Litter Box Training

It is not very difficult to litter train your new cat or kitten. Because cats are fastidious animals, they will easily housebreak themselves. Set out an enamel or plastic litter box (large enough for the cat to turn around in) and add a small amount of litter. If training a kitten, place the kitten in the fresh litter to let him to get a feel for it. If the litter box is kept where your cat can locate it quickly and get in and out easily, you will find uses it consistently right from the start. It may be wise to set out two or three boxes if you have a large house.

Keep the box clean, changing the litter material frequently. A soiled litter box may also be a source of disease. Wash the litter box with soap and water each time you change the litter. Be sure to rinse the box thoroughly after cleansing, and dry it before adding more litter.

Your Kitten’s First Veterinary Visit

Most kittens have their first veterinary visit between six and eight weeks of age. At this time, your veterinarian will give a complete physical examination and discuss the vaccination schedule that is necessary to keep your kitten healthy.

Depending on where you got your kitten from, your veterinarian may also want to test your kitten for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which are two viral diseases that may make your new kitten sick. It is especially important to test your new kitten for these diseases if you are introducing him into a new household that already has cats.

Bring a fresh sample of your kitten’s stool to the first veterinary visit. This will enable the veterinarian to test for internal parasites, including ringworms, hookworms and coccidia.

It is essential that you follow your veterinarian’s recommendations to ensure that your new kitten will be healthy.

Kitten Nutrition

Young kittens should be fed frequently, at least four times a day. Because your kitten is growing rapidly, he will need a diet that is specially formulated for kittens, with extra protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. An excellent feeding program for kittens is a combination of both canned and dry kitten foods. You can leave a bit of dry food out all day if your want, but be sure to pick up the canned food after about 20 minutes, because it spoils easily. By six or seven months, your kitten will have his permanent teeth.

At one year your cat is an adult and can switch to an adult diet. Watch his weight, and if he seems to be overweight switch him to regular measured meals (instead of leaving food out all the time) and more encourage exercise through interactive play.