14 tips to raise and care for your kitten |
good to know when buying or adopting a kitten
Do you have, or look at buying a kitten? Take advantage of the fun tips and facts that we have put together for you.
Just like a child, a kitten is naturally curious. He or she is trying to climb on everything and chews on everything. Therefore, make sure your house is kitten-proof: remove loose cables, close the balustrade of the balcony, place protective corners on sharp edges, cover the pond, check for poisonous plants and leave no windows or doors open.
Let your kitten discover its new environment at its own pace and show him or her the way to his sleeping place, food, drinking bowls and the litter box. Provide different hiding places. A kitten that has the ability to hide will blossom into a social cat. Cats love to climb and clamber, so you make them happy with steps and boards!
Is your kitten scratching the couch or hanging in the curtains? Chances are he’s going into puberty! The environment is becoming more interesting and boundaries will be sought, that’s just part of this phase of life. Don’t get angry, but make sure your kitten has plenty of alternatives to discover or play with.
Is your kitten allowed to go outside? Then it’s advisable to do so only after castration and chipping. Not all cats like to go outside. If you live in an apartment, you can place a cat run or attach mesh around the balcony (if you have a balcony). This allows your kitten to still get out and get some outside stimuli without actually going outside.
Cats (almost) always end up on their feet. This is because they have a reflex where they can rotate their body in a way that their legs always touch the ground first. Did you know that kittens already have this so-called “air righting reflex” between three and four weeks? However, this skill will only have been perfected to the last detail from six to seven weeks onward.
Did you know that cats in nature eat about thirteen small meals a day? So give your kitten a small amount of kitten food several times a day. Cats cannot handle large amounts of food at once. Never fast your kitten! Fasting causes fatty liver disease in cats, a condition that is difficult to cure.
A kitten can suffer from a worm infection. Kittens can already become infected with worms in the womb or through breast milk. Some worms can be transmitted to humans. With these precautions you can reduce the chance of a worm infection:
From about three weeks of age, a kitten instinctively starts digging and defecating on soft surfaces. This way he or she gradually learns to use the litter box. In a new environment always allow your kitten to learn where the litter box is! In the beginning, preferably use the same grit as the one where your kitten was born.
Teaching good habits: brush your kitten’s coat regularly with a soft brush. This way you remove loose hair and flakes, you stimulate blood flow and wounds, parasites and other abnormalities come faster to light. Coat care is also good for mutual bonding!
At he age of around five months, your kitten will exchange its kitten coat for an adult coat. You can help him or her through the shedding and remove loose hair by moistening your hand a bit after which you stroke her in the hair direction from head to tail. By combing regularly you can prevent your kitten from ingesting large amounts of loose hair during its washes. This will reduce the chance of forming hairballs.
Make an appointment with your kitten at your local vet, who can advise you on deworming, getting rid of fleas, and vaccinating your kitten. Don’t wait for the last moment; Teach your kitten in advance how much fun the travel basket is: use it as standard in the living room, possibly with something tasty in it like Prins Play & Care. When your kitten is accustomed to the travel basket, it makes going to the vet a party! Or at least less stressful :)
Did you know you can communicate with your kitten from a distance? Blink and turn your head away. This tells your kitten that you you don’t have any bad intentions. Your kitten will start blinking as well!
Step-by-step plan for stroking your kitten:
Playing with your kitten stimulates its natural hunting behavior, ensures movement and keeps your kitten alert and flexible. Always move toys away from your kitten, after all prey does not run towards a cat, and finish the hunting chain: make sure that your kitten can actually catch something at the end of the play (therefore preferably not using laser lights).
House rules ensure that your kitten knows what is, and what is not allowed in your house. It is important that everyone follows the same rules, so that your kitten does not get confused. Cats are smart and you can teach them a lot. You do this by rewarding desired behavior and distracting your animal from unwanted behavior. Never punish, as this will worsen the bond between you and your kitten!
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