Congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of a cute little kitten, and we’re so happy you’ve made this commitment. Owning a kitten can be a lot of fun, but also very challenging. There are many responsibilities that come with owning a pet, and it’s up to you to help your furry little friend grow into a healthy, happy cat. Luckily, your friends here at Tipp City Veterinary Hospital are right here with you, providing some key information and kitten basics to guide you through this journey. Learning proper kitty care, nutrition, and socialization is key to a lifetime of good health.
Below, you’ll find the information you need to raise your curious little cat into a well-behaved and healthy member of your family. Learn about proper kitten healthcare and nutrition, as well as tips on handling, playing, and even bathing. And remember, we’re always here for you if you have any questions. Have fun!
Handling your Kitten
It’s important that kittens be handled regularly, at least a few times a day. In fact, kittens that are handled frequently beginning at a young age are generally quicker to develop, handle stress better, and may even become more social than those who are not handled as often. Learn more about body handling.
Along with body handling, kittens should be taught expectations on simple things, including handling toys and other playful objects. Make sure to offer your kitten only toys that are safe. Check out our guide for helping your kitty handle toys.
ID For Your Kitten
It’s important that you provide your kitten with some form of identification in case he gets lost. We recommend two easy options that give you the best chance possible of reuniting with your little one should separation ever occur.
Collars & Tags
Your kitten should become acquainted with a collar early on, and keep it on at all times. Place a tag on the collar that includes your cat’s name, your telephone number, and your address.
Here at Tipp City Veterinary Hospital, we carry high-quality Lupine brand collars available for purchase in various styles and colors (we also do custom orders). These collars are guaranteed for life, even if your pet damages it in any way. Additionally, we carry Red Dingo tags available in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles.
Microchips are a more permanent form of identification that contain specific codes that can be read by animal shelters and other veterinary hospitals. Microchips are harmlessly placed just beneath your pet’s skin, and can be provided during a normal office visit without sedation. We offer Home Again Microchips for $47.00, which includes registration.
One of the healthiest things you can do for your kitten is to give them lots of love and attention, and introduce them to many different people, environments, sounds, and pets. While cats are very independent animals, they are also quite social, and they thrive on new stimuli to keep them active and healthy. Socialization is most important within the first 12 weeks of your kitty’s life, and it can help reduce fearfulness, aggression, anxiety, and other issues down the road. Learn more about how you can socialize your kitten.
You might not have thought much about it before, but yes, kittens can and should be trained! Using the litter box, learning where to sleep, and identifying which items in the house are toys should all be reviewed with your new furry friend, as well as proper kitten manners and interactions. Check out our tips on kitten training to help raise a calm and happy cat.
Nutrition and Health
Give your kitty a great start to health by feeding them a high-quality and well-balanced diet recommended by your veterinarian. We recommend feeding the Iams™ Premium Protection™ kitten diet (dry and canned), developed by nutritionists and veterinarians to be the optimal diet for your kitten’s growing needs. If your kitten is a pure breed, they may have special nutritional needs that should be met. Speak with your veterinarian to make sure your kitten is following an optimal diet.
To learn more about kitten nutrition, feeding recommendations, and changing diets, check out our nutrition guide.
There’s no better time than now to begin practicing good oral health with your new kitty! Help your cat grow accustomed to having their teeth brushed and mouths handled, which leads to stress-free situations in the future. Proper dental care can help prevent long-term problems as well as frequent dental cleanings.
Be sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed specifically for cats. We recommend brushing every day, but several times a week is great, as well. After brushing, be sure to praise your kitty with plenty of playtime and attention. This helps your kitten learn that a fun reward will follow a brushing, and soon, he’ll enjoy getting his teeth cleaned.
|Temporary Teeth||1 month|
|Permanent Teeth||4 months|
|Permanent K9 Teeth||5-6 momths|
Bathing and Cleaning
Cats tend to bathe and groom themselves regularly. However, you should help them care for their coat starting at a young age, which can reduce stress and anxiety later. There may be times when you need to bathe your cat, though, but be careful! It’s well-known that most cats dislike bathing and water, in general. Use caution and follow our tips to make the experience better for both of you.
If you need to bathe your kitten, make sure to use lukewarm water and a mild or gentle pet shampoo (with aloe or oatmeal). Human shampoos tend to irritate the skin, so avoid using those. Make sure to rinse well, and dry them off in a warm area. After bathing, always dry the face, eyes, and ears thoroughly, and use a pet ear cleaner with a drying agent, if needed.
Cats can get dirty faces, too, so make sure to clean your kitten’s face daily or weekly, depending on the breed. While cleaning, take the time to look at and around the ears, eyes, and teeth. Doing so can help prevent any medical issues from worsening.
If not trimmed, long nails can become painful for your kitty. That’s why it is important to practice handling your kitten’s paws often to help nail trims become a far less stressful and traumatic experience.
If you are uncomfortable bathing your pet or trimming their nails, or you’re looking for a special haircut or grooming session, we offer a variety of Grooming Services right here at Tipp City Veterinary Hospital.