What You Should Know About Your New Kitten

A kitten, pair of exotic shorthair kittens for sale or an adult cat can be a wonderful addition to anyone’s home. Kittens are playful, lovable and become very self-sufficient as the grow older. Former “dog-only” people usually become smitten quickly by the antics of their new pet. Getting a new kitten is easy, especially during the spring when animal shelters are overrun with unwanted kittens. And animal shelters are a good place to start your search for that newest member of your family because the kittens and cats found there are normally up-to-date on their shots and health care. In addition, spaying or neutering is normally included along with a verification chip. And of course, the best reason for getting a kitten or cat from your local animal shelter is that you are giving an animal a loving home, and what can be better than that?

Many people may not be aware of these facts about cats and kittens.

When kittens are born, and for the next 3-4 weeks, the mother is the sole provider of their nourishment. It is directly after the birth when the new-born kittens begin to suckle that the mother’s milk flows in adequate amounts. During the nursing period, it is especially important that the mother cat be provided with sufficient water and nourishment in order to produce an adequate milk supply for her litter. Milk, calcium and phosphates in kind of a bone powder, and a few drops of cod liver oil should be added to the mother cat’s daily dose of food. Once the mother cat stops nursing, her food intake should go back to her pre-pregnancy diet. Some experts do suggest, however, eliminating all liquids from the mother for 24 hours after taking the kittens away.

New-born kittens of both sexes and almost all breeds are approximately the same weight, normally about 90 grams on average. During the next 7-10 days, kittens can double their weight, and add, on average, 100 grams to their weight every week thereafter. By the end of the second month, kittens should weigh approximately 1000-1300 grams. If you notice that a kitten is not gaining sufficient weight, a trip to the vet is in order immediately so that the cause may be determined quickly and corrected while the kitten is still growing.

Kittens normally switch from mother’s milk to normal food during the 3rd to 4th week. If you notice a different behavior or nervousness amongst the kittens, or they make attempts to crawl out of their nest or begin to purr loudly, this may be a red flag that the mother’s milk is no longer available in sufficient amounts and the kittens are hungry. Start by supplementing the kittens’ diet with 2 teaspoons of a mix of dry powdered milk with average butter content diluted with warm water and a pinch of sugar or honey once a day. Contrary to what you may think, cow’s milk sold from the grocery store is NOT the best choice. Increase the teaspoon of liquid mixture by one teaspoon every couple of days. Now that the kittens are 3-4 weeks old the liquid mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter. The purpose is to get the kitten to lick its food. Do not ever mash a kitten’s face into their food. This will not only frighten them, but they will hesitate to approach a plate of food or milk after that.

After they are able to lick their food from the plate, start offering boiled meat which has sufficiently cooled. Create small balls of meat and place it gently into the kitten’s mouth if they do not take it on their own. Do not stop giving your kitten the milk mixture. As the kitten continues to grow, and until they are solely on cat food, it is important to continue giving them the mixture of milk to help them reach their growth potential.

If for any reason the mother of the kittens is not available to nurse her brood, the first choice should always be to find another suckling mother cat. If a suckling mother cat cannot be found, your only option may be to feed the kittens artificially. This requires more research and a vet’s advice should be sought.

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