Caring for a pet is not a child’s play. After all, pets are not toys. That said, it’s essential that you stay conscious that your pet is a living being with its own needs. Of course, even if you’re a responsible owner, life can get in your way and leave you less room for spending time with your pet the way it deserves. This can lead to all sorts of behavioral issues in your pet. You may feel like nothing serious is happening for a while, especially if you own a cat, but you have to remember that cats are not dogs, and they tend to react differently. On the other hand, you can’t neglect your other responsibilities either. With that in mind, it’s time to learn some cat caring essentials and tips that will make your own and your cat’s life a lot easier. Pay special attention to this if you’re a new owner with a kitten that needs loads of love and care, especially in the beginning of your hope.

1. Kitten-proof your home

One of the first things you have to do when caring for a kitten while dealing with your own responsibilities is to kitten-proof your home. Not only will this minimize the risk of accidents but it will also mean that you worry less when you’re at work. For starters,  remove any items from surfaces that a kitten can easily knock over. Moreover, all cleaning supplies and other toxic materials should be safely hidden away in a cabinet or a separate room. Also, do your best to hide your cords as these may seem like an interesting plaything for your kitten. Finally, secure your plants. Some plants can be poisonous for kittens and they should be removed from your home but at the same time you want to protect those that are safe. A great trick is to leave a handful of pines inside the pot, as cats simply dislike pines and won’t go near the planter.

2. Scratching posts are a must

Scratching post for kittens

Cats simply have to exercise their paws and reduce stress by scratching. If you don’t want them to scratch away all your furniture, you should install proper scratch posts with attached toys that will keep them happy, engaged and entertained. In case your kitten doesn’t stop scratching at your table and chair legs, simply tie a rope around the legs to protect your furniture.

3. Food and water

When they taste plenty of different foods from an early age, cats learn not to be picky eaters. This is why it’s so important to make their diet diverse. In that respect, opt for high-quality cat food that will also keep them healthy and energetic. With the right kind of food, you also won’t have to worry too much about your kitten experiencing tummy issues. Moreover, keep the water somewhere your kitty can see it all the time. It may sound strange, but cats can forget to drink water unless it’s right under their nose.

4. Get a litter box before the kitten arrives

Kitten walking through a curtain

If you want to teach your kitten to use the litter box, it’s best to get a good quality one before you bring the kitten home. Then your kitty can feel the litter sand and instinctively go to the litter box when necessary before developing bad habits and relieving itself around your home. The litter box should be placed somewhere quiet and private where there’s no danger of tripping over it. Still, if you have a big home, you may want to get several smaller litter boxes and place them around your home strategically so that the kitten with a small bladder can quickly get to it.

5. Grooming practice from day one

In order to make your life as an owner easier and your cat as healthy as it can be, you need to start practicing grooming habits from the start. By using a proper grooming brush, a small kitty will get used to it rather quickly. Most importantly, it’s necessary that you trim your kitty’s claws. However, cats are not too keen on this and they don’t even like it when someone touches their paws. This is why it’s so important to start with touching kitty’s paws when it’s still little so that this feels natural to the cat, and makes claw trimming a lot less stressful for both of you later on.

Just like they need their playtime, kittens need their rest. Even as adults, cats need their naps, let alone as kittens. Therefore, make sure that your kitten also has a comfy and cozy spot to rest when necessary, and remember “do not disturb” especially when kitty is tired!

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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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