If you end up adopting or rescuing kittens, you sure have to know how to care for kittens. It is not going to be an easy job, but with the right tips, you should get going just fine. You might have to get a few supplies as a way of accommodating the new kittens into your family and home. The kittens at such a young age will need lots of love, special care and a lot of feeding. You always have to make sure they are happy. Let us get started on the tips on how to care for abandoned kittens.
The growth rate of kittens is enormous when they are between eight and twelve weeks of age. A lot of pedigree kittens don’t get adopted into new homes until they are at least 12 weeks of age. If this is the first time you are adopting a kitten, or it’s been a very long time since you did something like this, even at twelve weeks, kittens are still very small to begin with.
You will need to be very careful as you have this tiny little creature exploring the corners of your home and curling around your feet. A 12-week old kitten’s size is actually depended on its type or breed. Some breeds of cats are naturally destined to be big, they will also be bigger as kittens.
Tips for Taking Care of a 12 Weeks Old Kitten
12 weeks old kittens would have developed a lot of confidence and some personality. However, they still need a lot of care, support, and guidance from you. A 12 weeks old kitten still requires high-quality kitten food to enhance its growth. Your kitten also needs access to vet for regular checkups and vaccinations that will keep it healthy and protect it from disease as it grows.
This is of utmost importance if you have intentions of allowing your kitten to play outdoors when it grows older. A kitten that is 12 weeks of age needs some help learning how to play nicely. It also needs some guidance on its boundaries, where it is allowed to go and the things it is allowed to do. You will still have to be watchful in making sure your kitten can easily reach its litter box every time.
Kittens at this age often like scratching posts. So it is recommended that you make available a scratching post for your kitten at all time. If you can’t afford one at the moment, you can make one out of a post tightly wrapped with wound string.
Every kitten and cat needs a scratching post as scratching is an instinctive behavior and biological need found in all cats. When you just bring the kitten into your home, restricting its movement in a small with scratch post and litter box will help the kitten to settle in smoothly. However, if your kitten has been around for quite some time, then it should know its way around the house.
You have to make sure that where the kittens are sleeping is a clean place. This starts by having a cat litter for them to use whenever they have to use it. You still have to train the kittens on how to use the litter. You do not want them to dirtying the environment everywhere. Choose a litter box that has low sides to make it easy for the kittens to climb in easily and do their business. It is advisable that you use the non-clumping litter for filling the box until the kittens reach an age of 4 months.
What to Feed a 12 Week Old Kitten
This is one of the most important parts of taking care of a 12 weeks old kitten. When you adopt and bring a 12-week old kitten into your home, you need to make a crucial decision about the diet of the kitten. You can decide to go for wet food in pouches, trays, and cans. Or you can go for dried food, which is relatively light to carry and stores well.
However, it is always recommended that you feed a kitten with wet food. The reason is that some cats that feed on dry food don’t do so well in keeping themselves hydrated. This usually results in bladder problems. Male cats are more prone to these issues. Wet foods will keep them healthy and protect them from such issues.
At this stage, it is recommended that you don’t switch to adult cat food, as your 12 weeks old kitten still needs kitten food. Adult cat food does not have enough nutrients to pioneer the rapid growth of your kitten at this age. It is recommended that you go for the best kitten food that you can afford and ignore those lower protein cat foods with lots of grain.
Even though kitten foods with less protein are cheaper, you will need to feed your kitten more in order to get the required nutrient. All the extra fillers in the food are not fully digested and they are all going to end up in the litter of your kitten.
What Quantity of Food Should My Kitten Consume a Day?
The average quantity of food consumed by a 12 weeks old kitten is between seven to eight ounces a day. Large breed cats might need more than that on a daily basis. You can use the quantities stated on the pouch or can of the food and adjust them to prevent your cat from getting too thin or fat.
How Many Times a Day Should I Feed my Kitten
When a kitten is 12 weeks of age, you can use automatic pet feeder to reduce the number of meals per day from four to three. This means you have to feed larger quantities at every mealtime to ensure that your kitten is still getting what it needs daily. In order to avoid upset tummies, it is recommended that you go easy on the quantity as you allow your kitten to adjust to the new schedule.
By 8 in the morning, you can feed your kitten with just over 2.5 ounces. By 1 pm, you can increase the quantity to three ounces. And by 6 pm, you can reduce it to 1 and ¾ ounces. Try not to border about exact quantities or weight of the food. Your twelve weeks old kitten will do just great if you adhere to these fundamental guidelines.
Can Kitten Drink Regular Milk?
While most people feel all kinds of milk are the same, that is not true. A lot of newbies kitten owner usually ask this question. The answer to this question is NO. You should not feed your kitten with regular milk. Do not feed a kitten with cow’s milk. The best milk to feed a kitten with is the mother’s milk. Most kittens are lactose intolerant, hence they can’t digest the milk of a cow. The digestion of kittens is very delicate, and they can easily get diarrhea and dehydrate.
Helping Your Kitten to Sleep Well
After playing for some time, your kitten will most likely participate in one of the things they love doing most – sleeping. Kittens between the age of eight and twelve weeks can sleep for more than 15 hours a day, depending on their activities.
To help your 12 weeks old kitten establish nice sleep patterns, play with the kitten for an hour or more before bedtime. This helps burns up the kitten’s energy to sleep through the night but also give it time to calm down from the revved-up playtime energy.
Find a snuggling spot
The kittens mostly 12 weeks or less, will need a warm place to call home. Finding a warm and snuggling spot will help prevent the kittens from becoming chilled. You can still create an ideal spot by using a cardboard box and line it with a warm blanket to provide the best warmth. You can have a heating pad placed into the box, but make sure to set it low. The heating pad should be covered in a blanket so that it does not accidentally burn the kitten when your intentions were to keep it warm.
The kittens will need different types of foods when it comes to feeding. It all depends on their ages. For kittens older than 5 weeks, you do not have to bottle feed them. By now, they should be used to having solid food. You will have to combine milk and other types of solid foods to feed them. You could check out several food types at a store near you to find the right one. The food always has to be nutritious to make the kittens get better health. Check on the food label to see which food types are the best based on the kitten’s ages. You do not have to feed the kittens with just any type of food.
Feeding also varies based on the number of times you have to feed the kittens. Most people would agree to feed them twice a day should be sufficient. You have to at least make sure that the kittens do not go hungry all day long. In most cases, they will meow as a way of asking for things. They will not keep quiet unless they get what they want.
How to Transporting the kittens
At some point, the kittens will have to be taken to the vet for a check-up or travel with you. So, how do you transport them to and from the vet’s office. You can start at a store near you. You will get several brands all coming in different shapes and sizes. Choose a carrier large enough to help you easily carry all the kittens comfortably to the vet. You can buy two if the kittens are many to fit into one carrier. The same thing happens when you have to fly with the kitten. Make sure you get an airline-approved carrier to have an easy time at the airport with your kitten.
The trip to the vet should be done as soon as possible. You should not wait for long, as the kittens might be in need of medical attention, especially when they were abandoned. The vet will do the necessary checkups and administer vaccines to the kitten in the event it has not had one before. The vet is also likely to treat the kittens with worming medications and kitten safe flea repellents. This could be another perfect time to get the kittens microchipped so that tracking them should be easy if they get out of their home.
Safe playing with the kittens
Your kittens need a lot of attention when it comes to having some fun at home. If you are a busy person, buy the kittens some cat-related toys to keep them company when you are out of the house. If you do not want them scratching the furniture, then provide an alternative scratching pad for the kittens. Having cat trees helps them climb up and down in a way to help them explore their abilities as cats.
Catherine Bono is a blogger, who is passionate about dogs and cats. She created Crittersitca.com to shares her experience as she studies to become a qualified vet.