Adoption is a year-round opportunity, but believe it or not, there are seasons to adoption. End of year gift-giving season is often a popular time to gift kittens and puppies. Unfortunately, that means the beginning of the new year is always a busy time for shelters to receive cats and dogs who weren’t lucky enough to be given to their forever home. However, this kitten care 101 guide can be helpful for those who love their new fur-baby but need a little guidance on how to make their home a forever home.
Kitten Care 101: The Basics
Sharing our home with a new cat or kitten companion can be an amazing, fun experience. And it can be a learning curve for those who are new to feline friends. New kitty guardians are encouraged to start with these helpful kitten care 101 tips.
Set kitty up for good health and a long life. First thing’s first. Setting up our fur-baby with a meet and greet with the vet is the best first step. Get the little one on the books, microchipped, and vaccinated. It’s also a good idea to get the vaccination boosters on the calendar and go ahead and make the appointment for their spay or neuter. It’s a lot to do right up front, but once it’s complete, there’s nothing left but the regular rabies shots.
Prevention is the best cure. We’ve got all that medical care out of the way. Now it’s time to set up our home with the best preventative care possible, so we are ready for the basic day-to-day care we’ll face. Just like we keep band-aids and Neosporin on-hand for life’s little bumps and bruises, stocking the medicine cabinet or pantry with ear cleaner and hot spot care will mean we’re ready when kitty gets a little irritation and needs some care.
A shelter should feel like home sweet home. Indoor cats don’t have to contend with learning that dogs may chase them, hawks and raccoons may eat them, other cats will be territorial, and cars can be a big lesson too. They’ll also need more medical care because they’ll be exposed to more pests and parasites. But indoor cats will need to learn how to use the litter box and be taught indoor manners. Either way, they’ll need a way to stay cool in summer and reliably warm in winter. A clean safe-zone, like a bed or cat cave, and fresh water will always have to be available.
Kitty-proof the home. Just like we would child-proof medicine cabinets and electrical outlets, prepping our home for fur-babies is important too. Lillies are so poisonous to cats that even the water they’re kept in can be deadly. Check the house for plants that aren’t kitty friendly, get in the habit of putting away prescription drugs, and remove any other potential hazards. Kitten care 101 means ensuring their safety in as many ways as possible.
Choose healthful, nutritious food. There are many arguments in favor of raw diets for kitties because it’s closest to what they need and would eat in the wild. Others prefer kibble and a bit of canned soft food to keep them interested. Whatever we choose, the label should be carefully examined for balanced nutrient content and minimal fillers and additives that can be difficult to digest. To better understand what our feline friend would be most likely to prefer, read How Cats Taste Food. Kitten care 101 can also include the best supplements:
- EcoAllergy is an anti-allergy supplement that can help balance our cat’s response to any environmental, stress, or food allergies that may develop.
- EcoImmune provides an immunity boost and supports a healthy cat. Sometimes we bring pathogens to our kitties on our clothes. Sometimes we travel and cause a bit of stress for kitty. Either way, adding this booster to our fur babies food each day can give them the best possible opportunity to be happy and healthy.
- EcoDigestive is an important probiotic and enzyme support supplement that is especially important for cats on a commercial food diet that may be irritating to their digestive system.
Provide playtime, companionship, and stimulation. It’s common to play with our kitten companions when they first arrive, but we calm down, and life gets busy. That’s OK as long as we continue to develop our relationship with them and regularly give them our time. We should also provide toys, scratching posts, and at least one box or basket to play in. Mental stimulation and giving our cats ways to engage and stay busy will not only ensure a healthy mind; it will help prevent bad behaviors from developing and keep our kitties curious and content.