Having a kitten in the house is beautiful, and everyone loves them. However, taking care of kittens is different than a grown-up cat.
Cats are usually adaptable to their surroundings and capable of communicating and managing independently, while kittens are yet to learn all that. Taking care of a baby cat requires more vigilance and effort as they are not able to thrive on their own and need constant upkeep.
Let’s tell you all you need to know about the care of a baby cat.
If you have a kitten whose mother is not around, you will have to take additional measures to keep them safe and healthy, one of which is keeping them warm.
Young cats usually curl up and cuddle with their siblings or mother to keep themselves warm. But, in case the mother is not around, you can make sure to keep them warm by creating a small bed for them. Use warm material like fleece or other soft cloth to help them preserve as much body heat as possible. Keep your baby’s bed in a quiet corner of the house away from children and other pets.
Newborn kittens open their eyes after around seven to fourteen days of birth and need continuous assistance with all tasks. While most kittens are nursed by their mothers, others need formula milk when the mother is not there. Do not buy milk for your cat off-the-shelf without talking to the vet. Consult your vet to choose the right milk for your little baby.
Also, vets suggest not feeding the cat on their back, and babies can choke in that position. Tilt them slightly or lay on their back while offering a bottle till they are full. Opt for an appropriate food choice once your fur baby is ready to move to other food options.
Cats, especially the small ones, cannot groom themselves and need proper grooming. Talk to your vet and find the right brush for your cat, depending on their breed and brushing needs. We have reviewed Persian cat brushes and maincoons brushes to help you find a better one. Starting to groom your cat early prevents tangling and matting and avoids dermatological issues.
Unlike humans, cats do not have the instinct of urinating or defecating at an early age. Kittens need proper litter box training, so you do not see them peeing or pooping around the house in places difficult to clean. It can take some time.
Get a litter box and encourage your cat to sit in it. Canada’s Pet Information Centre suggests that you wipe the cat’s urogenital area gently with a warm washcloth until they urinate. You may need to practice this several times a day until your cat learns to do the business on her own.
Don’t worry, it does not take a lot of time, and you will see your baby cat using the litter box by themselves quite soon.
Newborn kittens are highly susceptible to diseases and should visit a vet as soon as possible. You may try your best to keep the baby cat safe, yet sometimes they may have an issue that you are unaware of. It is best to take your fur baby to a vet within the first two weeks of birth for a thorough examination, and they can evaluate the kitten for diarrhea, lethargy, and motor skills development.
While spaying or neutering is not exactly part of a newborn cat’s health routine, it is a must-knowing if you plan to keep the kitten with yourself. Spaying (female cats) and neutering (male cats) is usually performed around 6 months. Yet, the vets advise it early in some cases. Ensure to consult your vet and get your pet spayed/ neutered at the recommended time.
The Bottom Line
Taking care of a baby cat requires you to be more vigilant than a grown-up cat, as kittens are more dependent on you for their needs. Comfort, feed, train, and take care of their health till they turn into big cats who can take care of themselves to some extent. The given tips will surely help you take care of a kitten better until they grow up or you find a shelter for them.