Caring For Your Burmese Kitten
Your Burmese kitten or cat be fed high quality dry food and canned food. Current veterinary guidelines recommend feeding both wet (canned) and dry food. Canned food is important especially for kittens. Adults often prefer just the dry kibble, but if you can get them to eat a little canned food every day, it is good for them. Research suggests that both the dry and canned foods should be as high as possible in meat protein, and as low as possible in grain content. Especially for kittens, it is recommended that you get the high-quality foods that are only available in pet supply stores, not in supermarkets. Generally, one or two bowls of dry food should be out and available at all times, unless you are dealing with an adult that is tending towards obesity; in those cases, access to food should be limited to short periods, however long it takes the cat to consume a normal amount of food for the day. Kittens should be fed canned food twice a day. You may need to adjust this feeding schedule and/or the food portions when the kitten turns adult in order to keep it from becoming overweight. Vary the foods that you offer. It is not recommended that your cat gets addicted to only one kind of food. Also, a bowl of fresh water should always be available.
With every kitten, there is an adjustment period in a new home, and it might not eat right away for you. For the first couple of days, you may offer human Baby food (meat only, no vegetables), especially Turkey or Ham, to tempt them to start eating. However, baby food is not a balanced diet for kittens, and should be discontinued after a couple of days.
DO NOT FEED MILK! Kittens don’t have the enzyme to digest milk properly after they are weaned.
How to Make Your Kitten Feel At Home Quickly
The adjustment to a new home is usually not instantaneous, but is a gradual one, typically taking 2-3 weeks. The most important aspect of the adjustment is to ensure that the kitten retains its self-confidence, and learns to trust you to love it and take care of its needs. Be patient if there is a lot of noise in the home, it may take the kitten just a bit longer to adjust, if it is coming from a quiet home.
Set up one room in the house to be the kitten’s room with a litter box, one or two cat beds, and food and water dishes and a few toys, if possible. This room should be one in which you and family members do spend some time during the day. If there are other pets in the house, keep them out of this room initially. It is important to have the kitten feel safe quickly in a small, enclosed area of the house. Letting the kitten have access immediately to a whole new house, especially a large one, frightens it and it will just try to find a place to hide. If the room you select for the kitten is a bedroom, you will know when the kitten feels safe if it jumps up on the bed and settles in to sleep.
Let the kitten spend at least a day in that one room, feed it in there and visit and play with it often. After the first day, when you feel that the kitten trusts you, carry it with you into one or two other rooms, such as the kitchen. Sit with it in your lap for a few minutes, then gently let it down on the floor and let it explore. If it seems frightened, put it back in its room and try again the next day. Gradually get the kitten adjusted to the whole house, one or two rooms at a time.
If your house is multi-level, be sure to have a litter box available on each level. If your house is single-level but quite large, have a litter box available at opposite ends of the house. Covered litter pans are good – the cats like them and it keeps the smell down. Place a small bathroom rug right in front of the litter pan, so that it catches any litter stuck on paws when the cat comes out of the box.
Cats need a place to scratch, so you should have at least one fairly tall cat tree in the house. Cats love to be up high, so the highest perch will be the favorite.
There are a lot of fun cat toys on the market, and kittens do love to play. Evaluate each toy for potential danger – is it safe to chew, could some pieces come off that are dangerous if swallowed? Favorite toys include “twizzle sticks” – sticks with mylar streamers attached to the end. Such toys are great for you to play with your kitten, but do not leave them out when the kitten is alone, because if the kitten chews off one of those streamers and swallows it, the streamer can cut the intestines. Soft balls that can be batted around are great toys. Catnip mice and toys that squeak are good, but check them frequently and dispose of them when the covering starts to tear.
Your kitten, just like human babies, will go through a “teething” period when the adult teeth come in and the baby teeth fall out. The teething period usually takes place when the kitten is 3 ½ to 4 months old. During this period, kittens love to chew on things, like fingers or anything else they can get into their mouths. During the teething period, the kitten’s gums may be a little red, and they may go off food a little bit. The teething period lasts about 2 – 3 weeks.
Other Pets in the House
Gradual introduction is best. At first, keep the other pets out of the room in which you initially set up the kitten. Once the kitten gets adjusted to parts of your house, introduce it to the other pet by letting the two sniff each other while you hold the other pet. You need to show a lot of affection to your existing pet, so that it doesn’t think it is being replaced by the new kitten. Call me for further advice on introducing your kitten to other pets already in the house.