Today some kids came by the house asking if we wanted a kitten. I am a sucker for small animals, and have always wanted a cat, but haven’t tried to get one b/c Lizzy (my little girl) once got all sneezy when we were in a house that had cats, so I assumed she was probably allergic. However, to test it, before I accepted the cat I had her smell the cat and (yay!) no sneezing. So now we have a pet kitten (about 9 weeks old or so). I fed her half a can of tuna, some water, and a little milk earlier, because we didn’t have cat food yet. I figured that was all she would need, but now she is jumping on the table trying to eat our soup. How often DO kittens need to be fed? Also, she was scratching herself, so my husband says she may have fleas. We of course went to the pet store to get supplies for her today and all flea removing/ preventing stuff said 12 weeks or older only.

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  1. RuneAmok

    See the Little Big Cat free article library (linked below) for general advice on kittens. I believe there are two links for kittens which include a list of items you’ll need, kitten-proofing your house and general care for the kitty.
    My personal advice is to get them used to having their teeth brushed. If you can manage this, you may never have to worry about tartar.
    Food: You don’t need to buy kitten food – it’s little more than clever marketing. Just buy a good canned food (see the What to feed link) and follow the instructions. Growing kittens need something like twice as many calories as adults. If you get one of these good foods, your kitten will get all the nutrients and vitamins it needs. See my blog for more info on this.
    Feed your kitten as often as you can manage. 2 times per day would probably be fine, but 3 would be better. You would set the amount for him to eat then split that into 2-3 equal meals.
    You can feed some dry food but I wouldn’t have it comprise more than 35% of the kitten’s daily intake. It doesn’t clean their teeth and could possibly lead to urinary issues, diabetes or obesity.
    I’ve done a lot of research on fleas lately! I would first recommend taking it to the vet to see what they recommend. The vet will have the best flea treatments. If they say your kitten is too young for pesticides, you may try giving him a bath in dish soap. It doesn’t matter what kind although Dawn seems to the favorite – the bath simply drowns the fleas. After the bath, give the kitten a good combing – you’ll want to get yourself a flea comb. You can find them at any pet store and they’re quite inexpensive.
    It’s going to take a while for the fleas to disappear. I wouldn’t bathe the kitten more than once per week and maybe not even that often….in between times, keep combing them out. Keep a buck with dish soap handy to dunk the comb in. Here again it’ll drown the fleas and the slippery soap helps to keep them in the water.
    Below is my standard advice on fleas. You’ll need to pick and choose what works for you. But you have to face the fact that this may be a lifelong plan! They will come back. But if you treat the environment you may never again have to treat the cat.
    1. Treat the cat. Go to your vet and get either Advantage or Frontline Plus (I went with Advantage).
    2. Get yourself a “flea comb” and comb your cat at least once per day. Have a bucket with dish soap in it handy to dunk the comb in and to collect the hair. Fleas can’t jump out of the slippery soap. No point in combing them out only to have them jump back on your cat. Flush this down the toilet, pour it down the sink, or dispose of it away from your house.
    3. Treat your house. Options are a borate powder product or something that uses diatomaceous earth. Fleabusters (BP), Fleago Natural Flea Control (BP) or Flea Away Natural Flea Powder (DE). Put about a tablespoon of this in your vacuum cleaner bag (or you can cut up a flea collar to put in there. Just follow the directions which will vary by product, but in general you’ll sprinkle on the carpet and vacuum up and also sprinkle into cracks and crevices. (I chose Fleago because it’s less expensive than Fleabusters. I may also try Flea Away in time).
    4. Vacuum as often as possible. Before vacuuming, stomp around the house. This will bring the fleas to life because they’ll think there’s a tasty morsel out there. Then vacuum those little bastards up. Be sure to use your attachments to vacuum as many cracks and crevices as you can – they love to hide out there.
    5. Wash any pet bedding in hot water, and you’ll want to be particularly diligent about vacuuming/treating areas where your cat hangs out.
    6. Treat your yard. Even if your cat doesn’t go outside, fleas may enter your home if they exist in your yard. There’s a small chance that you or others may bring fleas in the house with you (although this is unlikely). Get hold of some nematodes to spray in your yard. I believe you only have to do this once per year. These little creatures will eat the flea larva. As one website put it, these critters are too small to hug, but they deserve it! (I had to order this online; I wasn’t able to find a place that sells them in my area and didn’t feel like calling every place in the phonebook).
    Things not to do: Don’t use any essential oils on your cat, particularly anything with pennyroyal or eucalyptus. They’re toxic to cats. Don’t use flea collars. Don’t give your cat any garlic/yeast formulations. Don’t give your cat lemon baths.
    You’re going to want to continue treating your home as directed, whether that be sprinkling once per week or once a month. Continue treating throughout flea season (when it’s warm). You can stop during the winter months, but start up again in the spring. You’ll nip them in the bud!
    The key is to treat the environment, not the cat. If you do that, you may never have to apply another flea product directly on them again.

  2. Unicornr

    Avoid milk, most cats get diarrhoea from it since most are lactose intolerant.
    Feed them a small amount of wet tinned food twice a day, and dry kibble for self-feeding.
    When I got my kitten, it seems he was not properly weaned yet so I feed him wet twice a day mixed up with some kibble to help wean him, and then give him half to one cup of dry food for self-feeding, and he’s fine, not overweight.
    Since my kitten is so small still (young) I got a flea comb and I comb him out with this once to twice a day – which also teaches him to accept brushing.
    To add to the good advice of childproofing your home, also be prepared to give that NO command very often, since at this age it’s as if a kitten is selectively just deaf to some things LOL.

  3. cat lover

    Soon, milk will not be a good idea for her, as cats become intolerant to milk fairly soon in life. If your kitty is really only 9 weeks old, they sell kitten formula milk in pet stores, and you could put it in a baby bottle and nurse her. But it seems that she is weaned. You need to get kitten food for her, and feed her kitten food for the first year of her life. On the cans or bag will be the suggested amount. If you use dry food, have some out all the time. And naturally, a bowl with water.
    Cats are often browsers, and like to eat in nibbles throughout the day. Tuna for humans is all right once in awhile, but as a regular part of a cats diet, it lacks a crucial ingredient that cats must have. Tuna cat food will have that ingredient added.
    A vet visit is really what you want to do, as the kitten likely not only has fleas, but also worms and ear mites. You also want to establish a relationship with a vet, as she will need to be spayed when she gets older and soon have vaccinations. And often vets have a packet of information they give out to new pet owners with helpful hints, and perhaps coupons.
    Your new kitten will be turbocharged, and you want to look at your house as a baby does, and childproof everything, as your kitten will want to get into everything as she investigates her new world.
    If she jumps on the table, simply put her back on the floor while saying NO in a firm but gentle voice. And be prepared for her to be back on the table before you can even sit down.

  4. Sarah

    I have had a couple of kittens abandoned by there moms and we just flea dip them even at just a couple of weeks just be really careful not to get in there eyes and only use a very small amount of soap and rinse them really well. Then get out the tweezers and just pick them off dead or alive you should also comb the fur in till it is dry only because this way you can hopefully get all the eggs off. I hope this helps.
    Sarah

  5. ashley

    4-6 hours. Kittens are small and have small tummys. So small portions often work well.
    Get a flea collar and a good cat flea bath.

  6. woowhoto

    Give kitty a good flea bath. Be careful not to get soap in its eyes. I heard that if you rub Avon Skin So Soft lotion lightly thru the fur that it keeps fleas off. Don’t give kitty milk unless it is the special kind made for kitties. Regular milk will give them diarehhia (however you spell it). I keep dry food at all times for them to nibble & canned or pouches a couple times a day.

  7. pretty_n

    if you think she might have fleas use joy dish soap on her and it will kill all the fleas. when i had kittens i would leave dry food out and they would eat as they please.. and be sure to feed them kitten food it has the special nutrients their growing bodies need right now.

  8. TinaLove

    Be very careful with a kitty with fleas. Some of the stuff for adult cats might be harmful. You might do well just taking time, sitting her on your lap and going through her hair looking for fleas (maybe she doesn’t have fleas – could be dry skin – you wont know until you take a careful look!). But you can use a flea comb if you think its one or two fleas only. Then you will have to treat your home as well. The article below has some information about treating fleas.

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