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The Top Ten Steps To Raising A Happy Healthy Kitten

As far as cuteness goes there is nothing more adorable than a kitten, however, like all youngsters, they need very specific care and attention to stay healthy.

Paying close attention to their wants and needs will not only keep you both bonded, something you will have for life, it will also make sure your kitten says both healthy and happy.

When caring for your kitten there are a number of things that you should consider. Bear in mind that your kitten’s first few months of life outside the womb will shape their future behavior.

So it is extremely important that you form a strong connection with your new family member. For that to happen it is very important you learn how to take care of your kitten.

1/ How to Raise a Kitten

The first step is asking yourself how will I raise a happy healthy kitten? First off you are about to find raising your kitten to be a very rewarding experience. But as many cat owners have found there are bound to be a few ups and downs, especially in the first few days.

Depending on your kitten’s personality, you may find when you bring them home they may hide from you, avoid their litter box and be more than just a little apprehensive. This is all completely natural.

 If you’re wondering how to look after a new kitten, here are the most important aspects:

-Feeding

-A safe and suitable environment

-Veterinary care

-Grooming

-Good hygiene

-Socialization

-Playtime

-Giving your kitten space

-Litter box training

By no means are these the only things you should take into account when care for your kitten. You should always make sure your kitten has had all of their vaccination shots and enough socialization.

You also need to seriously think about whether you want to spay or neuter them.

⇒ Check out these guides to the Best Cat Products and the Best Cat Litter.

2/ Feeding

Not surprisingly the most critical part of taking care of your kitten is when feeding it. Try to keep them on the food they are used to when your first bring them home is very important.

A sudden or drastic change could cause stomach upsets. If you want to change their diet try to ease them into it instead.

Choosing the right kitten food is not something to be taken lightly. After all, if their nutritional needs are met they will grow into happy healthy cats. The first choice you need to make is if you want to feed your kitten wet food or dry food. Even a combination of both is an option.

This is a choice only you can make, if you have any doubts you can always consult a vet. What food you choose will affect how often you feed your kitten.

⇒ Check out these guides to the best treats for cats and a complete cat feeding guide wet and dry food.

cat stares at small bowl with dry food

The convenient thing about dry food is tyhaty you can leave out an unlim ited amout and your kitten will decide when it wants to eat. Wet food however can be more expensive so you will need to establish regular feeding times for your kitten.

Not surprisingly kittens are small creatures. As small creatures they also have small stomachs, so need to be fed small amounts frequently. Cats usually adore wet food, usually wolfing it down in no time, so feeding needs to be paced. Making sure your kitten also has regular access to water is a must.

⇒ USA – Shop for Kitten Food

⇒ UK – Shop for Kitten Food

3/ Grooming

Cats are pretty much the Kings and Queens of keeping themselves tidy and clean, but there are some things their owners need to do to make sure they stay in good shape. Keeping your kitten well-groomed is a good way to learn how to look after your new companion. It helps you check on signs of pest attacks and or illness.

Keeping your kitten regularly groomed is the best way to keep your pet comfortable without picking them up. While grooming you can check their eyes, ears, nose, and other parts of their body.

Grooming cat with tool for shedding hair.

A good cat brush allows you to remove excess hair and dirt from your kitten’s coat. Grooming for long-haired cats is a daily necessity and goes a long way to preventing tangles and mats.

If you are an allergy sufferer, giving your cat a regular bath can help to lessen the effects. This is important when they are losing their winter coat, and can also help to lessen the amount of fur left around your house. Beware of kitty claws at bath time.

Regularly brushing your cat can also lessen the frequency of hairballs. Bathing your kitten will also help them get used to bath times.

Clipping your kitten’s nails is a personal choice. For some cat owners, it is a big no-no as a cats nails are an essential part of their daily life. Some owners however prefer to at least keep them clipped as it saves furniture damage and makes playtime with your pet less painful. You should never under any circumstances declaw your cat.

⇒ For everything you need to know about taking care of your finicky feline check out this guide to How to Groom a Cat, the Best Cat BrushCaring for Cats guide and this quick cat check-up guide.

Photo Courtesy of Traci LawsonCC BY 2.0

If you decide trimming your kitten’s claws is something you want to do, start when they are young. Trying to trim your cat’s claws as adults could turn into a nightmare for both of you.

4/ Good Hygiene

Good kitten hygiene is very important for the continued health of your kitten. Part of this is ensuring your kitten as easy access to their litter box, and also making sure it is regularly cleaned. The litter box should also be kept away fro eating and resting areas.

Kittens sitting in kitty litter tray

A common problem with new kittens is not using the litter tray, even if they’ve been house trained. Usually, they’ll do this if there’s something wrong with the tray.

If your cat messes outside the litter box, make sure to put it in the box afterward. This will teach your little one where it’s supposed to go.

Also, make certain that your cat can easily get into the box and that the type of litter you’re using is familiar to them.

Placing them in the litter box after waking, playing, or eating is a good way to teach them where to go to the toilet. If this doesn’t get them to use it, try stroking them and then wiping their butt with a damp warm cloth.

Small gray kitten in plastic litter cat on floor

5/ Safe and Suitable Environment

One of the most tricky parts of learning to take care of a kitten is making sure it adapts to your home. Introducing them to a new environment with unfamiliar smells and curious people can be overwhelming for a little kitten.

They’re very sensitive little creatures, but with a little time, they’ll gain confidence and make themselves right at home.

Cute kitten playing red clew of thread on artificial green grass

Before bringing them home, make sure that your environment is safe, spacious, and full of places for your kitty to rest and hideaway. Removing any hazards from their surroundings is essential; kittens are generally inquisitive, and you don’t want them to get hurt.

If you can, try and bring something from their first home into their new home. This could be a blanket or a pillow. Not only will this comfort them, but it’ll also make them feel more at home.

6/ Socialization

When getting a kitten, exposing them to other people and vaccinated animals in your household is an integral part of caring for them. Proper socialization will help your feline grow into a happy, healthy cat, and it’ll prevent future problems. Here are some kitten tips for socialization.

The first few months of your new kitten’s life is a good time to expose them to a variety of things that they’ll encounter in their lives. Your kitty should get used to being stroked, played with and handled by other humans.

When they get older, they’ll likely only want affection on their terms, but it’s best if they are not afraid of it.

grey tabby cat in harness on grass

7/ Play

Kittens are generally very playful, and when they’re not sleeping the day away, they’ll be eager to play. Make sure you have a good collection of cat toys for them to play with. You should make time to play with your kitten every day.

Cat toys come with plenty of benefits for your kitty. They allow them to exercise their hunting instincts and keep them fit and healthy. It’s also a great way to bond with your new furbaby.

cute kitten playing with colourful toy

Toys that hide food and puzzle toys are a great way to keep your kitten entertained while stimulating their minds. While you’re at it, you should also get a scratching post; this will make for a very happy kitty while saving your furniture from your kitties claws.

⇒ For all things fun with your kitty check out these guides to clothing for cats, the best toys for cats, great gifts for cats, and an annual cat planner for kitty photo opportunities across the year.

8/ Giving Your Kitten Space

Cats are known for their independence, and kittens are no different. While they need love and care, they also need space. When you first bring a kitten home, they’re likely to hide under the bed or the couch until they get used to their new environment.

In my experience, if your kitten is hiding away, the best thing to do is nothing at all. Spend plenty of time in the room with them, but don’t engage them. They’ll soon get used to your presence, understand you’re not going to hurt them, and even come to sit on your lap.

kitten on wooden floor and with computer

Talking to your kitty is a great way to get them used to your voice and develop trust. Reading out loud or talking to them while you’re feeding them will make them comfortable in your presence.

Introducing your new feline to other pets and children should be done slowly. Your kitten will be naturally curious about others in the house but it’s best not to rush this.

Rather do a little bit every day. Just being in the same room as other animals and people is a great way to introduce your kitten.

For more sensitive animals I find that taking a warm damp cloth and wiping it first on your kitten’s forehead and then on your other animal’s forehead and vice versa is a great way to get them used to each other’s scent.

⇒ Don’t miss my guide to buying Cat Walking products, the 7 Best Escape Proof Cat Harness options and the Best Carrier for Cats.

kitten and pink mouse

You can also introduce animals from opposite sides of fences or glass doors. This way they can see or smell each other while remaining in a safe space.

9/ Veterinary Kitten Care

Finding a good vet is exceptionally important when caring for a kitten. It’s a good idea to choose someone you and your kitten can trust. They’ll be a great source of reliable information for any questions and concerns you might have about your kitty.

You’ll need to make sure your kitten gets their vaccinations as well as regular deworming from the vet. It’s also a good idea to invest in pet insurance if you’re able.

Veterinarian listening to cat's heart
.

This will make sure you can afford any care your new kitten might need.

A part of vet care is introducing your cat to their carrier. If you place it in their surroundings they’ll be able to get used to the cat carrier, making vet visits less daunting.

10/ Final Thoughts on Raising a Kitten

Finally the last is step is really just some final thoughts to pull everything we’ve discussed together. When you raise a kitten, most of the initial challenges can be solved with some love and patience. With these kitten care tips, before long they will be right at home, solidifying themselves as an invaluable part of your family.

Caring for a kitten is a labor of love, but having them fall asleep in your lap is one of the greatest things in the world. The sweet sound of purring makes raising a cat infinitely worthwhile

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