When a kitten enters your home, it's an exciting time for everyone! Regardless of whether you're an experienced or first-time cat owner, it's a time of change. Little cats require special attention. Enjoy every minute because they grow up ever so fast! Like small children with doctors, young cats also need to see a vet from time to time. Regular health check-ups are a must and should take place once a year. However, kittens should be taken to the vet more often for basic immunisation against common infectious diseases. Sometimes though, you need to take your cat to the vet with typical “kitten ailments”. One example is diarrhoea, an often underestimated symptom.
Cat Health and Care
Unfamiliar noises and smells, unknown people, other animals and loud household appliances are some of the many things that a kitten must get used to in its new home. Here, you will read the best way to socialise your cat and how to make it easier for your kitty to settle in. When you first adopt a cat, it is an exciting time for all involved including the new owners, but also for the cat itself which must get used to its new house, unfamiliar people and a new daily routine. How your cat copes around the family, other animals and unfamiliar situations depends on how well socialised it is. But what does that mean exactly? How and at what age should a cat be socialised, and can older cats still be socialised?
In the first few weeks of life, kittens absorb a wealth of information from their mother and their siblings. However, the importance of bringing up a kitten through human contact cannot be overstated. This combination of learning from different sources is the best way to prepare your kitten for its journey through life. The cat mother will take care of the socialisation aspect: she will do everything she can to make ready her kittens for whatever comes their way and give them the wisdom to thrive as fully-fledged cats. The motto? Learn by doing. Your job is a little different: the first task is to make your new friend understand that the furniture in your home is not intended as a scratch post. It is generally helpful to understand why your cat does this before trying to change behaviours. Everyone knows that dogs use urine to mark their territory, but it is a lesser known fact that scratching releases odours to that serve as territorial markers. This scent is undetected by the human nose, but does not escape cats and other animals. Scratching also keeps claws sharp and healthy, while allowing cats to stretch and shake off any lethargy. So, scratching is totally normal behaviour for cats, and you should simply direct their attention away from your prized furniture and towards one of these cat trees or perhaps a scratching pads or boards. As long as you are patient and kind, you should easily be able to get this across to your cat.
Just like puppies, kittens have specific nutrition needs in order to support healthy growth and development. Breed, age and temperament can all play a part in establishing these requirements – for example, boisterous, adventurous kittens will naturally require more energy than sleepyheads! Although it may look cute, you should take care that your kitten is not carrying any “puppy fat”, as the ribs should always be easy to feel through the fur and a waistline visible to ensure a healthy weight. Choosing the right kitten diet is essential in providing your young cat with all the energy and nutrients it needs to support it through its early rapid growth stages.