Kitten Care- the next stage…..Age 10 weeks to 1 year
Neutering: Kittens should be neutered when the vet feels they are mature enough. Please do have your kitten neutered! There are so many unwanted kittens in Penang. Don’t let your cat have babies- even if you find the kittens good homes, you are taking a home from another kitten that could have got adopted. Also, for your own sanity, if you have a female kitten it is essential you get the neutering done before the first heat- or you will have a very loudly waiting kitten that will drive you and your neighbours insane! In some cases I have heard of a kitten going into heat as early as 3 months! If your kitten starts to wail in a manner that is unusual for it, please call a vet immediately and explain the situation.
Kitten Happiness: Your kittens are now older- out of the baby stage. How do you make sure they are happy?
An older kitten really needs space to play and explore. Now that they are older, they should be allowed to wander freely around the house or flat during the day time and only be put in a room at night to sleep- or can leave loose at night too. Check that there is nothing they can hurt themselves on and remove breakable items.
If at all possible get a second kitten! Kittens need cat company. They play with each other, groom each other and are much happier with a buddy. This is especially important if you work during the day or travel and the kitten is alone at home. If you do get a 2nd kitten please discuss the precautions you should take to avoid any possible germ transfer between the two.
To avoid crying and boredom, make sure they have toys. These don’t need to be expensive- cardboard boxes, straws, q tips, marbles, tin foil, plastic balls, wicker dust bins and paper bags can keep kittens occupied for hours! The important thing is to change the toys you leave out each day. Like children, cats get bored with the same toy. So rotating toys is good!
Make sure your kitten has a scratching post- preferably near furniture that you don’t want it to scratch.
Cats love to climb- its natural for them. If possible get a cat tree and put it near a window where they can look out. This will give them hours of happiness as they curiously watch everything below.
Spend time playing with your cat (even if they have a cat buddy)- at least 2 interactive play sessions a day. Even 10 minutes of play time twice a day makes such a difference to a kitten.