|with mother and litter-mates. It is natural for it to stand and meow as it is |
calling for mother and friends. It may be cautious and hide until it feels
Generally with special loving attention and gentle handling it will adapt
quickly. It may be reluctant to eat at first because it misses the company of its
brothers and sisters around the plate. For sleeping it may prefer your bed
and your company! If this is not what you want, make it comfortable in a cozy
chair or cardboard carton lined with something soft or even newspaper.
Be sure that it doesn’t have to look far for its litter pan. A kitten is like a
young toddler. It cannot control the urge for a long period while it runs from
the second floor all the way to the basement!
Provide a close alternative so that it will not choose the nearest available
corner. Cats are fussy and will often not use a dirty or smelly litter pan. If you
are not regular in your clean-up chores do not be surprised if your kitten has
At first your kitten will need three or four small feedings daily depending on
its age and size. By four months most kittens can eat enough for their needs
at two meals each day. A good quality canned food is your best choice,
adding some dry chow to its diet as well. An average kitten or cat requires
four to six ounces of canned food per day with about a quarter cup of dry
chow, although some large or stockier breeds will require more. It is best to
ask your breeder for diet suggestions. Occasional a small amount of liver,
kidney and raw meat are often a nice change, but more than a few ounces of
liver each week can be undesirable. The kitten can have cooked egg or raw
egg yolk, but never raw egg white. Water is needed at all times. Milk may
cause diarrhea or digestive upsets, particularly in Siamese cats. Many cats
thrive on cottage cheese added to their basic food. While the kitten is
growing a vitamin supplement is a good idea.
Adapting to a new environment can be stressful and it is not unusual for a
kitten to come down with minor sniffles and sneezes because the stress has
lowered its natural resistance to common germs. If your kitten becomes sick
during the first few days in his new home, it is best to contact the breeder for
advise and assistance in treating the problem. An apparently healthy kitten
could have been incubating an infection just before you brought him home.
Ethical breeders will take the kitten back for treatment or have their own vet
check the kitten and prescribe treatment. If you do not contact the breeder in
such a case, you cannot expect him to pay the bills you incur.
If you are working each day you should consider having two kittens together
so that they will not be so lonely during the day. The second kitten need not
be another purebred, if your budget won’t stretch that far. You may find an
appealing mixed breed kitten or young cat at the S.P.C.A.
For more complete and up to date information about cats, may we recommend
the excellent book entitled “The Book of the Cat’, published by Summit Books,
available in local bookstores as a large format paperback.
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