It's not easy to think of an animal that is cuter than a kitten, which is one of the reasons why they are so popular with pet owners. Kittens are known for their playfulness, wide-eyed innocence, and curiosity, qualities which make them very fun pets to own. However, there are some things that any kitten owner should know when their cat gives birth to kittens or they get a kitten from a pet store or other method. Here are some of the basics on caring for kittens.
The first thing that you should know is that kittens should stay with their mothers for the first eight weeks of their lives. They will feed off of their mother's milk until that time, after which they will be ready to start eating solid food. This is around the age when many kittens are given away or sold to interested parties, so if you bought a kitten or were given one, chances are you got them at about this age.
After eight weeks of age, milk may be enjoyed by the kitten but is not necessary. It is important, however, to begin giving your kitten water each day. Since kittens are playful, use a heavy and stable bowl for water as well as food, or you'll be cleaning up some messes later on! You can give them either dry or canned food, but it is important to give them food that is specially made for kittens and not older cats. This is because the nutritional needs of kittens are much different than it is for adult cats.
The litter that you use for your kitten should be non-"clumping", at least until the kitten is three months old. Also, while it sounds obvious, it bears mentioning when discussing caring for kittens that the litter box should be of low enough height that the kitten can get in and out of it! Finally, make sure to take the kitten to the veterinarian, where all the necessary check-ups will be done and you can be informed on regular veterinary care that will be needed.
Finally, even a basic guide on caring for kittens is not complete without an emphasis on the kitten's social development. By petting your kitty often and all over its body, it will become accustomed to your touch and the touch of other humans. Do not speak in loud voices, as this will make your kitty wary of you. Encourage playfulness, and discourage excessive roughness with a loud, sharp noise instead of physical punishment, which will confuse or even harm your kitty.
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