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Kitten care 101: Practical tips from the vet for your kitten

05/12/2023 Cat

Kitten care 101: Practical tips from the vet for your kitten

Welcoming a kitten into your home marks the beginning of a special adventure. Those cute, fluffy animals not only bring joy and liveliness to your home but also require the right care and attention. As a kitten parent, it's important to understand how to ensure the well-being of this young cat. Because not only physically, but also mentally, your kitten needs stimulation for healthy development.

In this article, we share valuable tips from veterinarian Valérie Vermeulen, so you are well-prepared to welcome your new family member and provide it with the best possible care!

Encourage your kitten's hunting instinct

Kittens are naturally curious and playful, and their hunting instinct is an essential part of their upbringing. They love to play and chase things. Therefore, stimulating this hunting instinct isn't only fun, but also important for their physical and mental development.

But how do you do that? By providing them with the right toys, such as moving plush toys or cat danglers, you can challenge and keep your kitten active. Interactive toys are great because they stimulate your kitten's mind and provide them with much-needed exercise. So, be sure to take the time to play and enjoy these precious moments with your kitten while developing their hunting skills and channelling their energy.

Satisfy their scratching needs

Scratching is a natural and essential activity for cats and thus also for kittens. It not only helps them maintain their claws but also serves as a way to mark their territory.

To prevent your kitten from using your furniture as a scratching post, it's important to provide the right scratching options. Make sure your kitten can scratch both vertically and horizontally by providing a suitable scratching post and a cardboard scratching mat. By introducing these scratching options, you ensure that your furniture is spared from damage, and your kitten remains content and healthy!

Choose the right litter box and location

Not only the choice, but also the location of the right litter box is very important for successful potty training. Therefore, place the litter box in a strategic location, far enough from their eating and drinking areas, as cats tend to keep their toilet separate from their dining space.

Opt for a litter box with a low entry, making it easy for your kitten to step in and out of the box. A low entry encourages your kitten to use the litter box regularly and promotes a smooth transition to a potty-trained life.

Plan regular vet visits

Regular visits to the vet are crucial for the overall health of your kitten. In the first few visits, your kitten will be thoroughly examined and receive important vaccinations at 9 and 12 weeks old. These are very important, so don't forget to schedule your appointment!

In addition to vaccinations, it's also important to talk to your vet about deworming and flea and tick treatment. In Belgium, it's mandatory to have your kitten spayed and microchipped. Also, don't forget to register the microchip! 

Loving care

In addition to essential medical care, your kitten needs daily love and affection. Therefore, create a warm and safe environment where your kitten feels secure, and be attentive to its care.
  • Give loving attention and offer a balanced diet tailored to its age and health 
  • Regular brushing not only helps maintain a healthy coat but also strengthens the bond between you and your kitten.
  • Trimming nails can contribute to their comfort and well-being, but don't do this too often and certainly don't cut the nails too short.


Take time to cherish and care; these moments will forge a close relationship and keep your kitten healthy and happy throughout its life

By addressing the physical and mental needs of your kitten, you create an environment in which your little friend can grow into a healthy, happy cat. Stimulating the hunting instinct, satisfying scratching needs, choosing the right litter box, and regular vet visits are just a few of the many steps you can take to ensure optimal care. Customised nutrition, loving socialisation, a safe home and patient toilet training are also important aspects of your kitten's overall care.

Offer your kitten tailor-made food

A healthy diet is crucial for the growth and development of your kitten. Therefore, consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable food based on your kitten's age, size, and health. Opt for high-quality nutrition rich in essential nutrients such as proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Always provide fresh water, and avoid giving human food that may be harmful to cats.

The Importance of socialisation

Kittens are curious creatures that love to explore and be social. Take enough time to get your kitten used to different situations, people and other pets. For example, by playing with your kitten regularly and give it enough attention and love. This will help build a strong bond and ensure a confident and well-adjusted cat!

A safe home

A safe and stimulating environment is crucial for your kitten's health and well-being. Ensure your home is kitten-proof by keeping toxic plants and other hazardous items out of reach. Also, provide quiet spots where your kitten can retreat and relax.

Be patient in the housetraining process

Housetraining your kitten requires patience and consistency. Therefore, place the litter box in an easily accessible and quiet location, and reward your kitten every time it uses the litter box, but avoid punishments if an accident occurs. With the right encouragement, your kitten will quickly understand where to go!

Remember, a loving and caring relationship with your kitten, based on understanding and patience, will not only result in a happy and healthy cat but also create a strong bond between the two of you.

With these tips and the guidance of your veterinarian, you're well on your way to create a great life for your beloved kitten. Experience the adventure and joy your new housemate brings!


With thanks to veterinarian Valérie Vermeulen for her valuable contribution to this article. 

In a nutshell

In the first few visits, your kitten will be thoroughly examined and receive important vaccinations at 9 and 12 weeks old. These are very important, so don't forget to schedule your appointment!
Make sure your kitten can scratch both vertically and horizontally by providing a suitable scratching post and a cardboard scratching mat.
Therefore, place the litter box in an easily accessible and quiet location, and reward your kitten every time it uses the litter box, but avoid punishments if an accident occurs.