If you have just received your first cute and cuddly kitten, then congratulations! Kittens are wonderful pets but of course being a pet owner means responsibility for the health and well being of your new best friend. Check out the following advice for a happy healthy pet.
Keeping a healthy kitten
Kittens will have different nutrition requirements to an adult cat. Choose a quality branded food specifically for cats less than one year old. A kitten is growing very fast and you must ensure they are receiving all the nutrients they need. For the first six months kittens will need to eat several times a day and after six months you can reduce that to two times a day. As kittens are so tiny, serve their food from a shallow dish so they are able to reach it easily. They also require plenty of fresh water and contrary to popular belief; milk is not actually very good for them as it can give them a sore stomach.
It is extremely important that your kitten is vaccinated against potentially fatal diseases. They require two rounds of vaccinations at nine weeks and twelve weeks. After the second vaccination your kitten should stay inside for two weeks. They should also receive a booster each year. Kittens will also need to be wormed regularly. Roundworms in particular are common in kittens and these can be transmitted to humans. Kitten owners in Sweden may be searching for a suitable worming product for their kattunge.
They will also require regular flea treatment to prevent infection. You will know your kitten has fleas if they are itchy and irritable and make attempts to turn around and bite themselves. Kitten owners must take responsibility for neutering their kitten to prevent the arrival unwanted kittens. In Sweden kattunge owners will find any number of vets who can carry out this task. It should take place between five and six months of age.
Grooming, exercise and a comfortable home
Kittens will groom themselves instinctively and there is no need to bathe a kitten. You can start brushing it before it starts shedding so it becomes accustomed to being groomed. Be extremely gentle and use a soft bristled brush. You will also need to regularly clip their claws and a normal toenail clipper will do the job. Press down gently on the footpad to reveal the claw, but do not cut them too short as blood vessels and nerves are located at the nail bed.
Kittens are very active and it is a good idea to provide toys to keep it engaged. They also need a lot of sleep and you should provide a soft, warm bed. Put it in a warm place to emulate the heat a kitten would receive from lying with its mother and the rest of the litter. Swedish pet owners can find kattunge beds in local pet shops. You will also need to kitten proof your home as they can get into trouble with some regular household items like blind cords, electric cables and toxic houseplants. They can also easily knock items over while jumping and climbing.
Ann Cook writes regularly on pet care and pet products for a range of pet websites and blogs including http://www.hillspet.se