The arrival of a kitten is a special and exciting event for the whole family. The baby kittens arrive as beautiful balls of fur, but being so defenseless they require our greatest care as their mother is not present. For their proper development, we must provide them with an appropriate environment that should not lack anything.
Table of Contents
- 1 Baby Kitten Care
- 1.1 The Arrival of a Cat Home
- 1.2 How long does it take for a cat to adapt?
- 1.3 Food
- 1.4 Socialization of a Puppy Cat
- 1.5 Basic Routines for the Care of a Puppy Cat
- 1.6 Kitten Health
- 2 Tips on Baby Kittens
- 3 Baby Kitten Growth
Baby Kitten Care
Adopting baby cats or caring for a litter of baby kittens can be a fantastic experience. However, although we know how autonomous and instinctive these felines are, we must know that in their initial months of life they need very particular care.
In this article we will learn about their diet, daily care, behavior, daily accessories and even veterinary care. When your interest in knowing how to care for a baby kitten is sincere, you can in this article discover the essential factors for proper physical and mental development, as well as certain techniques to ensure the well-being of your pet.
The Arrival of a Cat Home
If you have never housed a cat in your home, in this initial section you will find some basic recommendations so that your arrival home is as profitable as possible. Attention must be paid to the accessories that it will require and their arrangement will not only help a convenient adaptation, but will also contribute to a closer affinity with you.
The initial step to provide the best care for a baby cat will be to provide it with everything it needs for its day-to-day life:
It is important that the feeder is located away from the drinker and the litter box, since cats are very fussy and may stop eating if they think their food is too close to these objects. If it is the case that there are several house cats, it is recommended to place several feeders to prevent the probable emergence of conflicts.
It must be placed in an easily accessible place and the water must be renewed regularly so that the cat does not reject it. It is also suggested to use a quality container, such as stainless steel. We have to place it away from the sandbox and the feeder and, as in the previous case, it is advisable to place several drinkers when having more than one feline. Additionally, the acquisition of a water fountain for cats should be considered, a piece that will help to positively enrich the environment.
It is usually located in the bathroom, even so, you can also place it on a terrace or quiet area. It is essential to have several litter boxes if there is more than one kitten in the house and they should be cleaned at least once or twice a week.
There are several kinds of scratchers and it is important to get one that motivates our baby kitten a lot since this prevents it from scratching the furniture. You can get one table type and one vertical, as examples.
Place his bed in a quiet area, away from traffic, so he can bask in his sleeping hours without being interrupted. It must be borne in mind that this is essential for the mental and physical development of the baby kitten, as well as for proper learning.
When visitors arrive at your house, in celebrations where fireworks are used or in times of stress, your little cat will seek to hide somewhere. You can leave a nest-type bed or a simple box in a high and quiet raised space so that it can hide whenever it wants. It is important to note that while the cat is in the nest it should never be disturbed.
How long does it take for a cat to adapt?
The initial days of a cat at home are usually of enormous stress for him and for the human family, who only want to welcome him with affection and a desire to play. However, we must have the ability to empathize and understand that the puppy has been separated from his mother and siblings to arrive at an unknown place with people he does not know either.
Surely he will be very scared and will not want to come out from under the bed. Therefore, we must be patient and proceed delicately, since it is not abnormal for him to be fearful and insecure. You can try to gain his trust by leaving bits of tasty food near his hiding place, using toys to lure him out, or using a high-pitched, pleasant voice when addressing him. However, if the baby kitten does not want to go out, we are not going to force him, but we will have to respect his space for a few days.
The first night we should not expect the kitten to stay in his bed peacefully, in contrast, what can happen when the house is totally silent is that the puppy takes the opportunity to explore all areas of the home. That will help you to get your bearings and get all the accessories that we have mentioned before.
Bringing in a new cat at home is something that rarely happens and each case is different. Not all kittens will behave the same or adapt in a certain time, although, in general, we can point out that a cat takes from 1 to 4 months to fully adapt to a new home. The same thing happens with a move.
If we have welcomed a kitten that is barely a month old, it is important to go to a veterinary clinic as soon as possible to obtain artificial milk formula, which will be its basic diet from then on.
It is of great importance to point out that a mother should never be separated from her baby kittens unless it is strictly essential, since the puppies need mother's milk to obtain colostrum (containing immunoglobulins that offer protection to the little one) and the care they require. only his mother can give him. Keep in mind that you can make infant formula if the case is urgent, yes, it is only a temporary solution.
From the age of 2 months, the kitten can be started on solid food, always gradually. We will provide modest portions of wet food or pâtés each day, as long as they are specially prepared for baby kittens. Then we will begin to moisten dry feed in water (or with broth, lacking salt and onion) and, once it is fed without problems, it will be possible to switch to completely dry feed. It is advisable to consult all this with the veterinarian, who will prescribe the most appropriate food for kittens.
To conclude, we would like to emphasize that the optimal age to adopt a cat is 3 months, a stage in which it is fully weaned, immunized and has acquired the minimum behaviors from its mother: the habit of grooming, urinating in the litter box or the exercise of feline language among others. At this stage the kitten should already be eating solid food without any problem.
Is it Better Feed or Homemade Food?
Each variety of food has advantages and disadvantages and it is up to each owner to bet on one kind of food or another. Although the balanced feed provides all the nutrients required by the feline (as long as the container is labeled "nutritionally complete"), it is usually not easy to obtain a quality feed that is also affordable for all feline owners.
In any case, within the care for baby kittens is the appropriate diet, so if we are inclined towards this kind of diet, we should buy a feed formulated particularly for kittens, which is also of high quality.
In contrast, home diets, whether raw or cooked, are much cheaper and we can ensure that they are made from natural products. However, kittens also need a veterinary follow-up that guarantees the proper health of the feline. Additionally, supplementation is required to prevent nutritional deficiencies and rigorous internal deworming is required to resort to the BARF diet (or ACBA which stands for "Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods").
Socialization of a Puppy Cat
It is recommended that the adoption of the puppy cat takes place between six weeks and two months at the most, in this way, it will have begun its socialization stage together with its mother and siblings and will conclude it with humans.
Socialization is a period that must begin after two weeks of existence and culminate in about two months. It is a sensitive phase, in which the cat will have to learn to associate with its peers, people and pets, but it will also be essential for proper adaptation to its environment. A lack or incorrect socialization can cause the manifestation of inappropriate behaviors, such as violence or fear.
We must bear in mind that socializing an adult cat is extremely complicated, sometimes impossible, for this reason it is very important to maintain the socialization of the kitten once it arrives at our home. They will be introduced to all kinds of people, things, noises, environments and, if allowed, other animals, always ensuring positive experiences.
The Behavior of Baby Kittens
It should be noted that throughout the initial weeks of life, the kitten exhibits a restricted movement pattern; However, from the fifth or sixth week, the kitten will begin to run around and scan the environment, as well as to develop behaviors typical of the species, such as hunting animals, marking areas with pheromones and eliminating at will. Then the development of the kitten's senses will begin, from which we will see all these behaviors much more marked.
To conclude this section, it should be noted that each individual has a unique personality, so we must take the time to understand their behavior specifically.
Basic Routines for the Care of a Puppy Cat
The following are the 5 fundamental routines that any cat must be able to enjoy on a regular basis, as part of its essential care, since they have a direct influence on its well-being, both in body and mind:
Frequent brushing will help us to keep his coat in good condition and will allow us to recognize any health problem immediately, whether it be diseases of the dermis or the appearance of parasites. Additionally, this routine will strengthen the bond with the kitten, while giving it a relaxing "massage". It is recommended to use a card for cats with medium hair, a rubber brush for those with very short hair and a rake-type comb for those with long hair.
It is essential to enrich the environment of our kitten, since in this way we prevent behavior problems. It also helps to stimulate your intelligence and prevent stress, restlessness and depression. Their daily routine can be enhanced with cat structures, the use of catnip (cat mint), or a simple litter box. We can also use talent toys, food dispensing toys or visual and olfactory stimulants. Indeed, our kitten can be stimulated with almost anything.
Parallel to the activities that serve for the mental stimulation of the pussycat, he must be encouraged to carry out physical activities, which are essential to preserve his developed muscles. In the same way it helps us in the prevention of excessive weight and obesity. They can be given physical stimulation with all kinds of games and you can even buy objects designed for this purpose, such as a tunnel for cats. The time he spends playing will also help our feline stay in shape, if we persist in stimulating him.
Game and Fun
Cats are very sociable creatures and, despite many people claiming that they are independent beings, the truth is that this is not the case. A cat may despise their toys after a single play session as they require someone by their side to induce them to play and have fun. For this reason we recommend that you play with your kitten on a regular basis, if you can't every day, do it frequently.
Love and affection
Apart from all these practices, the cat needs something else: and it is love. He will never be fully happy if he does not have a family by his side that adores and cares for him, that allows him to sleep on top of them or that accepts a lick or nibble affectionately. Putting aside the inaccurate myths, the cat is a very affectionate creature that, given the opportunity, can become a wonderful life partner.
Before taking your recently adopted kitten home, and particularly if you live with other animals, it will be essential to take it to the vet to rule out the existence of parasites or diseases that could be contagious. Based on them, we will detail what are the crucial aspects that will help you to maintain a good health condition in your baby kitten:
The Vaccination of the Puppy Cat
Despite the fact that our cat will never leave the house, we could be the ones to bring viruses and bacteria into the home without realizing it. Therefore, it is important to start the cat vaccination program at 2 months of existence. The initial vaccines that will be applied are the feline triple or trivalent and the leukemia test, with which our feline will be protected against the diseases that we quote below:
- infectious rhinitis
The vaccines will require a booster dose every year and, to keep our cat in a healthy state, we must rigorously follow the vaccination schedule.
The Deworming of the Puppy Cat
Removing parasites from our kitten is an essential aspect for its health, particularly if it leaves the house or cohabits with other animals. This practice will help you to prevent the presence of internal and external parasites, and it must be done with various products prescribed by the veterinarian, such as pills, pipettes, collars or sprays.
Deworming must begin at a month and a half of age and it is essential that you have veterinary follow-up. It is suggested to deworm the feline every fortnight until the kitten reaches 3 months of age, then the deworming must be carried out monthly until the cat reaches 6 months of existence and, finally, once every quarter. We must bear in mind that the professional recommendation of a veterinarian cannot be dispensed with, since internal and external deworming must be carried out with products designed for kittens and using a precise dose.
If we want our baby kitten to develop in a healthy way, it will be essential to attend the vet regularly. At the beginning of the vaccination schedule, it will be the same veterinarian who tells you how regularly it will be necessary to carry out full examinations to rule out any sign of disease, but generally it is done every 6 or 12 months.
Tips on Baby Kittens
A large number of kittens are rescued every day, and their adoption is an act of high humanity. But it also needs knowledge so as not to risk the health of the modest animal. The ideal thing for a mammal is that it be raised by its mother and that it can be suckled for at least its first 45 days of existence. It is the most natural and effective way to develop your immune system and your joints.
Unfortunately, it is frequently observed that mother cats die in childbirth or are forced to flee to survive. Numerous baby kittens are found still newborn and very defenseless. There are groups that offer their time and resources for the rescue of these felines. And any willing person can be part of such initiatives.
How to Rescue Abandoned Puppies Cats?
It is very common to find abandoned baby kittens on the streets and they are very vulnerable after they are born. Their autonomy and instinct to hunt develops over time. Therefore, they are usually very frightened in their first weeks of life. For their rescue, it is essential to remain calm and be patient. The appropriate thing would be to wait for the kitten to build trust and approach naturally. But this may never happen when it is a newborn creature.
It is advised to wear gloves and not to make much contact at this stage. The baby kitten may have come into contact with countless impurities and microbes. It never hurts to be cautious. The appropriate thing is to place it immediately in a pet transport box carefully so that it does not escape. If this type of box is not available, a common cardboard box can be used temporarily.
Baby kittens should be transported as soon as possible to a veterinarian or a shelter for animals that have been rescued. The pussycat must be evaluated to provide him with the proper care to maintain his physical integrity and defend him from any threat to his health.
Before moving kittens home, it is necessary to know the most important care and appropriately adapt the environment to welcome them.
Air conditioning the environment
Cats usually feel the cold much more than dogs, since their body gets the perfect conditions to develop in hot climates. In their initial weeks of existence, kittens do not have the ability to regulate their body temperature. The risk of hypothermia or lung disease is very high. For this reason, it is essential to provide them with heat, and the most suitable alternative is an electric heating pad whose temperature can be regulated. Care should be taken so that the animal does not suffer burns.
It is also essential to adapt the environment. The place to be reserved for the rest of the baby kittens must be dry, clean and warm. In colder areas, primarily in the winter, it is necessary to redouble the attention to the air conditioning of the house, since the ambient temperature must be kept around 24ºC.
Prepare a comfortable place
Kittens need to feel secure in order to rest and recover. Throughout the first stage of their lives, kitties usually sleep a lot. Therefore, after choosing the place for your baby kittens, it is essential to adapt their crib. It can be something simple like a drawer with a clean, soft towel in which they can lie down and doze.
When bringing the rescued kitten home from the street, it is essential to sanitize it before releasing it into the house. It is a measure for the health of the animal and the other inhabitants. Since the animal is still defenseless, it is appropriate not to bathe it immediately. It is suggested to clean it with wet wipes designed for the sanitization of pets. As the kitten is healthier and stronger, a comprehensive sanitation must be carried out.
Depending on the age of the baby cats, their urinary and excretory ducts may need to be stimulated. A newborn kitten (12 weeks old) does not know how to control its own pathways. What the mother cat would do is lick her intimate organs, thereby stimulating her excretion pathways. For this reason, it is necessary to sanitize kittens with a cotton pad or gauze moistened in warm water before and after each meal. From this, cats easily learn to relieve themselves in the litter box.
Baby kittens less than 1 month and a half need to be breastfed or fed exclusively with artificial formula. It is essential to go to a veterinary clinic before providing any diet to the feline. From 45 days old, kittens can begin to try hard foods. The adequacy must be gradual and duly directed by the trusted veterinarian.
Baby Kitten Growth
Every time they arrive in your life, time flies by. In just a few weeks, a kitten stops being a little ball of fur, strutting proudly over the back of the sofa. The kittens develop quickly and, in just six months, they already reach adulthood. Do not let yourself be surprised and know what to expect in each of the phases of the growth of a puppy kitten.
First Month of the Pussycat: Small and fragile
In the initial two weeks, the kittens are completely dependent on their mother, as they enter the world blind and deaf. By being close to her they can maintain her body temperature and feed enough to continue her development. From fifteen days they already manage to open their eyes and begin to inspect their surroundings, although without distancing themselves too much. Weaning can take place from the third week, so canned food (preferably natural) can already be given.
In this phase, you must begin your learning to relieve yourself in a suitable place, which is not difficult at all. It is enough to leave them on their sandbox after each meal. They will soon develop the habit and go there on their own.
Second Month: Begin to Feel Independent
From the second month the feline makes significant progress in its socialization. The functioning of his senses reach their peak and his curiosity is greatly increased. He will gradually distance himself from his mother and begin the development of one of the most marked traits of the cat's personality: autonomy. Surely they will start doing their thing, so a scratcher by hand is a good alternative so that they do not suffer from the power of their nails against your sofa. Human contact is highly advisable at this stage.
You have to treat him with delicacy and great affection, since his initial sensations will determine his future relationships and, if we create a pleasant environment, we will gain his trust. It is advisable to adopt them after eight weeks of birth.
From the Third to the Sixth Month: Your Feline Instinct Tells You to Explore
At this stage he becomes much more independent, and since he does not need his mother he can manage on his own. Your curiosity will also increase and you will know the temptation to go outside. Deciding to let them out or not will depend on your assessment of whether they are ready for it, coupled with an assessment of the dangers they will face.
Female cats experience heat from six months, so if you don't want any surprises, spaying her is important. In the case of males, you can lean towards castration, thus preventing them from fighting throughout the mating season. It is suggested to wait until six months to carry out these procedures and the veterinarian's suggestions must always be followed. He will also notify you of the vaccination schedule to be met.
From Six Months to the Year: Discover Nightlife
Your kitten is already entering adulthood, so you should not worry if he sleeps a lot throughout the day: cats are nocturnal creatures. Do you want to share more time with him? He tries to get him tired throughout the day in the time he stays awake and thus adapt to a somewhat more "human" schedule. For this purpose he tries to get toys for his entertainment, such as laser lights or stuffed animals.
Between One and Three years: I am a Cat and I do what I want
It is the age of greatest whim. Why? Since after over a year of age it has already completed its development, but its behavior still exhibits traces of the baby kitten it was. His behavior will be like that of a teenager: an adult for certain things and a puppy for others. Additionally, it will check how far your patience reaches. He will manifest himself more independent and even undisciplined. Do not neglect his education, as his character is yet to be fully molded.
We recommend the following items: