics, cords, and other types of strings should be out of their reach. Continue by removing objects that can become a choking hazard to kittens.
- If you have other pets at home, set up a “base camp” for your new kitten. This area will help the kitten familiarize their new environment, so make sure that this remains off-limits to other pets and children.
The kitten’s base camp should have sufficient space for a litter box, food, and water bowls, toys, and beddings. The kitten should still have enough space to roam around even when these items are placed in their base camp.
The food you provide to your kitten serves as the foundation of their health when they grow old. Making sure that your kitten is well-fed with the right food can guarantee that they grow up healthy and free from any type of illnesses and diseases.
Kittens that are at least eight weeks old can already regulate their body temperature and can survive without their mothers. By this time, they are already fully weaned, and pet owners can introduce other foods aside from milk to their diets.
However, if you see yourself taking care of a kitten younger than eight months old, it’s best if you regularly keep them warm and bottle feed them with a kitten formula every two hours. Looking after younger kittens will require extra care, so it’s best if you consult your vet to know what are the appropriate food and formula for them.
Potty training your kitten
The first challenge of being a pet owner is to train your kitten on how to use the litter box. Kittens will pee and poop almost anywhere, and tolerating this behavior when they are still young can lead to a lot of behavioral issues in the future. This behavior can also cause your home to smell bad and even damage your furniture.
Kittens will know what to do when they are about to pee and poop. As a pet owner, you just have to introduce or show them where their litter box is. Regularly remind them of the location of the litter box, and if they pee and poop inside it, reward them with treats and praise. This will encourage the kitten to always use the litter box whenever they need to pee and poop.
Since they are still new in your home, it might be best if you invest in several litter boxes. Place these in different areas of the house and let the kitten know that these are available for their use. The kitten should have easy access to a litter box since they are still figuring out their new habitat.
How you take care of your kitten can significantly affect their development and their health once they become an adult. Aside from making sure that your kitten is well-fed, physical exercise also contributes to your kitten’s overall health. Pet owners like you should spend time playing with your kitten as this enables them to socialize and become friendlier in the long run.
Playing with your kitten regularly can also provide a lot of benefits for you. For one, spending more time with your kitten can help create a bond between the two of you and can encourage you to become more active. Kittens are naturally hyper, so you need to keep up with their energy.
Before getting a kitten, make some changes with your daily schedule and spend at least an hour every day playing with your kitten. Any activity will do – you can let her chase her toy mouse or teach them more tricks in portable tunnels – as long as your kitten gets adequate exercise for the day.
Expect your kitten to sleep… a lot!
Just like human beings, kittens also require a lot of sleep since they are still young. Generally, kittens need to have around 16 to 20 hours of sleep every day. Make sure that your kitten receives this amount of sleep regularly by giving them a comfortable space to sleep in. This area should be accessible to them at different times of the day.
Regardless of how tempting it is to bring your kitten into your bedroom and have them sleep with you, don’t do it. This will only encourage your kitten to stay in your bedroom and, eventually, pee and poop inside the room. If you don’t have any plans to place a litter box inside your bedroom, teach your kitten to sleep in their own space.
Aside from maintaining the cleanliness and ambiance of your bedroom, letting your kitten sleep in their own space will help them get comfortable in their new environment without disturbing other people.
During the first few days, expect that your kitten will meow loudly in the middle of the night as an attempt to catch your attention. Ignoring them might be hard at first, but eventually, they will learn that nighttime should be spent sleeping.
Being a pet owner can be a challenge, but by exerting a lot of time and effort in learning what your responsibilities are, taking care of a kitten can become a piece of cake. Along with the tips in this article, reach out to other pet owners and use other resources so you’ll know how you can become a successful pet owner.