In the early stages of a kitten’s life, nutrition and diet are the keys to healthy growth. A good owner will understand that their kitten’s nutritional needs change as they get older, particularly for muscle and bone development as well as their immune system. Find the right kind of food for your kitten and avoid homemade foods that lack the specific nutrients required in a cat’s diet.
Once you have the right type of cat food for your kitten, establish an appropriate amount for each meal and how often it should be served. Fashion your kitten’s eating habits around nutritional guides and the recommendations of your vet to find out which feeding model is best for your cat:
- Free choice feeding: Food is available to your kitten at all times.
- Time-limited feeding: Food is available to your kitten for a limited time.
- Meal feeding: A regulated amount of food is available to your kitten at specific times of the day.
Keep track of your kitten’s physical condition and weight. Do this every 6 months and base a cycle around the progress you see in your kitten’s healthy growth.
Another thing to keep in mind when introducing a kitten into your home is to make sure that your home is ready for a kitten. Clear your floors and open areas of paper clips, strings, staples, plastic bags and other items that could be dangerous. Make your house kitten-proof by keeping toilet lids closed and storing cleaning supplies and chemicals in locked cabinets.
Your vet will be the most important source of information regarding the health of your kitten. During the early stages of your cat’s life, make regular vet check-ups to insure that all aspects of its health are watched including its ears, eyes, nose, mouth, coat, weight, and bathroom habits.
If you want a house-friendly kitten, you need to focus your energy training its habits to an indoor lifestyle. Find the right type of litter box for your kitten and keep it in an area, preferably quiet and secluded, where the kitten will be comfortable using it. If the kitten doesn’t take to it right away, try a different litter or move it to a different area. Once you have trained it to use a litter box, any house soiling that occurs will usually indicate a health problem or confusion based on changes you’ve made to your living space.
When training a cat to use the litter box, one must practice patience. Having a cat that doesn’t pick it up the first few times is no reason to give up on the house-training process.
In its early stages, your kitten will need a lot of attention. The amount of time and type of activities you share with your kitten will shape the way it matures and influence the type of cat it becomes.
Do not resort to punishment, scolding, or physical correction when your kitten misbehaves. This will harm your relationship with it and likely cause more damage than good. If you want to adjust a behavior, use a spray bottle or a loud noise to get your kitten’s attention. Noise and discomfort will cause it to associate the behavior as negative but not harm its perception of you.
Good behavior should never be taken for granted. When you positively reinforce your kitten’s good behavior, it sees a pattern and responds to it. The more positive experiences you have with your kitten while it is young, the more social and obedient it will be as it grows up.
As the seasons change, accommodate your cat by making your home cat-friendly. Make sure that holiday treats aren’t left out, including Halloween candy and Christmas desserts. Avoid using decorations that will entice your cat’s natural instincts to claw and chew at your furnishings.
Remember that your cat is susceptible to the elements in the same way that you are. Protect your cat from the sun or snow by providing it with warm shelter, shaded areas, as well as food and water at all times.