If you got a new kitten for Christmas, you may still be trying to get up to speed on kitten care. While having a new feline family member can be fun, it also comes with plenty of responsibilities and challenges. But with a little planning and knowledge, you can get your kitten off to a healthy start that will set them up for a bright future. These 7 steps will help you ensure ongoing health for your Christmas kitten.
1. Keep Your Kitten Hydrated
Although cats don't usually require as much water as dogs, they still need access to fresh water at all times. So, make sure to always leave a bowl of clean water out for your kitten, and refresh it whenever it starts to get low.
If you notice that your kitten is not drinking much, try offering water in different containers to pique their interest. You can also encourage your kitten to drink more by feeding them canned food or adding low-sodium chicken broth to their water bowl.
2. Feed Them a High-Quality Kitten Food
When it comes to feeding your furball, you should always opt for high-quality kitten food. By doing so, you'll be able to provide them with all the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
A kitten's nutritional needs are different from an adult cat's, so make sure to feed specially formulated kitten food until they're one year of age. It's best to start with wet food as it's easier for your kitten to chew and digest. Talk to your veterinarian if you need help choosing the best food for your little guy or gal.
3. Brush Your Kitten's Coat Regularly
Brushing your kitten regularly will help remove dead hair, prevent mats and tangles, and leave their coat looking sleek and healthy. It can also help strengthen your bond with your kitten and allow you to check for problems like parasites and skin issues.
To groom your kitten, hold them on your lap and brush them gently in the direction of their hair growth. Make sure to provide plenty of praise and treats throughout the grooming process to ensure it's a positive experience for them.
4. Provide a Scratching Post
Scratching is a natural instinct for kittens, and it's important to provide them with a scratching post to keep their claws in tip-top shape. If you don't, your kitten will likely end up scratching on your furniture and carpets, which can quickly become a problem!
Look for a scratching post made from durable, natural materials like wood and sisal. You should also make sure it's tall enough for your kitten to fully stretch out when scratching. Remember, kittens grow up fast, so it's a good idea to choose a scratching post that's tall enough to accommodate an adult cat.
5. Play With Your Kitten Regularly
Playtime is an important part of your kitten's health and happiness, so make sure to interact with them regularly. You can do this by playing games, teaching them new tricks, or introducing them to exciting new toys. Toys like wand teasers, puzzle toys, and crinkle balls are all great options for keeping your kitten entertained.
A lack of physical and mental stimulation can lead to behavioral problems in cats, so it's important to keep your kitten busy. Try to find at least 30 to 45 minutes each day to play with them and maintain a consistent playtime routine. As an added bonus, playing with your kitten will strengthen the human-animal bond and spread feelings of love and joy!
6. Kitten-Proof Your Home
Kittens are curious furballs, and while it's fine to let them explore, it's vital to make sure you kitten-proof your home. Kittens are especially drawn to electrical cords and wires, so make sure to keep these out of reach or cover them with cord protectors to avoid any problems.
Other areas of concern include toxic flowers and plants, household chemicals, cleaning products, and medications. Make sure to rid your home of these items or keep them locked up and out of reach. In addition, block off access to any small spaces that your kitten could squeeze into and get stuck.
7. Take Them to the Vet for Regular Checkups
Finally, it's crucial to take your kitten to the vet for regular checkups. This will help ensure they stay healthy and happy throughout their lifetime. Follow your veterinarian's recommendations for checkups, and make sure to keep your kitten's routine vaccines up to date.
When visiting your vet, ask them any questions you may have about your kitten's health and behavior. Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with the information and support you need to care for your new furry family member.
Did you know that AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company) offers coverage for cats? Wellness Coverage provides reimbursement for a variety of routine and preventive care expenses, allowing you to focus more on the health of your pet and less on costly veterinary bills. Click here to get a cat insurance quote today!