Getting a new kitten is a very special experience with lots of joy, warmth and laughter. There is a reason why the internet is so full of kitten and cat pictures and videos. Kittens are super fun, loving and entertaining. Kitten care does involve some amount of hands-on attention from human family members. The focus of kitten care is on acclimating the kitten to its new family, and providing for the kitten's physical well being to support healthy development.
Socializing Your Kitten
A huge part of kitten development is socializing your kitten with both human family members, as well as any other animals in your household. The old adage about dogs not getting along with cats is anything but true, however some dogs have a strong prey instinct and cannot decipher a cat from a rabbit. For this reason, proper interspecies interaction, and overall behavior, requires hands-on, responsible and sustained social development, including:
- Litter box training
- Frequent petting and cuddling
- Toy introduction
- Exploration with boxes, paper bags, etc.
- Rewarding good behavior with treats
- Redirection from biting or scratching
- Introduction to new people and animals in a controlled environment
- Weekly combing and grooming and handling
- Controlled outdoor excursions (only after kitten vaccinations have begun) is acceptable in some areas.