Kittens are such an adorable addition to most homes. However, as with any living creature, they take a lot of time and care. Kittens are not as difficult as puppies, usually, however they still can be a handful. Learning how to take care of kittens means you will have to be patient because they’ll need training, medical intervention, and lots of love.
Getting Kitten Used to Your Home
If you adopted a kitten, you will need to allow it time to acclimate to your home. This can take up to two months, but often happens in two weeks or less. Depending on the breed mixture of the kitten, this could happen in as short as two days. However, if the kitten isn’t using the potty box correctly or seems skittish, give it time and a comfortable space to catch its bearings. Cats, in general, are strongly connected to smells. When they enter your home, they are bombarded by a plethora of new smells that are unfamiliar to them and surrounded by new faces. They need time to scope these smells and new people out in order to know they understand them and are safe.
A few aspects to pay attention to when first bringing a kitten home are as follows:
Make sure the potty box is easily visible and accessible. Remember, this is a new place for your kitten, they don’t know the layout of your home and may have trouble finding a hidden box. You will eventually be able to move it but, at least for the first couple weeks, keep it out in the open in a safe space to where they don’t have to go through “dangerous territory” to get to it. This will help ensure success where the litter box is concerned.
Try to keep from scaring your kitten. This means, if you have kids, try to keep them from overwhelming it while it’s acclimating. Trying to pick it up and love on it is ok in short spurts but, the main thing you want to do is give it time to get used to everything. When a kitten is overwhelmed, it can make it react in an aggressive manner even if it wouldn’t any other time.
Keep its food in a safe but open spot. Just like the litter box, the kitty may skip eating if they feel like they can’t safely get access to the food or if they have trouble finding it. Kittens will be slow to eat and drink their first couple days, on average. Expect this even if the food is in a safe space where they can find it easily.
Also cat’s do not like their water and food bowls right next to eat other. Their food can contaminate water and cause bacteria to grow. I recommend going with a water fountain right from the start, of course your tiny kitten may need to get a smidge taller depending on the model you get. Water fountains are more natural to cats and encourage more drinking keep them healthier. This is the fountain we have for our guys.
Keep an Eye on Their Health
The health aspect is probably one of the most stressful parts of learning how to take care of kittens. Kittens and cats in general, seem to have little health issues pop up often. Most of these issues are nothing to write home over. However, it’s always good to keep an eye on them.
Cats are prone to puking quite a bit because they have sensitive stomachs. This is pretty normal. However, if it’s consistent, a vet visit is always encouraged. Changing up their food can often help the issue but, there could be a plethora of other reasons causing it, if it’s not a normal occurrence.
See a vet right after adopting. Even if you adopted your kitten from a trusted source, you should always setup a vet appointment right away. It’s important to establish health parameters right off the bat. This also begins a relationship with the veterinarian, so you will not have to be meeting them for the first time if you have a medical emergency.
Take it to the vet at 8 weeks. A kitten will be ready for its shots, worming, flea treatment, etc. at this age. This will ensure its sensitive little immune system is protected from anything it might run into.
Watch for strange behaviors. If your kitten is having trouble eating still after the first few days, is throwing up constantly, has diarrhea for more than a day, acts lethargic, is losing weight, etc. it’s always a great idea to take it to the vet. This could be a sign of a serious underlying issue. Of course, there are some things you can do at home but, if you’re new to owning a kitten, I wouldn’t suggest trying to tackle it on your own just yet.
Conclusion on Caring for Kittens
It may seem like there’s a lot to tackle when it comes to learning how to care for kittens. However, once you start, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Major issues don’t pop up often, and if you check with your vet from the start, you should be in a pretty good position. Overall, show your kitten a ton of love, patience, and protect it as if it were your child. They rely on you to protect them from that big scary world.