What Are The Stages Of Kitten Development?
The first few weeks of a kitten’s existence are filled with incredible moments of growth and development. To a large extent, the stages of growth that a kitten goes through are consistent across all breeds.
A brand-new kitten is extremely delicate and seems helpless when it is first born. When a kitten is first born, its eyes and ear canals are not open yet. The umbilical chord usually slips off within the first three days after birth.
Since newborn kittens spend all their time nursing and sleeping, they quickly double their birth weight often within the first week. If a newborn kitten is separated from its mother, it’s ability to learn and be socialized is dramatically impaired.
Though the kittens eyes open in the second week, their sense of sight is not fully developed until the fifth week. Kittens have blue eyes until their true eye color emerges after several weeks.
Beginning in the third week, kittens become aware of their environments. By the end of the third week, the kitten’s begin to be able to hear and their sense of smell has developed. The kid and socialization skills developed between the kitten second and seventh weeks.
During the kittens fourth week, they begin to explore their environment. They may begin to take their first shaky steps during the third or fourth week. Their interest and curiosity in their environments increases.
In the kitten’s fifth week, the kitten becomes more socially interactive with its siblings and people. Many kittens learn to use the litter box beginning during the fifth week.
Kittens are typically weaned from their mother at around eight weeks of age. Kittens experience of time period of their most active play from the seventh to the fourteenth week.
Once kittens are about six months of age, they begin to attempts to establish their rank within the household. Kittens gain a sense of status among their siblings, other pets in the household, and people. Kittens often test their ranking in status until they are about eighteen months old.
The age at which a kitten reaches maturity can vary by cat breed. Most kittens are mature by the time they are eighteen months old. Kittens of some cat breeds do not reach full size until they are three to five years old.
There is a wide variety of cat breeds, each of which has its own distinct personality traits. It is essential that the owner’s personality and the cat’s personality be compatible with one another. Persians are known for their calm demeanor and easygoing nature. The cats themselves are undeniably stunning, but the care that must be given to their coats can be time-consuming. It is standard practice to characterize Persians as being reserved, dignified, and not overly talkative. If you think that these characteristics would be desirable in a cat, then a Persian is the breed for you.
Choosing a Persian
There are a few things you should decide before you start shopping around. Decide on the colors or patterns that you like most. Also, you need to know ahead of time whether you plan on showing your Persian. If you don’t plan on showing, then you want a “pet-quality” cat. You should decide whether or not the age and sex of the cat matter, too. Once you get a feel for the kind of Persian you want, talk to a vet and see if he/she can recommend a Persian cattery in your area. Most likely, the vets in your area will know which catteries are best known for producing healthy, well-adjusted animals. Another option is to visit a cat show and talk to judges and exhibitors.
Be aware that many catteries out there are in it just for the money, and as a result, they produce inferior cats. So be on the lookout for sickly kittens who will no doubt be prone to a lifetime of health problems. Before you get to the cattery, go ahead and make a list of questions to ask. Most breeders will be glad to see that you’re responsible and have the cat’s best interest at heart. Once you’re there, pay close attention to the health of the kittens and the living conditions. Does the breeder seem concerned about the kitten’s future home or more interested in making the sale? Be sure to find out how the cattery handles contracts. Most catteries include contracts as part of the transaction. And it’s a good thing because it usually includes details on their return policies.
Another option is to find a Persian rescue organization. Rescue groups keep Persians that have been abandoned or lost. You can also check with your local humane society or animal shelter – sometimes Persians end up there. Not only would you be getting a new kitty, but you would also be saving a life.
Regardless of where you get your cat, you may want to pick up a book/guide on owning a Persian. It can’t hurt to bone up on Persian health and grooming.
Dealing with Breeders
It is very important to do some homework before deciding on a breeder. If possible, you should visit the cattery to see firsthand the environment in which the cats are being raised. You will want to observe whether the cats are kept in the home or in cages. Find out how long he/she has been breeding Persians and if you can meet the kitten’s mother and father. Do not be afraid to ask the breeder lots of questions – they should have plenty of questions for you, too.
Definitely get lots of health information. Ask the breeder if he/she provides a written health guarantee (and for how long). Also, find out if there is a veterinarian who sees all the cats and whether he/she has screened them for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. Additionally, you should ask the breeder if he/she is aware of any genetic problems in the breed lines, such as hip dysplasia, and how long the cats typically live.
Finally, the breeder can provide you with guidelines on how often to groom and bathe the cat as well as make recommendations on what to feed the cat.
Adapting to a New Home
You can get a wide range of responses from cats adapting to a new home. Some cats will settle in immediately, while others will take months to really get comfortable. Crying isn’t too out of the ordinary and should subside in time. (He/she is still unsure of the environment and is looking to you for comfort and safety.)
Other pets are another factor to consider. Our vet told us that the older the cat is, the harder time he/she has welcoming new animals into the household. Cats are territorial by nature. So don’t expect things to change during the first few weeks. After a while, things should improve. (Our vet also commented that occasionally cat relationships don’t get any better, and the cats end up only tolerating each other.)
The Truth about Grooming/Shedding
It seems like so many people ask: with all that long hair, aren’t shedding and grooming a nightmare with Persians? The real answer: it depends. Consider human hair for a moment. It can be curly or straight, thick or thin, coarse or fine, and everything in between. Every person is a little different and so is every Persian. The type of hair, of course, determines how time-consuming your grooming duties will be as the owner. Some Persians have thick, wooly hair that knots up quickly. They require daily brushing. (You might even plan to have him/her shaved once or twice a year as well.) Other Persians have sleek, silky hair that never tangles. They can get away with being brushed as needed.
Shedding also varies from Persian to Persian. The general consensus is that it’s not as bad as one might expect. If you are good about grooming your cat regularly, you’ll remove much of the excess hair that would otherwise collect elsewhere. Grooming gloves are handy to have. As you pet your cat, the gloves pick up the loose hair. More grooming tips are available.
What Is A Well-Balanced Diet For My Cat?
A healthy diet that is high in quality cat food is essential for the well-being of every cat. There are several high-quality options available, including Science Diet Kibble, Sensible Choice Kibble, Max Cat Kibble, and Eukanuba Kibble. Your neighborhood pet shop likely carries a variety of other high-quality brands as well. You should consider giving your cat a little amount of canned food in the morning and at night (using the above-mentioned brands). Please do not combine the dry kibble with the liquid food in any way. Both the wet and the dry food should be served in their own individual dishes.
Always make sure the dishes are clean in between meals.
It is highly recommended that you give your cat a treat at least twice a day. Your cat’s primary care veterinarian is the best person to advise you on the kind of diet your feline friend requires, whether it be normal or light food. Cats who may benefit from a little “weight watcher” in their diet should go for the light variety. If necessary, your veterinarian may also provide recommendations for extra vitamin supplements. Keep in mind that before you feed your cat anything other than its usual diet, you should always be sure to consult with the veterinarian first. Please refrain from giving kittens any food intended for humans.
One other item that is really vital: make sure that you ALWAYS have access to clean water. Daily cleaning of water bowls should include washing them with hot water and soap. Be careful to check on the water bowl many times during the day to ensure that it does not run dry and that the water in it is sanitary.
WARNING: Cats should not eat chocolate since it is poisonous to them and may cause death.
There are conflicting reports concerning cats and milk. Milk is often consumed by cats, however it may not be the ideal material for their digestive systems. Lactose intolerance affects many cats. Giving milk to your cat may cause him or her to have an upset stomach or diarrhea. Cat Sip, a product, is an alternative. It’s a milk product designed for cats, so your cat should have no trouble digesting it. Cat Sip (and similar items) may be found in the cat-treat area of your local supermarket. It resembles a little juice box.