Welcoming a furry bundle of joy (and claws) to your home is an occasion for celebration, but after the honeymoon period wears off how are you going to look after it? Whether you’ve picked your purr-fect partner from a reputable breeder, or a forever-friend has found you; read on for a list of everything you’ll need to look after your new kitten!
Shots and Snips:
Before we get to the fun stuff, it’s imperative that your new friend is checked over by a trusted Vet. Cats and kittens are susceptible to a wide range of illnesses; some of which can be fatal. Once your Vet has given your cat-to-be a once-over, you should then consider having them neutered. Right now in Ireland there is a cat crisis and over 250,000 cats in the country are feral. The last thing you want is more mouths to feed, so having your kitten neutered is the best solution! Besides not being in danger of inheriting more kittens, neutering your cat can help prevent cancers and illnesses later in life.
Bowls, Beds and trays:
Using porcelain bowls are ideal at this early stage of your kitten’s life, but you need to settle on a permanent solution before they grow too attached to their current plate. The ideal bowl is one your cat won’t strain themselves trying to eat from; the same goes for their water bowl. The same goes for their bed too, whether it’s a box and a blanket or a top-of-the-line pet-centric solution from your local pet shop. Litter and litter trays on the other hand are a slightly more difficult affair.
Cats are naturally proud creatures and the same goes for your little kitten. They instinctively want to hide and dispose of their waste, so it’s best if you give them the right tools for the job! Cats are often quite picky about their tray and litter, so finding a duo that works is often better than finding one that looks good. Trial and error are, unfortunately, going to be your best friends in relation to this.
Contrary to popular belief, all cats and kittens should be given water, not milk. On rare occasions cream can be given as a treat or Goat’s milk to still-weaning kittens.
Toys, Treats and Cuddles:
Once your kitten has become accustomed to their new surroundings (and living conditions), it might be time to start thinking about play. Kittens require a lot of attention and can quickly become bored, leading to destruction and tom-foolery the likes of which you’ve never seen. At this early stage in their life, it’s also important that you give them plenty of love, cuddles and warm places to relax – as we’ve said, kittens thrive on attention but always remember, they won’t be that small forever!
As far as toys go, we always stick to the old adage; if it looks stupid but it works, it’s not stupid. Cats honestly have no time for state-of-the-art playing devices and far prefer the simple things in life; old cardboard tubes, the arm of your couch, the box from your last delivery. Again, if they want to wrestle with the kitchen roll for an hour or two, perhaps that’s not the worst thing in the world!
Catnip, a popular and all-natural mood enhancer, can be given to adolescent cats in moderation. The results of which can vary, but it can often lead to many You’ve Been Framed! moments that you wish you’d caught on camera.
Food, Glorious Food:
Food can be another sticking point when it comes to picky purr-ers; trial and error are, again, your friend here. A common trick that worked for me was to buy one of every flavour of food in the supermarket and try little bits of them all. Once I’d found one that my Shadow liked, that was it; I’d found the food I’d be feeding them for life. Royal Canin have specialty diets suited to kittens with certain conditions, but feeding these specialty diets is only recommended after you’ve spoken to your trusted Vet. Again, if your kitten is clearing the bowl every single time, then don’t worry too much about what you’re feeding them!
While you can prepare for most things, owning a kitten is a funny sort of affair. Once they’ve gotten settled you’ll soon start to pick up on the emerging facets of their personality. This’ll no doubt help you suss out what they like and don’t like, ultimately helping you decide what you’ll need and what you won’t! For everything else, you can phone us on (01) 8227270.
Be good, cat-fans!