If you are the happy owner of a new kitten, congratulations! You are about to experience an amazing and entertaining first year with your new furbaby. Even though they are adorable and so much fun to have around, it is common to have a few questions about what to do or how to care for your new baby. Here, we will discuss a few common, but very important questions you may have as a new cat parent.
When can they eat solid food? A momma cat tends to start leaving her babies more frequently around the age of five weeks. That is usually around the age where kittens begin weaning from their momma’s milk and start eating more solids. If you have a kitten that is 5 weeks or older, you can start introducing solids into their diet. You can ask your veterinarian for recommendations.
Will their eyes stay blue? A kitten first opens their eyes around the first or second week of their life. Most kittens begin life with a grayish-blue eye color. As beautiful as this color is, unfortunately- it usually doesn’t last. Around 4 to 7 weeks, your kitten’s true eye color will develop.
Why do the meow so much? Kittens meow because they want or need something. It is their only way of asking, and they sure will make it known! Normally, it’s because they are hungry. Then “play with me” is usually next.
Why do they bite so much? Cats are playful by nature. As kittens, they have a natural desire to play, stalk and attack! Biting is their way of practicing all the things they will long to do. If you don’t like it, deter their attention to toys rather than your hands. Or, get another kitten! That way they can practice with each other.
How do I train my kitten for the litter box? If you got a kitten that was old enough, chances are that they are already trained. They naturally have the desire to use a litter box and have observed their mother and siblings do the same. All you have to do is: Feed your kitten, put them inside the litter box and watch the miracle of natural instinct! Keep the litter box tidy and in an easily accessible spot and there should rarely be accidents.
Why does my kitten knead or suckle me? It reminds them of their mommy! Kneading and suckling are comforting by nature and you may have a kitten that does this frequently. Normally they will outgrow it at some point. So just enjoy the extra attention and cuteness while you can!
How can I keep my kitten from scratching everything? Expose your kitten to a scratching post or board at a young age. This will encourage them to understand the areas where they are allowed to scratch. Cats will ALWAYS have the desire to scratch. Therefore, it is important to provide them with the right areas to do so.
When should I spay or neuter my kitten? As a result of population control, most shelters will fix a kitten at two months of age. Many veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering no older than 6 months. This will keep them from reaching sexual maturity. If you plan to adopt, most places will already have the surgery completed along with their initial vaccinations. If you acquire a kitten that is unfixed- be sure to discuss the procedure with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you have any additional questions or concerns about your new furbaby, be sure to consult your veterinarian. Having a new kitten will be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding experiences as a pet owner. Cats are wonderful and extremely entertaining companions.