Taking Care of Your New Kitten

It’s well into kitten season,
and many people are bringing home a new kitten to become part of their family.
Here are some important tips for taking care of your new addition.
1.     Find a safe space. Your new kitten should stay in
only one room or an enclosure, such as a cage or pen, so that it can gradually
adjust to its new surroundings. Try to find a place without any long curtains,
cloth furniture, breakable items, or easily-opened cupboards. In many ways, a
new kitten is like a crawling baby, so you may want to install child-proof
latches in your home, particularly since kittens love to get into small spaces.
Check for any potential dangers including fireplaces, poisonous substances, and
plants to make your kitten as safe as possible. And always keep any windows,
gates, and doors securely fastened to make sure your kitten stays secure and where
you want it to be!
Introduce a litter box. Having your kitten in one
room is an important part of litter box training. Place a litter tray with low
sides in a corner of the room away from the food and water bowls. It’s a good
idea to place a mat or other covering underneath the litter box to make
clean-up easier. After your kitten gets used to using the litter box, you’ll be
able to move to a container with higher sides to keep litter from spilling out,
but at first you want to make the litter box as accessible as possible.
Create a warm haven. It’s a good idea to provide a
cardboard box with soft bedding, a cat basket, or a semi-enclosed cat bed so
that your cat has a safe place to hide until it’s feeling more confident.
You’ll want to make sure that this sleeping space is away from any drafts so
your new kitten doesn’t get chilled.
Provide a scratching area. Some cats prefer an upright
scratching post while others are drawn to a scratching pad. You may want to offer
both at first so that you immediately train your kitten to only scratch on an appropriate
surface. This will go a long way towards protecting your furniture and carpets
in the long run.
Play with your kitten. While kittens need a lot of
sleep, in between naps they will have bursts of playful energy. Spending time
playing with them using specific, safe toys that they will become familiar with
is another way to channel their innate instincts into activities that don’t
interfere with your lifestyle or damage your belongings. And playing with them
is also a great way to bond!
Feed your kitten carefully. When you first bring a kitten
home, it’s a good idea to feed it the same food as it has already been eating,
as a sudden change in diet may cause stomach upset and/or diarrhea. If you want
to change their food, do so gradually by mixing it with the food it is used to
and gradually increasing the amount of the new food. Kittens should be fed small
amounts 3-4 times a day until they are at least six months old, and it’s a good
idea to buy a high-quality, name-brand kitten food that has been specially
formulated for their nutritional needs.
If you have any questions or concerns about caring for your
new kitten, don’t hesitate to contact the veterinary staff at
BregmanVeterinary Group. Soon after you welcome your new kitten, you should schedule
its first vet appointment, and its first vaccinations should be given at 8-10
weeks of age. We look forward to meeting your new family addition!

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