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Since moving to Melbourne, Tonka has been all by his lonesome. He is a super loving and sociable cat, so I’ve been considering getting him a cat buddy. It’s been so long since I’ve had a kitten, in fact, I adopted Tonka when he was nearly two. The last & only kitten I’ve had is Henry (who now lives with my ex).
So with that, I thought I would share my top 5 tips for looking after a kitten.
1 – Make sure you can afford it.
Sure, this seems like common sense, but it’s something to keep in mind. Looking after a cat isn’t cheap. On top of food and kitty litter, you have vet bills, vaccinations, grooming, scratching posts, bedding and toys. To name a few. Don’t forget cats can live up to 20 years!
2 – Get your cat desexed.
Especially if it’s allowed outside! There is such an abundance of cats in need of homes as it is, adding more kittens to the world isn’t needed. Getting your cat desexed helps THEM in many ways too. It decreases their tendency to roam and to fight, it decreases the likelihood of males spraying & reduces the chance of breast cancer in females.
3 – Get Pet Insurance.
This has saved me soooo much money when it’s come to Tonka. As soon as I got him, I added him to the plan I already had for Frodo. Sure, you are out of pocket straight away, but I usually got around 80% of the money back.
4 – DIY!
You don’t have to buy all new fancy toys. When I got Henry, I bought him a bed & scratching post, but made a lot of toys for him. Pasta in an empty small coke bottle, or even put a few treats in a bottle & leave the lid off. Pieces of ribbon tied into a bow. Toilet paper rolls. Scrunched up pieces of paper. I even made him a house out of a cardboard box.
5 – Get it used to things.
Getting your cat used to things from an early age helps them as they get older and stronger. This can include bathing it, trimming it’s nails yourself, ear cleaning, brushing, and even getting it used to walking on a lead. Tonka is an inside cat and knows that the only time he’s allowed outside is if he has a leash on. You should also start a flea & worming routine early on and stick to a scheduled.
6 – Feed it the right food, and right amount.
So many cats loooove food, and it’s easy for a cat to become overweight considering they can sleep somewhere between 16 to 20 hours a day! When you adopt your kitten, make sure you talk to the person you are adopting it off of to see what your kitty is currently eating. There are so many foods out there and it’s super important not to upset your new family members tummy with food that is too rich. Kittens also need MORE food then an adult cat. So keep in mind that you will have to change it’s meal plan over the life of your cat.
Remember cats are obligate carnivores, and need meat to survive. Tonka is actually allergic to seafood, which is quite hard when so many cat foods are made from some sort of sea animal. Also, most cats are lactose intolerant. Feeding cats cow milk isn’t very good for it and often results in a kitty litter box resembling the bog of eternal stench. While kittens need milk, once they are weaned & able to be re-homed, they should be fully fine with water. If you do feel the need to give your cat milk, make sure it’s lactose free cat milk, which can often be found in your local stores pet aisle.
I also made a handy download that you can print out & check off as you go along buying stuff for your new kitten.