How to choose a kitten
It is better to buy a kitten from a professional breeder, even if you do not plan to demonstrate your pet at exhibitions or to breed – after all, breeders are well aware of kittens’ parents. If you have such an opportunity, look at the parents of the kitten – this will allow you to imagine how your pet will be later in life: his appearance, character and temper.
3 months old kittens are active and playful – when you choose the future pet, immediately pay attention to the kitten, that actively goes to contact with you. If the kitten is afraid and hides all the time – maybe it's sick.
Watch how the kitten eats – if it eats a lot and fast, maybe you need to do deworming, and if it's slow and reluctant – it can indicate a disease.
If the kitten has undergone its first vaccination, in any vet clinic, you will be issued a veterinary passport. A vet can do this after examining the kitten and doing all the necessary vaccinations at the breeder’s home. Each veterinary passport should contain such data as sex, breed, nickname, color, date of birth.
The passport is needed to note all of the following marks about vaccination and deworming, as well as for the export of the animal abroad or participation in exhibitions.
Birthmark of a kitten
For thoroughbred kittens, the representative of the club, of which the pet is a member of, prepares a generic metric, as soon as the kitten turns 45 days old. He carefully examines the animal to identify defects and check the birthmarks – physique, color, etc.
A cat can be considered thoroughbred if it has a pedigree or a generic metric.
In addition, pay attention to its appearance – the kitten should neither be too fat, nor too thin. Healthy hair of a kitten shines, does not have clumps and bald patches. Also, the kitten shouldn’t limp or avoid tactile contact – the paws should be strong and uncrooked.
Inspect the ears and eyes of a kitten – they should be without any excretions, dry and clean, and the nose – a little wet. Look under the tail, it should be clean and dry there.
The pedigree contains all the data about the kitten’s parents, and if you plan to breed or participate in exhibitions, you can also study the pedigree of the kitten's parents. Pedigrees usually contain information about the relatives of the cat up to the fourth degree, information about the club including contacts, emblem, seal, date of issue, signature of the chairman of the club, etc. Also, in the pedigree, there is personal information about the breeder, nickname and date of birth of the animal, breed, color.
Contract of sale
Usually the breeders have standard contract forms ready to be filled in by the seller and the buyer. Despite this, it is better to carefully read the contract and discuss the dubious points, so that there are no unpleasant surprises afterwards.
What to buy?
To bring the kitten home, you are going to need a carrier or a box. But pay attention that the kitten does not feel insecure or afraid, and do not buy a large carrier – you will get a bigger one later.
Bowls for food and water
For dry food, you will need an automatic feeder, which you can immediately fill. The drinking bowl must be ceramic, large, but not too high, so that the animal does not cling to the edge by its mustache. For wet food, you will need to buy a ceramic bowl so as not to spoil the taste.
Even if you do not agree with the type of nutrition that the breeder used when feeding the kitten, and plan to change it, do not drastically change the diet. This can cause digestive problems in the kitten, colic, vomiting and diarrhea. Ask the breeder in advance about the type of diet he used, and gradually mix in the new food with the usual for seven days.
Tray for a kitten
In order for a kitten to feel comfortable, he needs a tray of small size, mainly equipped with cat's doors – because cats usually scatter the filler when they bury it.
Filler for the tray
Note that the filler for the kitty’s tray must be different from the filler for the adult animal. Like all children, the kittens love to taste everything. That is why you should use wood filler – it is safe, does not require frequent replacement and absorbs odors well.
Another household item needed for a kitten is a cat tree. After all, pets can sharpen their claws on it, not spoiling the furniture, and play at its levels and steps, spending their irrepressible energy.
Take care of the time when the kitten will stay at home alone and get him toys, with which it will play in your absence. These can be balls, mice, maze and alike.
Each cat owner is faced with the fact that a pet should be bathed from time to time. But pay attention – for the animal's coat will not suit your shampoo – because people and cats have different skin pH. Acquire a special product in any veterinary store and take care of the beauty of your pet's coat.
Although the kittens do not shed until it’s half a year old, they must immediately be taught to care for their coat. To do this, select a grooming glove or simply a soft brush.
How a kitten develops
Growth and development of muscles: 0–6 months
Despite the fact that the kitten grows throughout their first year of life, the most active period of growth is precisely the first six months. At this time, the musculature is actively developing, therefore, proteins are essential for the development of the kitten, they will become the key to its harmonious growth.
Some of the amino acids from these proteins are synthesized by the animal itself, but amino acids such as isoleucine, histidine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, arginine, methionine threonine, tryptophan, valine, taurine and others are not synthesized in the body of the cat. Thus, they must necessarily be in the daily diet of the animal.
Formation of a skeleton: 0–12 months
In order for the animal's bones to form correctly,
you need calcium and phosphorus, which before the transition to solid nutrition the kitten gets with the mother's milk. The daily diet should contain these elements in sufficient quantities.
Strengthening of an immune system: 3–5 months
The kitten receives its first immune protection with the mother's milk, but after the kitten starts to feed itself, the immunity system enters the deficit stage and needs care. At this point it is possible to maintain the immunity system of the pet with a special diet.
The kitten’s teeth change: 5–6 months
At the age of 5–6 months, the kitten’s teeth change from milk to permanent, therefore he needs calcium and phosphorus. At this stage, it may be necessary to consult a vet in order to choose a proper diet.
The beginning of the life of a kitten
After birth, the kittens are still blind, deaf and have no teeth – the hearing will form by the end of its first week, and the teeth will emerge by the third. But the first two months, as the system of thermoregulation of the kittens is not yet developed, they are completely dependent on external heat. This is usually the heat of the cat’s mom and the external temperature.
In the first days after birth, the kittens are not yet able to empty their bowels and bladder by themselves – the mother cat licks its children, stimulating intestinal peristalsis.
An important indicator of the pet’s development is weight gain. Vets recommend weighing the kitten at least once a week – it should gain somewhere around 100 grams per week. When a kitten is born, its weight is on average 100 grams. Every day the kitten gains 10 – 15 grams, that is, by the end of its first month it weighs four times more than at birth.
The kittens are actively developing, so as at the end of their first month of life, they are already so active that their mother’s milk is not enough for them. At this time, they need to be fed with food specifically developed for the kittens.
To teach the kitten, which is left without a mother, to empty the bladder and bowels on its own, take a soft washcloth or gauze, dip it into warm water and gently massage the areas of the anal and urethral aperture of the kitten, as is usually done by the mother cat.
Kittens at the age of four weeks can already learn to use the tray. For this purpose, the kittens should be placed in the tray without a board, after the meal – later they will learn how to go in and out of it by themselves.
How to feed a kitten?
Kittens are able to feed themselves from the age of two months, but at this time the immunity system is weak. This must be kept in mind when picking up the food for a pet. At this age, kittens should be fed often – up to 5–6 times a day, but in small portions. Carefully observe the behavior of the animal for any allergy or digestive problems after the introduction of the first solid food.
Why and how to vaccinate
At the age of 2 – 2.5 months, the kitten needs to be vaccinated for the first time – even if you do not plan for your pet to do it later.
10 days before the vaccination, it is necessary to conduct deworming and show the kitten to the vet in order to assess the state of its health – after all, only a healthy animal can be vaccinated.
How to bring up a kitten
At the age of 2–4 months, the pet passes through a period of socialization. It is important not to miss this moment and contribute to the formation of a soft and calm character. In addition, a kitten can be brought up to the rules of living with you. For example, you cannot scratch while playing. You can also accustom him to hygienic procedures, cleaning of ears and eyes, brushing and bathing.
In addition, the kitten can be accustomed to a feeding regimen convenient to you. Be persistent and do not give in if the kitten wakes you up before the alarm clock goes off.
Health of a kitten
Period of teeth change
Almost always the kittens’ teeth change so that the owners do not even notice it. But this does not mean that this period is not important – it requires special attention in the diet of the pet.
The nutrition of the kitten should strengthen the immune system and contain calcium and phosphorus – important microelements on which the formation of healthy permanent teeth depends.
It should be noted that during the change of teeth, the kitten starts to gnaw various objects, therefore, buy safe toys for your pet without toxic materials.
Unfortunately, sometimes, the process of teeth changing is accompanied by soreness and even fever. In this case, be sure to show the kitten to the vet.
Feeding a kitten
When the weight of the kitten reaches around 2 kilograms, the number of meals per day should be gradually decreased.
The diet should contain proteins, carbohydrates and fats, as well as minerals, vitamins and the following microelements:
Iodine, mangan, zinc and copper – to maintain fluid balance, for the nervous system to work stably and for the formation of healthy blood cells.
Vitamin A – for growth, better sight, healthy skin and coat.
Vitamin D – for better absorption of phosphorus and calcium.
Vitamin C – to control the synthesis of collagen and better metabolism, preventing the growth of most harmful bacteria.
Vitamin E – to properly develop the reproductive system, and also for the coat to be lush and shiny.
Vitamins of group B (B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12) – are necessary for the development of animals, but they escape from the cat's body every day and therefore require constant replenishment.
How will a kitten change during puberty?
Approximately at the age 6 months, cat’s puberty begins, and depending on the breed, puberty occurs from 6 to 10 months.
During this period, the behavior of the pet is changing – the cat can become more affectionate, may invocatorily meow. Unlike female cats, male cats become more aggressive – mark territory, enter into conflicts with rivals. When thinking about sterilization or castration of the pet, the owners should know – veterinarians recommend doing this operation no earlier than 7 months – after reaching the pet’s puberty.
Health and nutrition of a kitten
At the age of 7 – 8 months the kitten is still actively growing and requires the energy it spends during games and "hunting". That is why his diet should contain all the necessary ingredients for the muscle development and carbohydrates to replenish the energy reserves.
The third vaccine to consolidate the effect
At the age of 9 – 10 months, vets recommend a third vaccination – if the kitten was vaccinated at the age of 2 – 2.5 months. If the first vaccination occurs at the age of 9 – 10 months, it is necessary to immediately vaccinate the kitten from rabies. Then the next vaccination should be carried out in a year.
Pay attention – immunity to diseases is formed within two weeks after vaccination, so be careful during this period. Important! Annual vaccinations should be done throughout the life of a pet.
Kittens have grown: why is it important to change the diet?
After your pet has become an adult, you need to change the diet that will meet the needs of an adult animal.
Pay attention – in adult animals, there is not as much growth and the metabolic rate is different from such in kittens. This means that adult cats need a less caloric diet with enough minerals and vitamins.
If you use a professional dry diet, you can opt out of the feeding regime in favor of free access to the food. But in this case, the owner may not notice that the cat has a bad appetite, which is a symptom of some diseases.
When planning to change the diet from a kitten to an adult pet, pay attention to its features – if its sterilized, possibly prone to excess weight, may have sensitive digestion.
How to care for a kitten
Care for the coat
It is important to accustom a kitten to regular brushing from childhood, then in adulthood, your pet will get used to it and will not resist you. It is necessary to choose the moment when your kitten will be sleepy, then take it in your arms and then interchange petting with your hand and brushing. Thus, you can make the care for the coat a weekly habit, but long–haired cats need "beauty sessions" twice a week.
Depending on the breed, you will need different accessories – ordinary brush–mittens should be enough for the short–haired kittens. Long–haired Persians, Maine Coons and others need combing with a stiff cat brush.
How to clean the ears and eyes of the kitten
To clean the ears and eyes of the kitten should be done no less regularly than brushing and caring for its coat. Excretions in the corners of the eyes can be removed with a moist cotton tent, and a special lotion, that is sold at pet stores, will help to clean the ears.
How to trim the kitten’s nails
To trim the nails of the pet, you will need a convenient pair of pincers. Remember, in order not to damage the blood vessels in the nails, it is necessary to cut off the very tip of the nail. Take the paw of the kitten with one hand and gently press the pads to expose the nails and carefully trim them.
How to bathe the kitten
Note that bathing kittens should be as rare as possible and only if they were heavily dirtied. Follow these rules when bathing:
• Fill up a sink or any suitable container with enough warm water;
• Gently immerse the kitten in water. Keep water out of the eyes and ears;
Take out the kitten from the water and put it on a comfortable surface. Apply a special cat shampoo on the coat and foam it,
• Put the kitten back into the water, watching the ears;
• Thoroughly wash off the shampoo with warm water and wrap the kitten in a warm towel after the water has slightly drained.
It is necessary to slightly dry the coat in a room without drafts and provide the kitten with the opportunity to carefully wash itself.
Optimeal – super premium food for your pets
Developed under the supervision of the veterinarians, Optimeal is the best diet for your kitten. The immune system of a pet is maintained by the carefully selected combination of beneficial herbs, berries, meat and prebiotics. High–quality protein of animal origin in the diet consists of carefully selected rabbit, veal, chicken, and lamb meat.
The product is preserved from spoilage with the use of natural antioxidant SubSTAR ULTRA, made on the basis of rosemary, that possesses unique antimicrobial and anti–inflammatory properties that protect against infections, prevent diseases and strengthen the immunity system.
To ensure a healthy stomach digestion of the kitten, it is necessary to maintain a balance of healthy microflora. To that end, the product contains a prebiotic of the new generation Actigen, which is produced from the outer layer of yeast cells. Its unique property is that harmful bacteria, when attached to the parts of yeast, are excreted from the body without causing any harm to it.
The immune system of a domestic pet is supported by the MacroGuard substance containing natural immunomodulators of beta–glucans, which are produced from the outer layers of yeast and fungal cells. Beta–glucans are highly effective immunomodulating agents, they are combined with the receptors of leukocytes and activate their work, strengthening the immunity system of the animal.