There’s nothing more exciting than getting a new pet—and adding a kitten to your family can bring lots of joy! However, getting a new pet is always a big commitment because a kitten requires a lot of time and energy. A lot of things go into good kitten care, including preparing the house and family, booster shots, training, and more!
If you want to learn more about the best kitten care, contact Germantown Vet today at 240-252-7467240-252-7467!
Kitten Care Step 1: Preparing the Household
There are two parts to preparing the household for a new kitten:
- Preparing the house – Kitten-proofing the areas of the house where your new pet is going to spend most of his or her time is incredibly important. This includes things such as:
- Taping down loose electrical cords
- Storing household chemicals on high shelves
- Removing plants, rugs, breakables, and basically anything else you don’t want chewed or broken
- Preparing the family – There’s more to getting ready than setting up the house—you and your family are going to need to talk about a couple very important scheduling details. Straighten out the answers to questions like:
- Who is going to take the kitten to the litter box in the morning, afternoon, evening, and any other time of the day?
- Who is going to make sure the food bowl is full or provide feeding 3 – 4 times a day? Since your kitten is going to be growing so quickly and using a lot of energy, he or she will require a lot of calories.
- Who is in charge of making veterinary appointments? You can’t let this one slip between the cracks because going to a reputable veterinarian and getting the necessary vaccinations and deworming is very important to your kitten’s health.
Kitten Care Step 2: Getting the Right Supplies
A big part of good kitten care is getting all the right supplies. You’re going to need things such as:
- Food and water bowls
- Carrying crate – you’re going to need this any time you’re traveling with your cat (to the vet, visiting relatives, etc.), and we recommend getting a crate for the adult size of your cat, and partitioning it off while your cat is still a kitten
- ID tag
- Food – getting the right kind of food for your kitten is very important. You should always buy the highest quality cat food you can fit into your budget—talk to the professional vets at Germantown Vet to learn more
- Toys – this should include a scratching post or other appealing scratching toys
- Cleaning supplies – you should get something that has an odor neutralizing enzyme in it—ask one of our experts for a list of great cleaners
- Grooming supplies – brush, cat shampoo, toothbrush, cat toothpaste, etc.
Kitten Care Step 3: Making a Vet Appointment
Kittens require a lot of vaccinations and initial vet care to ensure a healthy life. There will be a series of shots, including a rabies vaccination, distemper vaccinations, and more. These are absolutely essential to your kitten’s health and need to be administered on a routine schedule. He or she will also need dewormings and flea and tick control. Learn more about vaccines for your kitten »
These procedures, along with all other vet care, should be handled by an experienced and professional veterinarian, like the ones at Germantown Vet. We can help you get your new kitten started on the right track, and we even offer an affordable kitten health care plan starting at just $36 a month that includes all of the necessary vaccinations, lab work, and parasite control, as well as discounts on certain products and services. Contact us today to learn more!
Kitten Care Step 4: Training Your Kitten
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to train a cat! It just takes patience, determination, and a little bit of creativity! The first step in training your kitten is finding a treat that your cat absolutely loves—try things like cooked chicken breast diced into tiny cubes, tuna, cat treats, or meat-flavored baby food.
Once you’ve identified the treat your cat goes crazy about, use basic positive reinforcement training to teach him or her the behavior you want. Simply reward your kitten every time he or she performs the goal task—but only work on training for a few minutes at a time because your kitten will get bored.
You can also use a clicker to associate the desired action with reinforcement. For instance, use a pen that clicks and click it and give your kitten a treat as soon as he or she does a task, such as sitting, waiting, etc.
Kitten Care Step 5: Litter Box Training Your Kitten
Housebreaking your kitten is much like any other training—it requires consistency, patience, a positive attitude, and timing. Like a human baby, kittens don’t have great control over their bladders and once they need to go they need to go!
Take your kitten to the litter box and place him or her inside after a nap, a meal, playtime, or whenever your kitten seems inclined to use the bathroom. Then consistently use positive reinforcement for litter box training—act excited every time he or she uses the litter box and reward with treats, your voice, and petting.
Remember, your kitten might end up going to the bathroom outside the litter box, and your pet is likely going to have setbacks in his or her training. This is incredibly normal and is nothing to be worried about, just continue with your training and positive reinforcement!
Learn More About Kitten Care
Learn more about good kitten care by contacting Germantown Vet today! We can schedule your kitten’s veterinary exams and help with training, nutrition, and more. Contact us today!