Needless to say, all kittens are adorable. There’s nothing that compares to staring into those big, innocent eyes or listening to the baby kitten’s soft purr when it’s snuggling with you.
However, taking in a new baby cat isn’t all fun, games, and cuteness. Looking after a young pet involves nearly as much attention and proper care as handling a newborn human baby.
Baby kittens require much more than just some cat toys to play with. Before you bring one a baby into your home, you need to prepare yourself, prepare the environment, and also prepare the kitty itself.
So, how do you care for a new baby kitten that’s about to steal your heart?
Step 1: Prepare Yourself
Young cats aren’t potty trained and they’ll create lots of messes before they become accustomed to the litter box. Furthermore, due to the fact that they’re extremely playful and curious, you’re bound to have some furniture pieces ruined in no time.
Of course, not all cats are alike. Your kitten might prove to be the shy and quiet type, but don’t mistake its shyness or soft temper for depression. Prepare to be surprised by the kitty’s character and don’t rush into false conclusions.
Kittens require a lot of attention, so make sure you’re physically, financially, and psychologically ready to devote yourself to the new furry member of your household.
Step 2: Prepare The Environment
A change of scenery can be stressful for a young kitten, so make sure you equip your house or apartment beforehand. This means cat-proofing as much as possible and setting up a quiet and safe room for the kitty’s first weeks.
Kittens need lots of vitamin-packed food and in some cases might also need some additional supplements mainly due to the fact that their immune system is still weak. Remember that vitamins and supplements should never be used as substitutes to actual food.
Purchasing scratching posts, a cat bed, interactive toys, food, and litter is a must. Cat treats are also essential when it comes to training your kitten. (And at this age, they can learn a lot of tricks if you’re patient and supportive enough!)
As we mentioned above, kitties tend to create messes. As such, you’ll need to stock your home with pet-friendly cleaning supplies with all-natural formulas. And even if they’re pet-friendly, you should still keep them safely out of the kitten’s reach when not in use.
Our review process is unbiased and based on extensive research. If you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a commission.
Step 3: Prepare The Kitten
The best way you can prepare the kitten for its new home is to equip the home properly so it’s both safe and as appealing as possible. Use catnip for the kitty’s bed, scratchers, and toys. Provide a quiet and comfortable room and allow it to get accustomed to its new surroundings.
Bonding with the new cat is essential. Socialize with your kitty as much as possible, but don’t overdo it. Cats are capricious and need some alone time to rest properly, otherwise you’ll just stress them out or irritate them. If you have kids, make sure to properly introduce the children to the cat and teach them that the cute furball is not a toy.
Devote yourself to your new pet. Young kittens need to eat up to three times a day. Don’t give the kitty human food and don’t ever skip a meal. Clean the food and water bowls thoroughly after each meal and always provide the kitten with fresh water.
Monitor your cat’s growth and schedule frequent check-ups with the vet. Young kittens below the age of 1 require lots of care and affection not only because they develop their character and learn about the world around them, but also because they are at their most vulnerable.
Most kittens will get stressed out when they’re separated from their mother and you’ll need to allow your new furry pal enough time to adjust to its new home and to the people residing in it. If your cat is shy, help it socialize with treats, games, and verbal and physical praises.
If your kitten is scratching the furniture, don’t punish it. Instead, make the scratching post more appealing with catnip spray, and use Sticky Paws strips on the surfaces which the cat needs to avoid. Place lots of different scratching posts and pads in your cat’s room.
Don’t ever scold, slap, or punish your kitty in any way. Instead, use only positive reinforcement techniques when you need to train it. Cats don’t respond well to punishment and if you try to force it into doing or not doing something, you’ll not only confuse your pet, you’ll also make it associate everything around you with a negative experience.
If you’re one of those people who want to take their cat out for a walk on a leash, don’t do it while the kitty is less than 8 months old and don’t do it if it’s a new member in your household. This will only frighten the kitten.
Many cats end up homeless on the streets each year due to cat allergies. If your family is allergic to the Fel-d1 agent, opt for a breed which is suitable for people with allergies, or reconsider adopting in the first place.
Last, but not least, if you’re already the proud owner of a dog and you wish to get a kitten, make sure your current pet is an amiable, cat-friendly dog breed.
Welcoming an adorable kitten into your home might sound tempting, but it is, in fact, quite a big deal. If you devote yourself, your time, and your affection to taking care of your new kitten through all the ups and downs, it will most definitely reward you for all of your efforts and will cherish you for a lifetime.