Cute and Cuddly – The Kitten Factor!

Kitten There is no denying the sudden burst of energy that arrives in your household with a new kitten!

Kittens are little bundles of energy. They will leave you amused and bemused with their antics and inquisitive natures.

So if you’ve decided to add a kitten to the family, we’ve put together some hints, tips and advice to help you!

How old should the kitten be?

A kitten shouldn’t leave its mother before 8 weeks of age.  This gives him/her time to develop proper social skills and learn from mum and littermates the correct etiquette for being a cat.  Separating a kitten from its mother earlier than this can lead to behavioural issues later on.

Preparing the home

Kittens are avid explorers and each piece of furniture, each dark corner and even your curtains are climbing frames and adventure gardens for them! So make sure you block off any areas where the kitten could explore and become trapped.  Even a slightly open drawer can prove tempting for a kitten looking for a snug place to hide.

Take a look at the plants you have too; some plants, such as the Christmas favourite, the Poinsettia, can be toxic to cats.

And make sure you have adequate supplies for your new kitten – a litter box, food bowls, a scratching post and a safe place for them to sleep where they can feel safe. The friendly staff at Rooke’s can help you make sure you have everything you need.

Introducing your kitten to other family members

Children in the family will need to understand that the kitten is not a toy and needs to be treated gently.  Although, undoubtedly, the kitten will also want to play with the children, ‘quiet’ playtime with the kitten should be encouraged rather than rambunctious chasing, which may scare the kitten.

Additionally, any other pets in the household will need to be introduced to the new kitten slowly.  When first bringing your kitten home, isolate them in a room with a closed door so that existing animals can become used to the kitten’s scent from a safe distance before meeting nose-to-nose.  It is unlikely that your furry companions will become firm friends on first meeting – it is common for existing pets to be a bit put out by the sudden imposter.  Friendships (or tolerance) with each other will come in time. Just be patient.

Feeding

Kittens can have especially sensitive stomachs so it is best to keep consistent with a diet they have been used to when first bringing them home. As they mature, the diet can be gradually changed to meet their growing needs.

Contrary to traditional thinking, milk is not good for kitten’s and will likely cause them to suffer from an upset stomach; so steer clear! However, at Rooke’s, we sell a milk substitute especially for kittens if you want to spoil them a little!

Vaccinations & Vet Visits

Your kitten will require a series of vaccinations to ensure they are protected against infectious diseases.  The first set of vaccinations is given at around 8 weeks of age.

You will also need to think about flea treatments and an effective worming program.  We stock a variety of worming and flea treatments, so just pop in to see us.

As a pet owner, you are also responsible for ensuring your pet is neutered or spayed to prevent any unwanted and unnecessary pregnancies.  Speak to your vet about when is best.

Love and care

Kittens are undeniably cute. And as they grow into adult cats, their independent nature is something you can’t help but admire.

But remember, although they are independent creatures by nature,  your feline friend’s adult habits are influenced by their early days, so it’s worth starting as you mean to go on.