Which cat lover is not tempted by a cuddly, furry bundle of purrs! It could be your first kitten or an addition to your family as in my case. I remember when my human once fell in love with a kitten and brought her home. This little clingy, over-energetic creature made me quite jealous because of all the attention he got.
It took me some time to get over the fact that my human had not stopped loving me. It was important to keep this little creature safe and happy even though his never-ending meowing made my ears ring. I followed my human as she took care of the kitten, so let me give you a few tips:
Kitty needs time
Kittens are usually adopted at six weeks of age. A couple of extra weeks spent with the mother would be better as the kitten is more ready to be trained. Being separated too soon from her family stresses and confuses the kitten. It may try to hide away from you so it needs gentle handling and being spoken to softly. When choosing a kitten, make sure to go for the more playful one.
Kittens have sensitive tummies but at this point in time they need to eat and grow so it is important to give them nutritional food. A little mashed up boiled rice, and chicken or fish can be given as three small meals. Put the kitten in a little box lined with an old blanket or soft cloth. Put food and water nearby in a quiet corner of the house.
Place a litter tray nearby and introduce the kitten to it so that it knows where to go when the need arises. Cats bury their waste by instinct so litter training is really easy. Just place her in the tray after her nap or a mealtime at hourly intervals until she learns where her toilet is.
Kitty meets people
Everyone wants to hold and stroke a cute, little kitten which is fine as long as it doesn’t scare the poor little thing. If you have a pet cat previously or a dog, make sure you keep the new kitten away from them for the first few days. It will take some time for both parties to accept each other. I took my time to accept the little one in the house. Kittens should be held carefully as they are delicate and also if they get scared, they can scratch rather badly.
Kitten-proof your home
Cords, rubber bands, jewellery, tiny objects should be removed from the kitten’s play area as they can swallow and choke on them. Just like children are provided a safe playing environment, kittens have to be protected in the same way. Kitchen and bathroom cabinets must be closed so that the kitten doesn’t get to the bleach, detergent and other household items, as they love to explore.
Let’s go room by room
Kitten-proof your home just like baby-proofing is done. You can introduce your kitten to the rest of your home, one room at a time. Talk softly to the kitten as he follows you around the rooms so that he understands that you are comfortable and everything is safe. He may hide under a bed or run behind the sofa. Gently remove him and place him on the floor. Let him explore the rest of the house.
Don’t forget your other pets
My human remembered to give me extra love, attention and treats to ease my anxiety. Once the kitten felt comfortable, we were allowed to meet briefly. My human made sure she was around for the first few meets in case one of us got out of hand. We couldn’t hiss at each other in the beginning and were firmly told off by my human. If there was any hostility, we would have been separated to avoid things from getting worse. We cats can be very jealous!
Visit to the vet
At six weeks or so, the kitten was placed safely in a carrier basket and taken to the vet. It was probably dewormed, checked for ear mites and decisions were taken about vaccinations and neutering.
When my human went out, the kitten was secured in a safe room by himself with water, food and his litter box. Kitten-safe toys like a small ball or a toy mouse were placed in the room. I was surprised how much energy the little kitten had and how he needed to stay active to be happy.
When he meowed too much in confusion, my human picked him up and stroked him gently. She checked if he needed his litter tray or food bowl.
It may seem like a lot of responsibility and effort, but kittens are a lot of fun to watch and be with, and in no time they grow up to be your favourite companions. i