Everything You Need to Know About New Kitten Care in Mishawaka, IN
After hours and hours dreaming of getting a kitten, you’ve decided you’re ready to take the plunge. Bringing home a new kitten is a huge responsibility and commitment, but one of the most rewarding things you can do.
When you go to adopt your new kitten, make sure you pay close attention to his or her personality. Most kittens develop their personality around 6-7 weeks and will keep that throughout their life. For example, one that’s very playful and ornery will remain that way and one that’s more relaxed and not the alpha will always take a back seat.
Below, we’ll go over some very important tips on new kitten care for new cat owners in Mishawaka, IN.
Preparing for a New Kitten in Mishawaka, IN
Maybe you’ve pre-picked out your kitten and have a few days to get the home ready before she comes home. There are some supplies that you’ll need to make sure you have in order to keep her happy and healthy.
A Carrier Is a Must
You’ll want to get some sort of carrier to bring her home in. Having a kitten roaming loose in the car is not a good idea. Trust us from personal experience! They tend to sit and crawl in the most inconvenient places.
Plus, most veterinarians require you to bring your cat to the vet in a carrier.
Bowls for Food and Water
You’ll also need food and water bowls and a good quality food formulated for kittens. Your vet, breeder, or the shelter can recommend a couple of options for you.
Getting a Litter Box and Kitty Litter
Next, you’ll need a litter box and litter. There are lots of options and you may end up trying a couple of styles before it’s all said and done. Some kittens really make a mess with litter so look for a box with nice high sides and a maybe even a lid.
Scratching Posts Are a Kitten’s Best Friend
Another critical item is something for your kitten to scratch. It could be a post or a plank that lays on the ground. This helps them sharpen and maintain their claws without using your furniture.
Get Some Toys for Your New Kitten in Mishawaka, IN
You should make sure you have a few toys for your new kitten to play with. Most cats love lasers, balls with bells in them, or small stuffed mice.
Of course, you’ll find that kittens will play with just about anything. An optional item you could have for your new kitten is a bed. It’s an ongoing joke among cat owners that their cat has never slept in a bed they’ve bought for them. Cats can be finicky little creatures.
Get Some Simple Grooming Items
Pick up a brush or comb as well and some nail clippers. Cats groom themselves and stay fairly clean, but they do need to be brushed. If you start young and stay consistent, you can keep your cat’s claws trimmed to avoid ruining furniture or him scratching you or a family member.
Make Your First Vet Appointment for Your New Kitten
Last thing you need is to make sure you have a vet appointment scheduled to do a wellness check, any shots, and have your kitten microchipped. This will provide you peace of mind and keep your kitten healthy. Even if you have an indoor cat, they have a special way of escaping or wandering off.
Getting Your New Kitten Used to Your Home in Mishawaka, IN
Ok, so you’ve got all the supplies and it’s time to bring your new little friend home. Yay! The first couple of days it can be beneficial for your kitten to be kept in one room of the home.
It will be overwhelming to introduce them to a huge space. Try keeping him in one bedroom with all of his new things until he’s comfortable.
Some kittens may not like this, so observe how your kitten is handling all of the changes and go with the flow. If you’ve picked a little guy who’s fearless and has a brave personality, he may be ready to see the whole house the first day. Others will be shy and scared and need more time in a safe zone.
Tips for Feeding Your New Kitten
When it comes to feeding a kitten, there are a couple of ways to handle it. You can do a feeding schedule, or you can leave food out at all times and your kitten will eat when he or she is hungry. Either option is fine but be sure to go to a feeding schedule if your cat starts to get a little overweight as an adult.
Until around six months, you’ll need to feed your kitten 3-4 times a day. This is the stage that it might be easiest to free feed. From six to nine months you should reduce feeding to twice a day.
Once your cat is an adult at twelve months, you’ll start using adult food and feed twice a day. Again, if you choose to free feed, just make sure the bowl is full each day and provide fresh water. Kittens also love a water fountain if you want to provide one.
Potty Training for Kittens is Fairly Simple
Your kitten will likely show up understanding how to use a litter box, so there’s minimal potty training unlike with a puppy. Just show her where the litter is by putting her in the box every couple of hours for the first day or so.
Establish House Rules Early and Often for Your Kitten
Training a kitten to follow house rules is critical if you want a well-behaved cat. Decide ahead of time what you don’t want your kitten to do.
The saying “curious as a cat” is absolutely true and they will get into everything. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train a kitten. If she misbehaves, never hit or shake her. Simply ignore her or redirect her.
Some common things you may want to train would be to keep off of the counters, not chew on wires, or not sleep in the bed. Of course, you should know that cats are very independent so in order to train them you need to be consistent and patient. They definitely learn what they can get away with.
Socializing Your New Kitten is Key
Those first few weeks of bringing your kitten home are very important for socialization. This includes humans and other pets (given he is up to date on shots).
Kittens who aren’t around different people or animals can grow into adults that dislike change or are difficult to bring around new people. Let friends and family hold or pet him and groom him regularly. Take your kitten on car rides to get them used to trips.
You’re Ready to Knock New Kitten Care Out of the Park
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll have a happy, healthy, social, and well-trained kitten who turns into the same adult cat. Just remember to play with them, let them sleep, and give them lots of cuddles. Since cats have such strong personalities, they can make great pets.