There are few things more exciting in a pet owner’s life than bringing home a new kitten. However, beyond the initial excitement, taking on this pet means committing 10 to 15
years of care—or more. It pays to put some thought into addressing the needs of this new resident in your home. Your kitten will require some time and patience to adjust to its new home, just as you will need to adjust to this new addition.
If you have other pets, be sure to introduce them gradually. Young children should be supervised when playing with kittens and taught to handle them with care and respect.
All kittens need certain basic resources, such as the provision of food and water. Your new kitten should have its own food and water bowls, placed in a quiet area. Be sure they are not accessible to dogs or other animals. Your veterinarian can recommend a good kitten diet. Fresh water should be available at all times. Be sure to clean all food and water bowls thoroughly on a regular basis.
A litter box is the next priority. It should be provided in a quiet but accessible location. Make sure it is not too tall for the kitten to climb into. There are many different litters available on the market (see PETS Magazine, March/April 2005, pp. 8-10), but cats generally prefer very fine-grained materials. Waste will have to be scooped out daily and the box completely emptied, disinfected and refilled with fresh litter on a regular basis.
Most kittens will start to use their litter box once they are shown its location, but it also helps to take a new kitten to the box after meals and naps. Some kittens will benefit from being confined to one room in the house until they are using the litter box consistently.
Another essential is a sleeping area. A cat bed will serve as a refuge when your kitten needs peace and quiet, so put some thought into its location. It should be in an area that is quiet and secure. Also, cats often prefer sleeping in places that are elevated above the floor.
There are many different types of cat beds on the market. Be sure to select one that is durable and washable. . ..... [Read complete article]
Symposium on Feline Health