An Indie cat I was looking after in Udupi gave birth to 3 kittens a few months ago. I raised them at home in Udupi, and then brought them to Bangalore where I got them adopted. Here is a guide which I prepared for new kitten adopters.
Kittens have food frequently. Wet and dry is required for them as it has essential nutrients. It is good to feed them wet cat food once a day. At an early age, there is no need to regulate the quantity of food they eat but as they grow older it is good to feed them the same quantity every day as they tend to over eat. You can also try feeding them cooked, unsalted chicken, fish and other animal meat. Don’t feed them anything which has spices.
There are many cat food brands available in the market. Some brands are not good (Purepet, Meo-w) etc. Stick to good brands such as Royal Canin, IAMs, Purina etc.
Important: Keep a bowl of fresh water available always, because when they eat dry food they consume a lot of water whenever they feel like.
Recommendation for food bowl from Amazon.
It is good to get kittens used to pine wood litter which is eco friendly. Each kitten needs 1 separate toilet tray.
Recommended brand of pine wood litter from Amazon.
There are sellers whom you can contact directly to buy 10/20 kg bags of pinewood litter for a more economical price.
The toilet tray must be kept clean and odour free. This is important because otherwise they may develop health issues. They may also start dirtying other places in the house if the litter tray is not clean. Flush their poop immediately after they do their business.
Again – please keep 1 tray for each cat and in different places (not next to each other). They don’t like to share. In the wild, cats mark their territory by defecating.
Informative video on the pros and cons of bentonite and pinewood litter: https://youtu.be/w8AoWtJNfvU?si=VBzrvNjqxu6ruzC7
Take them to the vet once they have settled down in your house. At the clinic, ask for:
This has to be done on regular intervals. After the first time, you can give them deworming tablets and apply spot-on for fleas yourself.
Vaccinations are to be given at regular intervals too. There are 2 vaccines to be given – the doctor will tell you which ones. The doctor will give you a booklet to record the vaccinations given. Please follow the schedule.
Indian breeds have good immunity and they can eat varied diet. But ensure that if they become lethargic, stop eating for more than 2 days, have loose motion etc, you take them to the vet immediately.
It is very important to get them neutered after 6 months. You can watch this video to understand the neutering process: https://youtu.be/lM-bIRNnhpg
Kittens are very playful. They like to jump, catch, hide, scratch and attack. It is important to give them toys to play with, else they will be dull. Also, siblings are very generally close to each other and they keep each other company. To develop a bond, it is important that humans also play with them every day.
Cats don’t like new places, people or smells. So avoid taking them out of the house. When you travel, you can leave them at home and ask someone to feed them regularly. Please don’t keep them in a cage or other confined places. All these things lead to behavioural issues.
Cats are very curious. Because of this, and because when they grow up their instincts tell them to go in search of mates, they may try to escape from the house. This can be dangerous in a city as they can get lost or hurt by vehicles. Ideally, a cat environment should have trees for them to climb. But it is not possible to find such an environment in a city. So please cat-proof your house and make sure they don’t escape. They can easily open sliding windows and push doors. If they go out they may never come back or get hurt 🙁
You can consider buying a cat tree from Amazon. Amazon Basics cat trees are economical.
They also need sunshine. In the wild, cats know at what time of the day to soak in some sunshine to get the warmth and detox they require. Please create such an environment for them indoors where there is some sunshine.
Cats take time to get adjusted to a new place so patience is the key. If you are shifting houses, you can follow some recommended steps to make them comfortable. Watch Jackson Galaxy’s video.
Cats tend to sleep a lot, even after they grow up. Kittens older than 3 months have a long sleep during the day. Younger kittens sleep more. This is important for their development.
Kittens also have short naps after eating. This pattern may change as they grow up. They generally like cool, dark places to sleep (like under the cot). You can put a gunny bag or make a soft bed for them to sleep on but they may not sleep on it every day. As they grow old they won’t need a dark place to sleep.
There is no need to bathe a cat regularly. They lick and keep themselves clean. Also, there is no need to clip their claws. If you have a Persian breed, this does not apply. But Indian cats, when kept indoors, require no grooming. When you take the cat to the vet, get the ears checked for infection. Regular application of spot-on and cat food keeps their coat healthy.
You can watch videos from Jackson Galaxy to learn more about cats:
Join the Fans of Cats group on Facebook
Vet Clinics in Bangalore for Neutering (not an exhaustive list)