A tiny "meow," the scratchy tickle of a tiny tongue - few things are as delightful as the introduction of a new kitten to the house. Here are a few tips to help you set the groundwork for a safe introduction to your home.
Cats are naturally inquisitive, and a basket of cat toys will give them something to keep them occupied while sparing your shoe laces and calves from the ministrations of a bored kitten.
Toys with feathers, crunchy fillings, and catnip are populer. Try a few different types to see which kind your cat prefers. And don’t forget to get a scratching post or two — scratching is a normal cat behavior, and training your cat to use a post early in life can spare your furniture down the road.
Cat treats are highly useful in a variety of situations: distracting kitty at the vet, getting them ready for a nail trim, or even training them for basic tricks (yes, you can train a cat!). You can buy pre-packaged treats, use kitten kibble, or even make your own.
The number one key to treating a cat is to keep the pieces small. It’s easy to overfeed cats when they are so tiny to begin with, so choose your treat portions accordingly.
Growing cats need a food that is appropriate for their developmental stage. The first six months are particularly important for bone, muscle, and nervous system development, so you want to make sure to choose a food that is right for them.
Kittens should be eating a food that is labeled as either a kitten food or an all life stages food (which essentially means it is formulated for the most nutritionally-demanding life stages and less appropriate for other mature life stages). Your veterinarian is an excellent source of information as to what food will be the best for your cat! Good water intake is also vital to your cat’s health so make sure you keep fresh water available at all times.
Cats crave comfortable and secure snoozing spots. While a cat bed isn’t considered a necessity- and in fact they will probably choose somewhere ridiculous to sleep no matter what you buy them- most cats love having a soft space all their own. In addition to the standard pillow-like cat bed, there are elevated cat beds and cat beds integrated with cat trees to satisfy the feline’s natural desire for using vertical space.
Choosing a litter box is one of the most underrated decisions you will make as a cat owner. While many people choose litter boxes based on their own preferences, it’s vital to keep in mind that your cat’s preferences are the deciding factor in whether or not he or she will use it.
Unscented, low-dust clumping litters are the most widely accepted type of cat litter. Whatever you do, make sure the litter box is scooped daily and completely changed once a week.
If there is one thing you want on hand BEFORE it becomes a necessity, it’s cleaning supplies. Cats are generally fastidious, but they can get sick or make messes just like everyone else. Choose a product labeled "pet safe" to ensure the product is non toxic when ingested.
Cat Collars, Leashes and Carriers
In most cases, a harness or a collar that expands is the safest for inquisitive cats to prevent accidental stangulation while they naturally play and explore. Keep a tag on in case your kitty goes walk about- and consider micro-chipping as another precaution.
Don’t forget a solid, comfortable cat carrier, too. Your kitten will spend a good deal of time shuttling back and forth to the vet during those first few months. Make the trip pleasant by investing in a well ventilated, easy to open and close, secure carrier with padding inside. Your cat — and your vet — will thank you.
Finally, and most importantly, before you bring that new kitty home, make sure you have established a relationship with a veterinarian. Your new four-legged bundle of fur will require ongoing care and advice from a veterinarian. Your kitten needs to be examined at least yearly by a vet even if it appears healthy, as many diseases are hidden and not apparent. Remember, it is much cheaper to prevent disease than it is to treat it!
Tags: Pet, Pet Health, Kitten, Animal Health, Pet and Vet