Cats are great pets but need a lot of care and attention. Cats can live 15 years or more if properly cared for, so it’s essential to learn to take care of your kitten right from the start.
Know what you’ll need before bringing your kitten home
Before bringing your kitten home and thinking about all the cat tricks you will teach it, you’ll need to have a few things on hand.
- A cat carrier for transporting your kitten.
- A litter box for your kitten’s bathroom needs.
- Litter for the litter box.
- Food and water bowls for feeding and drinking water, respectively. In addition, it’s good to have some toys around that your kitten can play with to keep her entertained! If you’re interested in buying treats, check out [this article](https://www.wikihow.com/Buy-Cat-Treats) for tips about where to buy them from!
Take care of your kitten with a proper diet
It is important to give your kitten a proper diet. Cats are carnivores, meaning they need meat and water for their dietary needs. A balanced diet for cats will include meat or fish as well as kibble (dry food) supplemented with fresh water.
Get your cat vaccinated
Your cat needs to be vaccinated against rabies, feline leukemia, feline distemper, and calicivirus. You may also choose to vaccinate it against herpesvirus and panleukopenia (a disease caused by a virus). Don’t worry about the extra vaccines for now; if you want to include them in your kitten’s vaccination schedule later on down the line, that’s fine too.
Take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups
It’s important to take your cat to the vet for regular check-ups. To ensure that your cat is healthy and happy, you should schedule an appointment with a veterinarian when they’re between eight weeks and eight months old. The vet will examine them and ensure they are in good health, including their eyes, ears, teeth, overall body condition, and more.
If your kitten goes outside often or eats grasses (especially if it’s wild), you’ll want to bring them in sooner—ideally within the first week of them being home with you! This will help avoid infections or parasites that could harm their immune system.
Be sure your cat is spayed/neutered unless you plan to breed it
Spaying and neutering are surgical procedures that completely sterilize a cat. They are the best way to prevent unwanted kittens and reduce aggression, marking, and spraying behavior. The surgery can be done at any age for both male and female cats. It is not painful for the cat, but they may need some time until they recover from anesthesia.
Litter-train your cat
Litter box training is essential for your cat’s health. Cats are clean by nature and will not use the bathroom in your home if they have a litter box available.
Your kitten will be most comfortable using the same litter box you used with her mother before bringing her home. This way, she knows where to go when she feels the urge to urinate or defecate.
You must provide adequate litter boxes for each cat in your household, so there’s always one available when needed. If you have more than one cat, make sure there are enough boxes to accommodate all of them at once comfortably.
Keep your cat’s nails trimmed
If you’re a new cat owner, it can be challenging to know how often to trim your kitten’s nails or have to take care of your kitten at all. While some people opt for professional groomers or veterinarians to do the job, you can also learn how to clip and file your feline friend’s nails at home. Here’s what you need to know:
There are two types of nail clippers—guillotine and scissor-style. Both work well on kittens and cats, but guillotine clippers are easier for beginners due to their self-sharpening blades. Scissor clippers tend to be more expensive than guillotines, so if you’re starting with this process, stick with guillotines until you get comfortable enough with them that they don’t scare you off!
File down the sharp edge from any nail that is too long before cutting to prevent injury during clipping time! After filing, you’ll want all the tips rounded off, so there aren’t any jagged edges left behind.
Take care of your kitten’s hair
Once a day, brush your kitten’s coat with a soft-bristle brush. This will remove loose hair and keep the coat shiny and healthy. If your cat is an outdoor cat, she may need to be brushed more frequently to avoid mats forming in her fur. Brushing can also help you bond with your pet by giving them attention, so it’s important for both of you!
You can buy toothpaste made just for cats. Still, it’s okay if you don’t have any on hand—use regular toothpaste that would be safe for human mouths. No baking soda or other abrasive ingredients should be present (but do check labels even on “human” brands!). Brush both sides of each row of teeth with short strokes at first; once they’re used to this process (especially if they’ve had bad experiences with their own previous owners’ attempts), work up toward longer strokes until you’re able to reach back without causing discomfort or pain.
Trim claws every week or two while they’re still young; older cats may need them trimmed less often since their claws will grow slower after maturity sets in
Cats are adorable, but they’re also a lot of work. If you’re thinking about getting one, do your research first! Kittens are an investment that will last for years. Knowing what you’re getting into and what needs to be done to properly take care of your kitten before bringing one home is important.