Kitten Care

Kitten Care 101

Kitten with red ball of yarn on white background

When it comes to cuteness, few critters can compare to kittens. If you’ve just acquired a kitten (or two), you’re probably learning all about kitten care. You want to do what you can to ensure that your adorable baby grows into a healthy adult. Proper feeding is a big part of the health equation. After the first four weeks of mother’s milk, a kitten gradually transitions to kitten food, and is completely weaned at about eight weeks. Here’s what you need to know once you’ve brought your kitten home.

How Often Should a Kitten Eat?

The following is a general eating schedule for newborns and young cats:

  • Newborn kittens may nurse about every 1-2 hours.
  • At about three to four weeks old, they can be offered milk replacer from a bowl and then small amounts of moistened kitten food four to six times a day.
  • Kittens from six to 12 weeks old should be fed four times a day as you gradually decrease their access to milk replacer.
  • Kittens from three to six months old should be fed three times a day.

A kitten’s weight may double or even triple during the first few weeks of life. To support this explosive growth — as well as high activity levels — your kitten may have triple the energy needs of an adult cat.

And don’t forget to provide plenty of fresh water — it’s a key to keeping cats of all ages healthy.

How can I ensure that she will use the litter box?

1069565_69240483It is important to make sure that the box is easily accessible to the kitten (not isolated in a far corner of the house) especially after periods of play, napping or eating. The box should not to be tall for her to easily get into. Also, we suggest that you not use hoods on the box. If not cleaned often enough the ammonia smell can build up and deter a picky feline. Remember the formula: one litter box per cat plus one. If you have one cat you should have two litter boxes. Two cats – three litter boxes, and so on. Yes, cats are easier to housetrain than dogs but in the beginning it is still important to supervise them and prevent any accidents. If she is sniffing around or acting as if she needs to eliminate, carry her to the litter box and reward her with a food treat.