How to Take Care of a Kitten: 5 Things You Need to Know Before Adopting

Kittens are irresistibly adorable to most people. They make you want to just go out and adopt one so that you can take it home to play and cuddle with you all day long. But unfortunately, there is more to just cuddles and playtime when you adopt a kitten.

They have certain cat care needs, often far beyond that of an adult cat or even a grown dog.

Their needs depend on the age that they are when you adopt them, in addition to just your usual feline needs, aside from feline nutrition.

Providing the Right Nutrition

A kitten’s nutritional needs are completely different than that of an adult cat. The size of a kitten typically doubles in just their first few weeks of life alone. Meaning, they need supportive nutrients and the right amount of food to keep up with this rapid growth. Some kitten experts will tell you that kittens require nearly 3x the amount of food and nutrition than adult cats do on a daily basis. It is recommended that you give your kitten vet-recommended cat food.

Kittens get at least 30% of their energy from protein that they eat. Food that is specially formulated for kittens is packed full of all of the essential amino acids, protein, minerals, and of course vitamins. All of the things that will help your little kitten grow up big and strong. Check out our All-Natural Cat Food Recipe here for an easy to make yet healthy food option for your pet.

The kitten age is an important factor to take into consideration. Newborn kittens eat an entirely different diet than a kitten that is say, 5 weeks old. By 5-7 weeks they are typically able to begin eating wet and dry kitten food. A mix of both wet and dry food that's made for kittens is a good idea for them at this stage in their life. When it comes to choosing the best food for your cat, there are options like going for organic cat food.

A kitten owner should provide both wet and dry food because they both hold such great benefits for the kitten. Dry food is good for keeping them full and providing extra essential nutrients. Wet food, on the other hand, is best at this point in their young lives because of how tiny their teeth are. Chewing hard food can be difficult for them at times, but still beneficial as they rapidly grow each and every day.

There has been much debate about whether free feeding a kitten is the best direction to go with their nutrition, in terms of leaving out a bowl of dry food all day long for them to come and go to as they please. The positive end of this feeding method is that it influences kittens to eat slowly rather than just quickly gorging their food like they may when mealtimes happen only at certain points in the day. It’s also a good tactic to use when raising a kitten who is having trouble gaining weight or growing at a slower pace than normal. 

Give them a Cozy Living Environment

Your kitten may express the desire to sleep in your bed with you, which is a personal choice that you can make on your own. However, a kitten should also have their own sleeping space, such as a small kitten bed or blanket to sleep on. 

This bed or bedding should be something that’s easy to wash and dry so that it can be kept up with. The kitten’s bed should also be located someplace in the home that will promote relaxation and stress relief. Their bed should be a place where they feel safe and comfortable. 

Playtime is Important

Playtime is an important part of cat care throughout the life of your feline. Although, playtime is most important when they are a young kitten. First of all, because they need to expend that energy. This is a benefit for you both when they finally tire out and nap for a few hours after some fun playtime. Set some time aside to play with your kitten and give them good cat toys to play with.

Play is also a great opportunity for you and your kitten to bond. They will enjoy this special time with you and continue to look forward to it each day as it becomes more of a routine between you too. 

Grooming Needs are Important too

Beginning a grooming routine with your cat while they are still young is super important. Conditioning them to getting brushed and maybe even bathed on a regular basis will save you from headaches in the future when you try to groom them, and they aren’t comfortable with it. 

Caring for their Health

Kitten health is of the utmost importance. From the moment that you decide to adopt a kitten, their health must become a priority. This includes taking them to the vet for routine checkups and getting them all of the necessary cat vaccines within the appropriate timeframe for their age. 

Conclusion

Kittens make a wonderful addition to any family. They bring so much joy and laughter to a household, why wouldn’t you want to adopt one? They can be quite a bit of work, so it’s important that you know what you are getting yourself into by adopting a kitten before committing to one. 

Kittens need the best and right amount of nutrition to support their quickly growing bodies, as well as their endless energy. They also need a safe and cozy place to sleep, as well as lots of playtime with their human. Lastly, and most importantly, their health needs to be one of your top priorities. If you can manage all of these things, having a kitten at home will bring nothing but happiness and endless smiles to yourself and your family. 

How much to feed a kitten?

Kitten experts say that the best amount of kitten food to give your little fur baby is about ¼ to ⅓ cup of dry food up to 4 times per day. They need extra nutrients to maintain the right levels of sustenance for their rapidly growing bodies. Not to mention to provide fuel for their seemingly endless amounts of energy.

How much do kittens sleep?

Kittens generally sleep about 90% of the time, which is up to 22 hours per day. This is when they are very young. As they grow older you will notice that they sleep less and less as their rest requirements decrease and they become more curious about the world around them. 

How much should a kitten eat?

A kitten should eat about ⅓ cup of kitten food up to 4 times per day for their first year of life. They require more frequent feedings than an adult cat, due to their rapid growth as well as high energy levels.

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Written by Leo Roux

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