Kitten, like infants, are born totally helpless. During their first weeks of life they depend not just on their mother’s care, but also on their owner. With proper care and patience, you will ensure that your kitten will mature into a healthy, contented adult cat.
At birth, kittens must be kept warm and away from drafts. They spend most of their time nursing or sleeping. In the second week, their eyes will open and begin to focus clearly. During the third and fourth weeks kittens cut their baby teeth, they will start to play and toddle around on wobbly legs. At eight weeks they need attention from people to develop good social behavior, they should be picked up, spoken softly, should be weaned and have a healthy appetite for solid food.
At this critical time, kittens lose the antibodies provided by the mother’s milk; they are very susceptible to colds or digestive upsets and should be vaccinated promptly. It is essential to take your kitten for a complete veterinary examination within a few days of purchasing, the kitten must be immunized against such illness as rabies, parvovirus, and distemper, and also be checked for heartworms. Click here for the schedule of vaccines.
Kittens require high-protein, high-calorie food two or three times daily. However, do not overfeed. As they grow into adulthood, you can decrease the number of meals per day. Serve food at room temperature and always provide clean, fresh water. Ask your veterinarian for the best-recommended diet for your cat. Attach a personal identification tag with your name, address, and telephone number on its collar.
Mother cats usually teach kittens to use the litter box, but you can reinforce this training by placing the kitten in the box after feeding or playing. Repeat this several times until the kitten catches on.
Ask your veterinarian for the best time to spay or neuter your pet. The following are general recommendations: