Cat Care

How to Take Care of Kittens | Caring for Orphan Kittens (0 to 4 Weeks)

► Having young kittens in the house is an exciting time, but it’s not just a matter of feeding and cleaning up after them. The way you interact with the kittens at a young age shapes how friendly they become as adult cats. When raising newborn kittens, if everything goes well, their mother will do the hard work. Sadly, the unexpected can happen and you may be left hand-rearing the offspring, either because the mother is unable to care for them herself, or she has rejected them. This guide helps you understand the needs of growing kittens in terms of health care, feeding, and socialization ✔

► Tips
+ Introduce the kittens to your household slowly. Kittens under two weeks old should be kept out of reach of other pets, except for the mother cat if present, and handled only when necessary. Older kittens should be left in the nest and approached by only one person at a time, until they are calm and no longer hiding from people.
+ Provide a scratching post. Cats love to use their claws, and you’d probably rather have a torn-up scratching post than a shredded couch. You may instead want to throw in an old piece of carpet in their play area or staple it to an upright board.
+ Don’t ever hit your cat. This can scare your cat, and maybe even injure her. Use positive reinforcement instead to encourage good behavior. Give treats and praise your cat whenever she does something good, like using the scratching post.
+ If you let your kittens go outside, only do so within an area surrounded by a high fence, and keep them supervised. Be aware of the weather, as you don’t want your kittens to become soaked, cold or scared.
+ Try to use dangly toys, it’ll help them learn how to hunt.
+ Wait until your cat is a bit older to sleep in your bed she/he may not be comfortable with it and want to stay in their bed.
+ When introducing a kitten to another pet, hold the kitten in your arms and have another person hold the other animal. Allow the other animal to sniff or lick the kitten, then let the kitten hide if it wants to.
+ Always wash hands with soap and water (and no other products) before and after handling a kitten under eight weeks old. Before this age, a kitten, especially one from a rescue shelter, is likely to have diseases it could transmit to you, and a weak immune system that can pick up bacteria from unclean hands.
+ When you pick up any cat be sure to support all of its feet. Eventually you will learn how each individual cat prefers to be held, but initially the four-foot support rule keeps cats and kittens calmer and less likely to scratch and panic.
+ Keep in mind that kittens are born blind. Make sure that the immediate surroundings are safe so the kittens won’t hurt themselves by bumping into edgy objects or falling.
+ Be careful your kitten(s) may scratch the wallpaper if you have it in your house.Put something so that the kitten(s) do not scratch your wallpaper.
+ Try and create a new activity for your kitten once in a while, so that they wouldn’t get bored doing the same thing every day.
+ If your cat meows at you and rubs on you a lot, she is probably hungry and needs to be fed. It’s important that they get fed.
+ Do everything carefully at first, especially with a very young kitten ✔

► Warnings
+ Kittens will play with nearly everything. Make sure that sharp or easy-to-swallow items are kept away from them.
+ The information in this article should never replace professional advice from a veterinarian. When in doubt, call your vet!
+ If you are allergic to cats, or kittens, it is strongly recommended not to live with them. Living with cats may make your allergies worse or lead to asthma ✔

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