How Do You Take Care of a New Kitten?


Quick Answer

Provide a new kitten with quality, age-appropriate food, veterinary care, socialization and a safe environment. Purchase a litter box, a few toys designed for kittens and a scratching post. Watch the kitten closely for signs of illness. Not eating, vomiting, diarrhea, swollen eyes and nasal discharge are just a few signs that the kitten is ill and requires immediate veterinary care.

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Full Answer

During the first 10 weeks of a kitten's life, it learns critical social skills from its mother and litter mates, so experts recommend adopting a kitten who is at least 10 weeks old. A 10-week-old kitten is also old enough to be vaccinated against potentially deadly cat diseases, which is an important consideration if there is another cat in the home.

A kitten requires a litter box with low sides. Use a non-clumping litter until the kitten is at least 4 months old to reduce the risk of accidental ingestion. Provide toys specifically designed for kittens, and, as kittens require a lot of sleep, a cat bed or a folded blanket makes a comfortable resting spot.

A cat carrier is the safest way for a kitten to travel. To reduce later expense, purchase a cat carrier that can accommodate an adult cat. Acclimate the kitten to the carrier by allowing it to explore and play inside it. This reduces stress when travel is necessary.

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