Have you thought to get a kitten but worried that the little critter might require too much work? Especially if your work and lifestyle demand a lot already, you may wonder if you will have the capability of attending to a kitten.
How much work is a kitten? Expect care to take 20 minutes per day for a kitten. While kittens don’t require as much as puppies, you still need to perform daily care, such as giving food and fresh water in the morning and cleaning out the food and litter tray in the evening. You may want to feed your kitten a third time.
If you’d like to learn more about the specifics of the work involved in caring for a kitten, keep reading. We will highlight the specifics of the care.
Giving Food and Fresh Water
A kitten will add to the chores in the home but giving food and water doesn’t require too much energy. You feed a cat twice per day—once in the morning and once in the evening at six months of age. Kittens, however, require feeding three times per day to get the full nutrients.
Some veterinarians say to feed your kitten six times per day in small portions, but don’t think of this as a must. Plenty of people only feed him three times per day, or they leave a free feeder out so that the kitten can eat whenever he pleases.
Like children, kittens have growing bodies, and they need good nutrition to promote healthy development. You want to provide your kitten with fresh water daily. Despite needing it, many cats don’t like to drink still or standing water. They prefer moving water because they find moving water out in the wild from streams.
Getting around this, you can buy your cat a Pioneer Pet Swan Pet Drinking Fountain. They find moving water irresistible.
You will also need to clean your kitten’s water bowl every morning to keep toxins from leaching into it.
Cleaning the Litter Box
The other more demanding task of having a kitten comes from cleaning his litter box. You want to scoop away the waste daily for hygiene purposes. Doing this as soon as your kitten finishes his business establishes a habit.
For those who don’t want to clean the litter box, which is probably the most unpleasant part of having a kitten, you can buy a self-cleaning litter box here. It removes the cat’s waste and refills the litter so that you don’t have to worry about it. A sensor alerts the litter box of when your kitten has entered the litter box.
Your kitten will usually pee two to three times per day. Fluid intake, age and temperature can impact this. Usually, your kitten will do the other business once per day.
Usually, people who have a kitten will wash the litter box once per week. You can use liquid soap, warm water and vinegar to clean it.
Don’t use traditional bleach because of how the ammonia from cat urine can interact with the bleach. It releases a gas called chlorine, which gives off a penetrating odor and can make your eyes and nose water.
Vacuum More Frequently
You may want to vacuum once a week with a kitten to eliminate the allergens in the environment. It captures most of the cat hair and cat dandruff. Especially if you know someone with cat allergies who comes over, this can be helpful. Cat allergies are one of the disadvantages of having a cat.
If you’d like to learn more about the disadvantages of having a cat, I wrote about the top five disadvantages here. This can help you to decide if you truly want a cat. The purpose of that article isn’t to deter you, but to promote responsible pet ownership.
De-worming Your Kitten
Trust me: You want to do this. Kittens often get worms as a result of feeding on their mothers.
I know from the personal experience of seeing my kitten vomit up roundworm multiple times that you want to de-worm him. It’s so gross and it will ruin your day every time it happens—I kid you not.
You should de-worm young kittens at two weeks of age. Kittens over 12 weeks of age should be de-wormed every three months. You de-worm the cat four times per year. The mother cat, if present, should be de-wormed at the same time as the kittens, or it will do little to stop them from getting worms again.
De-worming your kitten also prevents him from spreading the parasites to you. Unfortunately, it’s a real risk, and you want to take precautions to prevent it.
As far as work goes for a kitten, this is one of the less frequent things that you will have to do.
Fleas and Mites
Speaking of parasites, you will want to get rid of the fleas and mites on your kitten. This prevents them from biting him and causing a condition known as flea allergy dermatitis. Rarely fatal, but fleas can cause splotches of missing fur, and other problems.
Mites can’t breed on your kitten, which makes them easier to eliminate. You want to take action immediately, however, because mites can cause mange, which is contagious to humans.
For fleas, you can get the Hartz Ultra Guard Flea and Tick for Cat and Kitten Collar, which provides your kitten with protection for up to seven months.
Very Important to Note: Get your kitten a flea collar that specifically says for kittens because they will differ from cats.
Play with Your Kitten: Does That Count as Hard Work?
Does anyone with joy in their heart think of this as work? Play gives your kitten the perfect opportunity to explore the world around him. They can investigate. Someone with a busy lifestyle may not want to play with the kitten all time, or they may not have the time. It’s not really work, but it does require time.
You can lower the amount that you have to entertain the kitten by giving him a playmate. This also keeps the cat from feeling lonely.
Having fun with your kitten is something that most people don’t think of as work, but it’s important to give your kitten love and affection and playtime. This ensures that he will grow into a happy and healthy adult cat.
Hopefully, you finish this article feeling confident of whether you can handle the work from a kitten. Kittens do require some work, but they don’t require as much as a dog where you need to take him for walks and let him out to use the potty up to five times per day. Expect it to take around 20 minutes for the actual work.
Kittens and cats have a reputation for the low maintenance required of them. Cats sleep between 16 and 20 hours per day, which cuts down on the amount of work that you have to do for them. At the same time, they give back love and affection 10 times of what they request.