They’re able to melt our hearts with just one look and quickly become a valued, beloved member of the family. But it’s important that your ‘mew’ companion gets off to the right start in life. There’s actually a lot to get used to, especially if you’ve never had a cat before. So, to help you out, we’ve gathered our top tips for a happy and healthy kitten!
Feed them little but often
Did you know that a kitten’s weight can double and sometimes triple in the first few weeks of their life? On top of this, a kitten’s energy levels are around three times that of an adult cat - sheesh! Kittens need the nutrition to support their growth and hyperactive (you have been warned!) energy levels.
For most kittens, it’s best to feed them three or four smaller meals per day. They love to snack. If you feed them two bigger meals per day, they’ll probably just pester you for food! Be aware that kittens have different nutritional needs than cats, too. Kittens need more protein, minerals and certain vitamins than adult cats.
It’s easy to find specially formulated kitten food - feed them this until they’re a year old. And one last thing - never give your kitty milk. They’ll get very funny tummy!
Socialise, socialise, socialise!
People often think it's only dogs who need socialisation - but that’s simply not true. To grow into a well-rounded, happy and relaxed cat, you need to get your cat as used to humans as you can while they’re young. Anything they don’t experience when they’re young can easily turn into a fear later on in life when they're suddenly thrown into it.
Handle your kitty as much as you can - giving them lots of cuddles, strokes and fusses. Invite other members of the family or friends round to get your kitten used to meeting new people.
Neuter, microchip, worm and vaccinate them
It might seem like a long list of things to do, but they’re all essential! Kittens require two rounds vaccinations to help protect them from fatal infections and the flu. On top of this, they’ll need to be wormed at around 4 weeks old - after all, you don’t want your kitty getting pesky parasites! Neutering or spaying is also essential.
Cats can get pregnant surprisingly young and male cats are way less likely to get into nasty fights once they’ve had this done. Generally, the procedure makes life a lot easier for cats - whether they’re male or female - and has no harmful effects.
Lastly, the microchip! This is a permanent form of ID for your cat which is injected into their skin. It sounds painful, but it’s really not - don’t worry.
Having your kitty microchipped means they’ll be identifiable if they were to ever get lost, so you’ll be able to be reunited before you know it!
So, those are our top 3 tips for a healthy and happy little kitten - good luck!