Bringing a baby cat home is a big commitment, and it’s important for you to make sure that you set up the house just right for the kitten to grow and thrive. If you find a newborn kitten on the side of the road and decide to take up the responsibility, you should know that these tiny little things require a great deal of care.
As the kitten grows, it becomes more and more independent, but the amount of care that the cat requires in its early stages is quite high. In some cases, foster cat owners usually stay with the kittens for the vast majority of the day, because they need considerable supervision.
Why Do Mother Cats Leave Newborn Kittens?
You might have seen newborn kittens out in the open, meowing and trying to find their mothers. Exercise caution before you decide to just pick up the kitten and leave. The mother cat usually leaves the babies alone for a little bit of time to scavenge for food. It can be a heartbreaking thing to return back after hunting for food, only to find that the babies have been taken away.
But, having said that, it’s also important to understand that mother cats can leave their babies from time to time. Usually, if the mother cat thinks that the baby is too weak or ill, and will not be able to survive, the mother cat will just leave the baby alone. It can be quite difficult to understand at first, but that’s just how it is.
Then, there’s always the risk that the mother cat may sustain injuries while out foraging for food, and might get injured, or die. When that happens, the babies are usually left alone, and will continue meowing for food. So, if you find a newborn kitten, or a young one, it might be a wise idea to learn a few things about how to care for them.
The first and most important thing that you need to make sure of is the bedding. If the kitten is a newborn, you should know that their eyes are going to be closed. They are blind for anywhere between seven and fourteen days. Therefore, it’s important for you to make sure that you keep them safe and warm as much as possible.
Put up comfortable bedding and cordon off the area so that little kittens aren’t disturbed. You can easily make a DIY cat bed if you want to provide greater warmth and comfort to the animal itself. If you are wondering about how to care for a baby cat, you should know that it all begins with providing them a safe and sound place to just be.
If the mother isn’t around, you will have to feed the kittens yourself. There are small pet bottles available in the market that you can fill up with baby food solutions for the kittens and then start feeding them on a consistent basis. You might want to consider visiting your vet, as they will be able to give you a better idea about what to feed the newborn kittens.
However, as the kitten grows, you should consider adding more foods in its diet. For instance, you can buy standard jelly food that is designed for kittens one month and older and start feeding it that. Apart from that, boiled potatoes and boiled chicken are both incredibly good for the kitten, and it will grow quickly.
Furthermore, you should also introduce dry food into the kitten’s diet. Providing a varied meal is incredibly important for your kitten, as it will ensure that they are able to eat different things. Just make sure that you do a bit of research about whatever brand of food you are feeding the kitten. Don’t feed the cat inexpensive food that could lead to major health problems in the long run.
As it Grows
The needs of the kittens are going to change as they grow. For instance, you should know that caring for four week old kittens is quite different when compared with caring for younger, newborn kittens. By four weeks, kittens are much more curious about their surroundings and more inquisitive, and as a result of that, they will be looking to run around quite often.
Litter Box Training
Once the kitten is around three to four weeks old, you should start training it on the litter box. Thankfully, this is arguably the easiest part of the job. By their very nature, cats are designed to go on soft ground. They like to dig in the ground, and then hide their poop once they are done. They are very clean animals, and will find it uncomfortable to poop on solid ground.
So, you need to start training the cat to use the litter box on a regular basis. Keep a close eye on the kitten, and every time you see it trying to scoop out the ground or digging underneath, you should quickly pick it up and put it on the litter. The cat is going to immediately start digging underneath its feet and will eventually go.
You just have to do this for a few days, and you will realize the animal will understand on its own accord. Before you know it, the cat will actively return back to the position where the litter is kept and then defecate there. These animals are very easy to litter train, though you have to make sure that you start litter training as early as possible.
What to Do Next
You have to make a few changes because 6 week old kitten care is a bit different. First of all, you should take the kitten to the vet and find out the schedule for the vaccinations. You will want to make sure that the vaccinations are completed around this time. Your cat will need rabies injections, along with deworming and health injections.
Once you have had the vaccinations completed, you should know that it takes a bit of time for the cat to recover. For a day or two, the animal might be drowsy and may not even bother coming out from underneath the sofa or wherever it is that it chooses to lie. But, after a day or two, the energy levels will return!
Keeping an eye on the cat’s wellness is of the utmost importance. Experts recommend that you take the cat for a vet appointment at least once a month, and also take grooming seriously, you should comb its coat and also bathe the animal once a month. This is going to ensure that the animal remains healthy and clean.
Spay or Neuter
If you own a male cat, you should consider getting it neutered. If you have a female cat, it’s going to be spayed. Ideally, this should be done when the cat reaches six months. However, there are a few instances in which the vet may recommend that you get the procedure done at an earlier age. It’s best to check in with the vet to find out the suitable time for spaying your cat.
You should get this procedure done as soon as you can. It could prevent a whole host of serious problems that the animal might suffer from as it grows old, and it will also help keep the cat’s population under control. Do not delay this procedure; you wouldn’t want to deal with the ramifications and health problems that occur as the cat grows old.
Young kittens love to play, and they are constantly active. They are little bundles of energy that will love to play with you and will try to get themselves involved in everything they can. It’s important that you remain a bit cautious when walking about in the presence of a young kitten, because it’s going to try and follow you wherever you go.
Playing with the kitten from an early age is very important, as it will ensure that the cat is able to socialize and understand humans better. Since they have been domesticated for thousands of years, it won’t take long for the animal to adjust and understand its owners. Playing with cats is of critical importance, because they really care about your attention.
Petting the cat from time to time and holding it in your hands is also important, as it will become accustomed to the human touch. That’s very important, especially if you are going to keep the cat with you. Once the cat develops a bond, you will realize that it will find it much easier to communicate with you.
These are just a few things that you should know about caring for a baby cat and creating a positive environment in your house for the animal.