In the first week, the mother cat will nurse and look after its newborn kittens. However, if you are planning on taking your new addition home in less than two weeks, then there are some tips that you must follow to ensure your kitten’s health and well-being:
1) The kittens should be kept indoors – even inside the box, they were delivered in – until they are at least three weeks old. This is for their own protection as it provides them a safe place to grow and develop without exposure to infections. Kittens under six months old should not be allowed outside where there is a risk of contracting illnesses and getting injured by other animals or physical objects (trees, cars, rocks).
2) A small box or crate will serve as a good temporary home for your kittens. Line the bottom with two to three layers of newspaper and replace it daily when soiled – this will allow you to keep the area clean while keeping the kittens safe. If you don’t have any newspapers at hand, then use a paper towel instead. This prevents their paws from getting injured by sharp objects such as nails and staples; remember that they are still very young and prone to injury, especially since they cannot fully control their movements.
3) During the first week, the mother cat will also teach her kittens how to feed. Until then, make sure that you are feeding them using a bottle (if they are ready to eat solids, you can start using a bowl but make sure that they will not reach the floor). To keep the food warm, submerge it in hot water for a couple of minutes and stir.
4) After two days, your kittens should start eating solid foods. Kittens can survive on cow’s milk until about 4 weeks old, although cat’s milk provides better nutrition. Ask your veterinarian whether you should feed them kitten or mother’s milk or commercial formula; this depends on their age (younger kittens need more nutrients from mother’s milk while older ones are better off with commercial formula designed to meet their specific growth requirements).
Diarrhea in cats generally indicates illness such as diabetes, kidney failure or other diseases, and stress. Take your kitten to the vet immediately if you observe any stool color changes (green and black cat poop can indicate internal bleeding), frequent visits to the litter box, or lethargy.
5) Kittens should be eating solid food by 4 weeks old; if they don’t, then try offering them canned food which is easier for their digestive system. Also, check that they are drinking at least two ounces of formula a day – increase this amount gradually until they are consuming 2/3 cup per day and then slowly reduce it back down again since cats do not need lots of milk when they’re older. Cats over six months only require about 1/2 cup per day: just enough to keep them hydrated.
6) Mix some water in with the formula to dilute it and maintain high moisture levels – kittens need lots of fluids as they are growing. Also, make sure that you avoid using cow’s milk as it does not provide the same nutrition level as kitten’s or mother’s milk.
Make sure to check your cat for worms (especially roundworms) at least once a month by purchasing deworming medication from your local pet store. This will prevent intestinal disorders while also ensuring overall good health. Regular veterinary visits are also needed for complete health monitoring; these can be scheduled weekly if you desire, but daily examinations may only be necessary when there is irregular defecation or excessive vomiting reported by the owner.
7) Beginning at four weeks of age, you can introduce your kittens to the litter box. An easy way to do this is by taking them to the box and gently tapping their paws into it – they will eventually start using it on their own. Have more than one box if you have multiple cats or just one in a large house; this allows each cat to maintain her own territory and not get annoyed when others use their boxes simultaneously.
8) Depending on how many kittens are present (one or two), there should be between five and seven boxes available, so they don’t fight over access. If this happens, you might notice either body language changes, hissing, or even physical damage such as scratches.
Be sure to take them to the vet at least once a year, but some cats require more frequent visits (every 6 months or every 3-4 months depending on how prone to illness they are) – this is crucial for early detection of diseases. This doesn’t mean that you can’t detect and treat problems yourself; it just means that regular veterinary care can ensure complete health even if treatment is started later (for example, at home, antibiotics may not be able to eliminate hairballs in your cat’s stomach, but a visit will remedy the situation).
9) You need to start brushing your kitten’s teeth as soon as possible since this helps maintain oral hygiene and reduces the risk of periodontal disease. When attempting it for the first time, make sure that you use a piece of gauze and some cat toothpaste designed for kittens; don’t be forceful but do press their little mouth open when they are getting used to it. You should also check their teeth regularly to ensure no bleeding if you notice any redness or swelling on the gums, change in eating habits such as less food being consumed, difficulty opening their mouth to eat, or vomiting.
10) Try to avoid overfeeding your kitten since this can lead to obesity which causes serious problems, including heart disease and diabetes. Overfeeding milk and especially other high-fat food items can contribute greatly towards this problem, so only give them what they need. Treats should be given sporadically because they can also add to weight concerns.
Once your kitten becomes an adult, their requirements for food will change, so make sure that you cut back on the amount of food they receive since this can contribute towards obesity and prevent them from living a long life (if there’s no fat to burn off then it is stored in the body which is eventually lethal). It’s best to talk with your vet about diet specifics, including tips on how much protein, fiber, and other nutritional needs should be included in certain types of dry food. This information isn’t readily available to consumers, but it can be discussed with veterinarians.
11) Kittens require more grooming than adult cats because their skin produces more oils – this results in hairballs forming more frequently (you might have heard of smaller versions called fur balls). As a precautionary measure, you should clean their face with warm water using a damp cloth and use a brush on the rest of their body to get rid of excess hair; be sure to trim their nails every couple of weeks as well.
12) Socialization is important for kittens if they are going to grow up healthy and happy cats. It would help if you introduced them to different people, pets, food types, and other experiences in early life so that they won’t shy away from unfamiliar situations when they become adults, even everyday tasks such as taking them outside or clipping their nails can help. One danger point comes between four months to six months in an age when they will become somewhat feral (in some cases, this may never happen, but it is best to be prepared) and becomes a little more difficult to take care of them.
13) Cats need to be exposed to light if they are going to maintain healthy eyesight, so even if you live in an apartment or other living space without windows, you should try and set aside time every day (even just for a few minutes) for your kitten to experience natural sunlight. Also, avoid keeping them away from any light source since this essentially leaves their eyes with no protection from the damage caused by ultraviolet rays – this may affect their vision problems later on in life such as cataracts or rare cases, telescopes can grow inside the cornea, which needs surgical removal.
14) You should keep kittens away from any toxic substance such as cleaning products, mold, pet deodorizer, or similar since this can be fatal if they ingest it. This may sound like a pointless tip, but you’d be surprised to see how many people still get their cats near these items despite knowing the potential dangers involved.
15) If your kitten is fixed before maturity, then the chances are that they will develop fewer health problems later on in life – this includes avoiding some reproductive cancers and reducing the risk of ovarian cancer along with T-cell lymphoma (these types of tumors usually stop growing around one year of age, so keeping them intact until after this point greatly reduces their chance of developing tumors). Also, keep in mind that certain behavior issues will start to show if your kitten is not fixed by adulthood, such as urinary tract infections, behavioral changes, and increased aggression.
16) Kittens can become injured quite easily, so watch out for any abrasions or cuts on their body – if they start to act strangely (such as a limp, loss of appetite, or similar indications), then you should take them in to see a veterinarian immediately because some wounds require immediate attention. This applies especially if the injury presents itself after encountering another animal since many creatures carry infectious diseases that may be fatal if left untreated. A good way to prevent this from happening is by keeping your cat’s vaccinations up-to-date; it’s also important to keep indoor cats indoors and outdoor cats outdoors so that they are less likely to obtain injuries or catch diseases.
17) When your kitten is born, it will be reliant on you for everything, but as time goes by, it becomes capable of living independently and can fend for itself, but doesn’t necessarily choose to do so (like asking you to feed it or keep the litter box clean). This means that you have an important decision to make – whether to let your cat go outside regularly since they can hunt and live on their own without any human interaction or bring them inside where they will need consistent care for their health. Naturally, this also gives you the option of doing a little bit of both depending on their personality and needs; some cats may suit being allowed outdoors during certain hours while others might not handle the pressure well at all. I’d recommend doing some research before deciding since it’s a hard one to make.
18) Kittens should not be spayed or neutered until after they reach maturity, particularly if you wish for them to have kittens of their own in the future – even then, there are some breeds that do best with being intact (such as certain wild cats and mountain lions which breed successfully regardless). When purchasing a kitten from a breeder, keep in mind that you may need to wait until their next heat cycle before carrying out any operation involving sterilization (this can vary depending on your veterinarian). If you buy an unaltered pet, keep in mind that you will need to take care of all the responsibilities associated with mating, such as de-sexing them when the time comes and treating any of their health issues.
19) Kittens must be taken to see a veterinarian for regular check-ups, so don’t forget about this – you should take them in at least once every few months to get an exam, vaccinations if needed, and worming tablets if required (these are usually taken only once although some kittens need it more frequently depending on age). This is also a good opportunity to ask your vet for tips or advice if there’s anything that you feel needs addressing with your kitten; they may recommend doing certain things such as avoiding feeding one type of food over another due to allergies or other similar tips which can help keep your kitten in good health. The sooner you seek professional help if you notice strange behavior or the appearance of any health issues, the greater chance your kitten will have of a full recovery.
20) Kittens that don’t get fixed may start to develop various behavioral problems towards adulthood which can be annoying for both them and their owners (if not taken care of). For example, an un-neutered male might begin spraying everywhere to mark his territory. It’s better to have this operation done before they become adults since it does reduce their chances of developing certain tumors (particularly affecting male cats due to their high levels of hormones). Also, keep in mind that certain behavior issues will start to show if your kitten is not fixed by adulthood, such as urinary tract infections, behavioral changes, and increased aggression.