In June, I will be adopting an 8 week old furball. This page will hold information I need in order to properly care for a kitten/cat. To anyone who may stumble across this, I highly recommend skimming through this entry if you ever plan to adopt a feline.
Kittens require a lot more attention than teen or adult cats, just as human babies do. Before adopting a kitten, please make sure that he/she is at least 7 weeks old. Kittens should not be taken from their mother until they are at least 6 weeks old. Unless you know how to properly take care of a newborn kitten, do not adopt at such a young age. 8 weeks is an average age to adopt a kitten.
Your kitten's development after adoption is on you. If you do not properly nurture your kitten through it's early stages in life you could risk not only it's social development, but it's physical health as well. Proper nurture will include play time, scheduled feeding time, clean up and flea control, and medical appointments.
• Play time
Play time is the easiest and funnest part, right? Pet and snuggle with your kitten as often as they let you (they will keep snuggling with you when they grow up if you do this regularly!) Get a few teasers and a scratching post. If you cannot afford to pay for cat toys, playing with string and allowing your cat to scratch on an old piece of furniture is just fine. I highly recommend getting a laser-pointer, they are very cheap and cats hardly ever get tired of them!
• Feeding time
You do not have to schedule feeding time, however it is highly recommended. Doing this will eventually let your kitty know to not beg for food throughout the day. He/she will end up adapting to the schedule. You must feed your kitten up to 4 times a day until he/she is at least 12 months old. You may have to go through different brands and flavors to finally find what your cat likes, and there is a possibility you will want to serve half dry and half wet food to wean the kitten off of pure wet food. If you are adopting from a shelter, ask them what the kitten is feed and if the kitten seems to like it decently; chances are you will want to go with whatever food they've been feeding him/her. Also, remember to change your cat's water daily!
• Flea control, clean up, and medical appointments
If you are adopting from a shelter or pet shop, you will most likely find that your kitten is either spayed/neutered and/or have had their first round of shots. It is up to you to take your cat in for it's second and third appointments. Having your feline fully vaccinated is very important. Remember to scoop out your cat's feces from his/her litter box every day. You do not need to fully clean and replace the litter every day; it should be replaced monthly. If your cat gets dirty, fill a decent sized tote with lukewarm water and purchase cat shampoo to bathe your cat. If you choose to wash them in a bathtub, do not leave the water running when you put your cat in the water; it will scare them and they will try to jump out of the water. As for flea care, it is recommended that you protect your kitten whether or not you think he/she will catch fleas. Even if your cat is all-indoors, there is still a high chance that it will catch fleas.
• Extra information
It is recommended to adopt kittens in pairs, or have another feline at home for your kitten to play with. Cats will grow better emotionally if they have a playmate to grow with them. Humans simply cannot do what other cats can. Please make sure that you neuter/spay your kitten. There are too many homeless/stray cats in the world already. Lastly, declawing is not something that you should ever contemplate for your cat. The procedure is not just simply taking their nails out, it is a part of their bones. The healing process takes a very long time and it is extremely painful and uncomfortable. Declawing takes away from a cat's character, it would be as if you took an authors hands and cut them off so that he could never write again. Declawing is a selfish and inhumane act.
Here is a list of materials that I will be using or have used for my pets. Remember to read the descriptions and ratings of whatever materials you may buy for your cat so that you get a better idea of what you'll be getting. You may want to ask your local shelter and/or pet shop what they would recommend for your cat. Keep in mind that some cats have different needs than others as well.
• Whisker city cat feeder set: $14.99 (bowl and water dish)
• Purina Tidy Cats Litter Box system: $29.99 (comes with scoop and breeze pads)
• Purina Tidy Cats Breeze Litter: $7.99 (monthly)
• Authority Kitten Food: $11.99 for 8lbs (every 2 weeks) (stop feeding at 12 months)
• Purina friskies poultry 24 pack: $9.97 (wet food, treat to wean)
Initial cash needed: $75+ tax
Monthly cash needed: $32+ tax and any extra treats
• Grreat Choice Nylon Cat Leash: $5.49
• Grreat Choice Nylon Cat Collar: $3.99
• Petlinks Pure Bliss Certified Organic Catnip: $4.99
• Toyshoppe 6 Wacky Wand Toys: $4.99
• Authority Dental Cat Treats: $2.99
• Grreat Choice Pet Food Dispenser: $16.99
Cash needed: $40+ tax
There is plenty more on my kitty wishlist. All items can be viewed at Petsmart.com or Petco.com
I have addressed the basics for taking care of a kitten. To those who may read this, I hope this has been informational or at least interesting in some sort of way. Have a cattastic day, my fellow kitty lovers!