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Bathing

You can bathe your kitten once weekly, but less often is better because of cats’ grooming habits. Bathing more often will remove needed oils and harm the skin, making it more susceptible to infection. The shampoo loves to stay on hair, so make sure that you double- and triple-rinse more than you think you need to. Soap that stays on the skin will cause flaking and itching. Make sure that the shampoo you use says “Okay for use on Kittens”. We also have a line of kitten-safe shampoos here at Claws & Paws.

Recommendations for acclimating your kitten to bathing: Fill the kitchen sink with 1-2 inches of warm water. Gently lower the kitten into the sink to where all of his feet are wet. Do nothing else until he becomes used to this and is not stressed. Then cup your hand in the water and slowly pour it over his back. Do not start with his face. Once he is fully drenched, you may then begin applying the shampoo. If you have a double sink, try to have the water running on low volume in the next sink. Fill up a glass with the clean water and use this to rinse off the kitten. You may want to make sure that your kitten is used to the noise of the faucet before applying the shampoo! For this process to be successful, it is very important that you take it very slowly so that the kitten does not get stressed and have any bad experiences.

Socialization

Your kitten will do a lot better if he is socialized at an early age to other dogs, cats, children, and people. However, remember that he is only to be around adult cats (not kittens) who are current on vaccinations until he is fully vaccinated.

Household Dangers

Kittens are very curious and use their mouth to explore the world. Kitten-proofing your home is key to keeping your new kitten happy and healthy. Keep electrical cords, house plants and household chemicals out of your kitten’s reach.

Common Household Hazards

  • Human Medications (includes OTC)
  • Vitamins
  • Tobacco
  • Detergents and Fabric Softener
  • Disinfectants and Cleaners
  • Bleach
  • Paint Thinner
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Insecticides
  • Mothballs
  • Potpourri
  • Easter Lily
  • Sago Palm
  • Antifreeze
  • Tinsel (at Christmas time)

Spay / Neuter

If you are not planning on breeding your pet, the best time to spay/neuter your cat is at 5-6 months of age. This is recommended for a number of reasons. There is a high correlation between the incidence of breast cancer and the number of heat cycles your cat goes through. It is better that your pet be spayed before her first heat cycle.

Intact females will try harder to go outside, thus exposing them to potential dangers such as people, cars, and other animals.

Intact male cats will start to mark their territory by spraying inside the house. They also will try to get outside more and try to fight with other cats, increasing their risk for disease, along with the potential dangers of being outdoors.

Miscellaneous

You need to “kitten-proof” your home before letting your cat loose. Be sure that all doors and windows are closed to prevent escape. Make sure that the kitten cannot chew on anything inappropriate or dangerous. Make sure that all chemicals and cleaning solutions are safely put away. Cats will eat anything, including needles with sewing thread, rubber bands, and Christmas tinsel.

If you already have another cat in the house, keep the kitten in one room as they slowly adjust to each other’s presence. You will also want to keep your kitten isolated until the veterinarian determines that it does not have anything contagious to your other cat(s).

Kittens are natural hunters and will pounce, teethe, and use their claws on anything. We recommend getting your kitten a scratching post and some toys to play with. When he chews or claws something inappropriate, tell him “no” and get an appropriate toy to distract him with.

Kittens are natural hunters and will pounce, teethe, and use their claws on anything. We recommend getting your kitten a scratching post and some toys to play with. When he chews or claws something inappropriate, tell him “no” and get an appropriate toy to distract him with.

Get your kitten used to you looking in his mouth and ears and also handling his feet. This will help when he needs to be medicated later on. If he will let you start brushing his teeth, that is even better.

You cat will live a longer and healthier life indoors. A cat can be quite content to live its entire life indoors provided that its owner gives it affection and companionship, and environmental stimulation.

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