There’s no denying that raising animals can be challenging, especially when they’re very young. Raising a dog or cat is like night and day compared to raising a puppy or kitten, as the slightest mistake could have disastrous consequences. We will focus on the latter, as kittens tend to need specific types of care compared to puppies.
Kittens are much more vulnerable but typically grow up more independent than most dogs. But, of course, that means they still have to grow up, and it’s up to you to ensure that your kittens are cared for as they grow into loving cats. Here are a few tips to help raise kittens and give them the best care.
The First Eight Weeks
The kitten should be with their mother and other littermates during the first eight weeks. These kittens are highly vulnerable and are unable to regulate their temperatures. They rely on each other to survive, which is why it’s an absolute no-no to try to take a kitten away from its littermates.
If you take in a kitten without its mother or littermates, be prepared to learn how to care for a tiny kitten. They have a specific diet and will also need help peeing and pooping. It’s best to get professional help if you have to take care of an orphaned kitten in its first eight weeks.
Eight Weeks to Four Months
Kittens are usually eating a proper kitten diet by their eighth week, which usually involves specially formulated cat food for the little ones. Kittens after eight weeks tend to be very curious, and it’s also a dangerous time for the kitten if you leave them unsupervised for too long. Once they’ve grown to the first month or two, their energy will spike up drastically. They’ll have far more energy than an adult cat, and they’ll be very playful. They’ll have to be fed three to four times a day to keep up with their overall growth.
Four Months and Beyond
The time of sexual maturity isn’t really something to be underestimated, especially when it’s a cat. Cats can be territorial—leading to spraying—and you could even end up with more cats if you happen to be raising a female. If you don’t want accidental litters, four months is about the time you should consider neutering or spaying. It’s also around this time when you’ll want to have a bit more fun with your cat outside, so it’s never a bad idea to learn how to measure for cat harness.
By the time they reach sexual maturity, cats can grow to be extremely independent, minding their business more often than not. They’ll take far less work compared to dogs at this point.
Caring for cats can be wonderful, and learning how to raise and treat your kittens right is crucial if you want them to grow up and lead healthy lives. Cats can be just as loving as dogs, provided you give them the care they deserve.