How to Deal With a New Kitten

by Carolyn Barton, Demand Media
    Cute, cuddly kittens require good care.

    Cute, cuddly kittens require good care.

    Kittens are easily one of the cutest animals on the planet, making them very hard to resist. But giving a kitten proper care is vital to ensure that the cute baby grows into a happy, healthy adult. Most animal shelters and rescues will provide initial veterinary care for adopters at a lower cost.

    House Training

    Kittens are generally easy to train to use the litter box for their bathroom needs since the teaching begins with their mother at a young age. Place the box in a convenient area and make sure it is not too high for her to climb into. After each meal, place her in the box and run her paws through the litter like she is scratching. Continue this until she is constantly using the box on her own. Avoid using clumping litter for kittens under 6 months of age, since babies may chew clumps and choke or develop a blockage.

    Feeding

    Make sure that fresh, clean water is always available. For a growing kitten, it's best to leave dry food that is specifically for kittens out at all times as well, to ensure she is getting all the food she needs. Empty old food and wash the bowl every other day to ensure freshness. Canned food should also be specifically for kittens and given in small amounts. Remove any uneaten canned food after two hours and discard so that bacteria does not grow.

    Training

    Behavior that is cute when a kitten does it, such as playful scratching or biting, often becomes a problem when she is a full-grown cat. Stopping this behavior when she is young is key. When she is doing something that is not allowed, tell her "no" sternly and remove her from the behavior. If she is out of reach, or "no" is not working, a quick squirt of water from a spray bottle will usually put a stop to the behavior.

    Health Care

    Take your kitten to your veterinarian soon after she arrives in your home. Kittens require immunizations against common diseases several times before they are a year old, then yearly thereafter. The vet with administer a combination vaccine that protects against feline distemper, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus, as well as a rabies vaccine when she is old enough. Spaying or neutering your kitten will not only prevent unwanted litters, but will also lower her risk of many illnesses and types of cancer.

    About the Author

    Carolyn Barton has an associate degree in business management from Seminole Community College and has been writing professionally since 2007. Her articles have appeared on websites such as Firehouse.com. She specializes in website content and ghostwrites for several private clients. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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