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Must Know Tips for Raising Kittens

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Has your cat given birth? Or are you the proud recipient of kittens? I know how you’re feeling right now. You’re excited but at the same time anxious in raising kittens. Read on and find out my must-know tips for raising kittens so that you can raise these baby cats into healthy, happy adult cats.

1. Feed orphaned kittens with milk replacerFeeding a kitten milk

The mother of the kittens would provide her newborns everything they need for the first four weeks. If the kittens you have at home have been separated from their mother, I suggest you look for a new mother cat who may nurse the orphaned kittens.

If that’s not possible, ask a veterinarian about bottle-feeding the kittens with a commercial milk replacer. Powdered milk replacer is more recommended than the liquid version.

Just don’t feed them with cow’s milk because it won’t only provide proper nutrition but also cause diarrhoea, a life-threatening condition for kittens.

Once the kittens go past the four-week mark, access to milk replacer should be gradually decreased. Solid foods should be introduced during this period. Kittens will naturally eat more solids by the time they reach four weeks of age. As they reach eight weeks, they will solely be eating solid foods.

2. Add variety to their diet

Adding variety to the diet of kittens is important because cats are known for developing strong dietary preferences at such an early stage. Kittens would develop a bias towards dry food, especially if they are fed with this early on in their lives. I know a lot of cat owners who like to give dry foods because it is cheaper and more convenient to serve.

If you intend to go this route, I recommend that you regularly give them canned meats. Canned foods can prevent and treat common feline health problems like chronic kidney disease, obesity and diabetes mellitus.

3. Keep your kittens warm

Aside from feeding, another concern needing to be addressed is keeping the kittens warm. Cold nights are definitely welcome for most people but not for a wet kitten. Therefore keeping your kitten dry becomes of paramount importance.

Use a towel to dry off wet kittens. You can also use a hairdryer on a very low setting for this purpose but don’t blow it in his face.  You can also put some soft blankets or towels in the bottom of a box then place the box in a warm spot. Other pet experts suggest placing a pet heating pad under the bedding. Don’t use a human heating pad because it can burn a kitten’s skin.

4. Prioritise preventive care

Preventive care is important as it can help ensure that your kitten will lead a long and healthy life. It is advisable to schedule an appointment with the vet within a week of getting your kitten. Early vet visits will also help the young cat in becoming familiar with the specialist.

During the first check-up, ask the vet about common health problems that plague kittens like intestinal parasites and fleas. The latter is considered the biggest parasitic threat to young cats.

Other vaccinations that your vet may recommend include anti-rabies and distemper shots. These shots may be first administered to kittens as young as 8 weeks old.

5. The proper way of training kittens to sit

Just like in feeding kittens, the type of training that your kittens will receive can impact their socialisation skills as they grow older.
Teaching a kitten to sit is one of the first things pet owners try to do. Sitting is a base behaviour that teaches cats to be polite and calm.

In order to teach kittens how to sit, they should be rewarded right at the beginning. Say “yes” or “good” the very moment their bottoms touch the floor, then bring in a reward like a favourite canned food or even a banana.

Just be sure not to give the kitten foods like grapes, raisins, and currants as they contain a toxin that can damage the feline’s kidneys.

If your kitten stands on it’s hind feet, the treat should be kept away out of reach until all feet are on the floor. This should give the kitten a clue that she is not being rewarded for unwanted behaviour.

And finally, schedule the meal times to train your kitten because she/he would be hungry and thus interested in your treat or reward.

Playing with a kitten6. Socialising with kittens

Kittens as young as seven weeks old should be trained to socialise with people. Many felines are afraid of humans because they were not exposed to people when they were younger. Thus, it is critical to teach kittens to socialise with people as early as possible.

You can use treats and toys to encourage kittens to socialise with you as well as your family members. It is also advisable to make kittens comfortable around other animals like dogs.

Conclusion

Kittens may be cute but they’re definitely tougher to take care of than adult cats. But if you follow the tips I have shared, then you would likely have a less difficult time caring for them.



 


   

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