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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Five Things Your Purring Kitty’s Telling You When They Knead

Happy World Cat Day! This honorary day not only brings awareness to cat adoptions, it also celebrates our kitties at home! We show our cats affection with treats, toys and cuddles, but how do they reciprocate the love? If you’ve seen your cat “making biscuits” that’s a good sign! Here are five things your purring kitty is telling when they knead:

#1. It’s their kitten instinct to nurse

When our cats were kittens and started to nurse, the kneading motion on their mama’s belly was a way to stimulate milk flow. This sweet interaction tells their moms they are receiving the nutrients they need.

#2. It’s getting cozy

Like people, cats have definite preferences for where they are most comfortable. As our kitties age, kneading becomes a way to show they are relaxed. There is a therapeutic, self-soothing element to the motion of kneading, even if it is on your arm, a blanket, or a pillow. Once you see those sweet eyes start to squint, and you hear that soft purr, its clear your kitty is comfortable and maybe ready for a cat-nap! When cats cuddle on your lap, it  offers 3 benefits: it’s elevated, and many cats like to roost up off the floor; laps are warm, cats are attracted to body heat (especially in the colder months); laps are a safe place, cats can cozy up and have a sense of security.

#3. Telling you they love you

Kittens not only knead on their mothers for milk flow, it’s also to show their love for their mom. Their instinct to knead is a sign they feel the same way about you! All of our kitties “love languages” are different but you can be sure if you see your purring fur baby start to knead, they are telling you they love you.

#4. They are happy!

We all know our kitties are in a good mood when they start purring or chirping at us. Just like with our pets, people can tell if someone is happy is through their body language. When our cats snuggle up and start making biscuits—you know they’re happy. It’s that cranky, swift wagging tale you have to worry about.

#5. Marking their territory

Did you know cats have scent glands in the pads of their feet? When they knead their little feet get warm and excrete their scent, essentially marking their territory. This is why you’ll notice your cat sleeping in the same spots. It’s a way for your kitties to make themselves feel at home, safe and secure.

In honor of World Cat Day treat your kitties to extra cuddles and don’t stop until they start purring and kneading! How are you going to celebrate with your cat? Comment below!

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Don’t shriek over a dead mouse!

Cats can be known to be overly affectionate pets at times. Whether it is sitting on your laptop in the midst of an important email or kneading your chest for attention, cats have a variety of peculiar ways in which they show you their love. Here are a few behaviors that cat lovers can relate to:

  • It may be a disgusting compliment to us humans, but cats tend to bring owners dead mice as a way of showing their love. Don’t be alarmed! It’s completely normal. Since cats are natural born hunters, they sometimes display their affection by hunting for you and bringing home the catch of the day. Give your cat a nuzzle to return the affection!
  • Another peculiar way cats show affection is by kneading on their humans. Treading their front paws on your chest, legs and other parts of your body means that they are happy and at ease with you. In doing this, cats are reverting back to their kitten days when they would knead against their mother to induce milk. This form of affection shows complete adoration for their humans.
  • Have you ever heard of cat bunting? If your cat rubs against you, bumps their head into yours or grazes their cheek against your body, then your cat is bunting! It’s another form of affection where cats are actually leaving their scent on your body. They do this to their most favorite people so feel privileged the next time your cat bumps heads with you!
  • One of the more unpleasant ways your cat shows affection is by sticking their furry rear-end in your face. It seems a little weird, but it’s another normal character trait. Your cat is putting themselves in a vulnerable position by turning their back to you and thus showing that they trust you. Gently reposition your cat if this isn’t their best side for you.

How does your cat show you affection? Do they do any of these strange, yet compassionate, behaviors? Comment below to let us know!

 

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