5 Tips to Raise Your New Kitten to be Purrfect
Getting a new, fuzzy addition to your family is an exciting event. Kittens in particular are adorable companions that are a joy to raise. Since I’ve been around cats for most of my life, taking care of them comes second nature. It doesn’t occur to me until someone mentions a question they have about raising their kitten that it might not be so intuitive for others.</p
Here are five tips for raising the new feline of the house:
- Reward and Socialize. Just like puppies and children, kittens have to learn and they learn faster when positively reinforced with rewards like treats or love. Pet them and play with them so the bond you two build will last for years to come. In addition to playing with your kitten, be sure to socialize it with strangers. I know that when I was raising Saya that I wish I would have brought more people around her; now she’s shy around strangers.
- Preventive care. There are many diseases that cats can get or that are transferred between
animals. Therefore, it’s important to make an appointment with your vet to see what vaccinations need to be administered to your kitten to keep them happy and healthy to live a longer life. (http://followersguru.net/)
- Enrichment. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: enrichment is a wonderful idea, and this is true for cats both young and old becauset appeals to the primal instincts of our feline friends. Scratching posts give them something to mark as their own without tearing up the house, food puzzles allow them to experience the sensation of hunting, but in a safe setting, and cat trees give them something to climb that won’t break.
- Train. At least once I’ve heard the comment that “cats are born knowing to use the litter box.” It is the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard, and is completely false. You really do need to train your kitten to use the litterbox. Some recommend leaving the kitten in the same room as their litter box for the first couple of days. They can get used to where it is and how to use it.
- Spay and neuter. When my Saya got out of the house for the first time, I was worried that she was going to come back pregnant because we hadn’t had the chance to have her spayed. There was no way I would be able to afford her as well as a litter of kittens. Getting your cat fixed makes for a happier, healthier cat, and you’ll be a happier owner too. Fixed cats don’t go into heat, are less likely to spray, and have lower odds of getting into fights.
Too often I hear from people who don’t know how to take care of their kittens, so it doesn’t hurt to remind owners new and old of basic things to do to make sure their kitten grows up happy and healthy.
What tips do you have for a new kitten owner? Leave a comment and let us know!
Featured Image: Diego Dómina (modified)