Have you recently added a kitten to your family? If so, you’ve realised how active they are, and how hard it can be to keep up with them. It’s important to keep them busy, socialised and mentally stimulated to help them be able to cop well with their surroundings as they grow. When it comes to kitten care, following are some tips to help your kitten get off on the right paw to becoming a well-behaved, well adjusted cat.
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Kitten Care Tip #1: Give Him a Safe Area of His Own to Explore, Climb and Hide
Cats are naturally curious, and kittens take this to the next level! Start with a small area of the house that he will see as his “domain.” Be sure to include items like a cat tree, bed, litter box and food water bowls. Every few days, open another small area of the house for him to explore.
Tip 2: Schedule Two 5-15 Minute Play Sessions Daily
This is important for a few reasons. First, these sessions will burn some of your kitten’s never-ending energy supply. Second, play sessions give kittens a chance to practice natural hunting skills.
Do not use any part of your body for your kitten to bite or nip during the session. If your kitten attempts to bite your finger, for example, redirect him to an appropriate toy instead and stop play for a moment. Be consistent so your kitten understands biting or scratching you is not appropriate during play time.
Use wand toys to give your kitten the experience of hunting and catching prey. Laser red dot toys may be fun for them, but cats can become frustrated because they don’t get to catch the light while playing. Get wand toys that have a variety of different attachments. This gives your kitten a different play experience and helps prevent boredom.
Rotate toys often, kittens tend to have short attention spans and can become bored easily. Keep a few toys out at a time and change them out each week. It’s funny, but they will play with the toy like it’s brand new!
Keep play areas free of small objects such as bobby pins, paper clips, hair ties or yarn. If ingested, these items can cause intestinal obstructions, a dangerous and dry expensive process to undo.
How About Another Kitten?
If you already have cats in your home, adding another to the mix can be tricky at best. For first time cat guardians, adding two at the same time gives them the chance to become familiar with their surroundings easier. Another benefit is the kittens will play with each other, and will keep themselves occupied to free up some of your time.
Tip 4: Make Carrier The Favorite Bed
Consider purchasing a carrier that can also serve as a bed for your kitten. Keep it out all the time, and put a couple of treats in it so your kitten will readily go there. Your kitten will come to think of the carriers as his safe and enjoyable place, and not just a place he has to go for vet visits and other excursions.
A great option to consider is the Sleepypod. It can be used as a bed, carrier and car seat. It is an investment, but is very well constructed, safety tested and will last for many years.
Look for Ways To Incorporate the Hunt
Kittens, and cats in general, love the hunt, so find ways to include it at mealtime. Food bowls are ok, but adding food dispensing toys and other puzzle feeders are a challenge, providing mental stimulation and exercise, too.
Split your kitten’s daily food amount in half and hide for overnight. This will give them something to do other than wake you up at 3 a.m. for mealtime.!
As you can see, kitten care cn be time consuming and challenging, but taking these steps now will go a long way to prevent behaviour problems once your cat becomes an adult.
Have you recently added a kitten or two to your family? If so, please share a picture, we’d love to meet them!