Tips For New Kitten Care
Congratulations – you have a new kitten! What next? From how to introduce them to your existing household pets to behavior, basic shopping list, and feeding schedule, here are The Pet Professional’s top tips for how to best care for your new kitten.
What to buy
In preparation for coming home, create a safe, quiet spot to place food and water bowls, a bed, and the litterbox. A basic shopping list for your new kitten should include kitten-safe toys, cat brush, toothbrush and toothpaste, a cat carrier, and a scratching post. Also don’t forget about a collar, ID tags, and a microchip if they get lost.
What to feed your new kitten
At your first vet appointment, talk about your new kitten’s feeding schedule. Ask how often they should eat as well as amounts and what type of food. Put them on a consistent feeding schedule, based on age, and purchase a kitten-friendly formula to provide all the calories and nutrients needed. Many new owners wonder if they should give kittens milk to drink. Discuss with your vet, but more than likely they just need water.
New kitten socialization
New kittens should absolutely be socialized! But when should you introduce them to the family? Make sure the vet checks for disease or parasites first. After you get a clean bill of health, you can begin gradually introducing your new kitten to people, objects, and other pets. Monitor interactions to ensure positive experiences, but this is the perfect time to start bonding through play and touch.
Changes to behavior
Sometimes pets’ behavior can change and alarm new owners. If your new kitten is not eating, talk to your vet. Warning signs that she could have contracted an illness include lack of weight gain, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, or sneezing. Watch their behavior closely so you know when they are feeling off.
Lastly, litterbox training. When new kittens seem to avoid using the litterbox, check to ensure the sides are low enough to step over. Also place the kitten inside following meals to encourage them to use it. Many do not like having the litterbox too close to food bowls – you can try moving it a little further away from where they eat.
Bringing home new pets is fun and rewarding. Rely on your vet for medical advice, and enjoy your new family member!