Kitten Advice and Guidelines for New Owners

Understanding proper kitten advice regarding his or her overall health can make all the difference if when caring for your kitten. Below is some helpful advice and information about how to care as well as provide for your new kitten.

Veterinary Care

Take your new kitten to a veterinarian soon after you bring him or her home. Your kitten should be at least six weeks of age prior to being taken from the mother. If your kitten is younger than that, he or she may need intensive medical care and even hospitalization. Kittens older than six weeks of age will still require a medical examination and vaccinations against common feline illnesses. It is recommended that you take a stool sample with you to the vet's office so that it can be checked for intestinal parasites.

Flea Prevention

Flea medications, including collars, powders, shampoos, sprays, and spot-on treatments, are dangerous for kittens under twelve weeks of age. Treat young kittens for fleas by bathing them in Dawn dish-washing liquid and warm water. Use a fine-tooth comb lightly coated with petroleum jelly to remove fleas from your kitten's fur after the bath.

Signs of Illness

Observe your kitten closely for symptoms of an illness, which include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, or lethargy. Kittens have naturally weak immune systems, as they have not fully developed yet. Illnesses that are minor in adult cats could be fatal in kittens. Keeping a close eye on your kitten's behavior allows you to take immediate action and provide the medical attention he or she may need.

Litter Box Training and Maintenance

Litter training kittens is usually pretty easy. Most kittens will already understand how to use a litter box when you bring them home. If your kitten hasn't learned how to use a litter box yet, show your kitten where the box is and place him or her in it after meals as well as after waking from sleep. Cats have a natural desire to want to bury their waste, so your kitten should prefer the litter box to the floor.

When it comes to choosing a litter for the box, remember that clumping clay litters are dangerous for young kittens. These litters are made with sodium bentonite clay, a naturally occurring mineral that expands to up to fifteen times its own weight when exposed to moisture. Kittens are naturally curious and might try to eat the litter. If your kitten ingests even a small amount of the clay, a fatal intestinal blockage could occur. To prevent this from happening, be sure to use a non-clumping litter for your kitten, or better yet, try a safe cat litter made from wheat or corn. These litters clump just as effectively as clay litters. They are also chemical and clay free which reduces the risk of health problems for you and your kitten in the long run. Safe litters are also easy to dispose of as they can be flushed down the toilet.