Kitten Care 101

They’re cute and fuzzy new additions to your household, but your kitten needs proper care and training to become a healthy, well-behaved adult cat. This new member of your family relies on your help in the earliest stage of their life. At Precise, we know kittens deserve proper love and care while growing up. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of information to make caring for your new kitten a smooth and successful process.

#1. They’re Vulnerable and Hungry

When born, kittens cannot fully see until their second or third week of life and cannot hear until about four weeks of age. At this most vulnerable stage, kittens need your attentiveness and the mother cat needs your help. When your cat gives birth, she becomes the sole source of protection, warmth and food for her new litter of kittens. You can help out, or tend to orphaned kittens, by making sure each kitten is being fed every few hours and stays warm 24/7. If caring for an orphaned kitten, feed them a kitten milk replacement formula.

#2. Purring is Important

Until their sight and hearing come in, kittens pay close attention to their mother’s purring. A primal instinct, purring is essential for the survival of newborn kittens. The vibrations help the kittens locate their mother as well as one another. While purring, the vibrations can also be used as a way to show and provide comfort. The mother will purr while her kittens nurse as a way to comfort them while they eat and the kittens will then purr back to show their contentment. Doubling as a safety measure, purring also helps cat mothers while delivering their litter. Purring releases endorphins to reduce pain while cats give birth. Instead of crying out in pain and alerting potential predators of her location, the mother cat can keep herself and her litter safe by purring instead.

#3. Why they “Knead” you

Kittens instinctively knead their mother’s side to stimulate milk flow while they are nursing. As they grow up, cats can continue to knead well into adulthood to show contentment, create comfy bedding or mark territory. Even as adults, cats still associate the action or kneading with the security and reward of nursing from kittenhood. This means that if your cat chooses to knead you, they associate you with comfort and feel safe while by your side. That’s a neat way of showing their love, isn’t it?

#4. Changing Diets

After kittens transition away from nursing at about five weeks of age, they require a diet of solid foods that will support their continued growth. A kitten’s weight can more than double in its first few weeks of life and their diets need to accompany this rate of explosive growth. They can now eat wet or dry foods and should be completely weaned by eight weeks of age. Kittens should become accustomed to both wet and dry food so they’re used to the mouth-feel of both and don’t become picky eaters later in life. We recommend Precise Naturals Chicken Meal & Rice formula because it’s high in protein and fiber and your kitten needs both for their transition to adulthood.

#5. Litter Training is Easy

Cats instinctively bury their waste in grainy or sandy material, making them one of the easiest pets to potty train. Good news for kitten owners, your tiny felines will be using the litter box in no time! Kittens can watch their mothers use the litter box and then begin doing so themselves, but also possess the natural inclination to bury their waste. Because kittens are smaller than adult felines, their litter boxes need to be smaller too. Provide a litter box that is easy for your kitten to get in and out of on their own. A good rule to remember, a litter box should be roughly one-and-a-half times the length of your cat so keep that in mind while upgrading your kitten’s litter box.

Now that you’ve read our five tips on kitten care, you should feel confident about the love and care you will provide to your feline. Here’s to starting the foundation of their life out right. What kitten facts can you bring to the table? Leave them in the comment box below!

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