The Complete Guide to Kitten Care

Getting your first kitten and the responsibility of kitten care can be a daunting experience! That is why we created Keeping Kittens.  To help you learn everything you need to know about raising a kitten and choosing a pet cat.

It's important that you do your research and make sure that a pet kitten is right for you. There are too many cats in shelters that due to no fault of their own were brought home and then left at a shelter by unprepared owners.

pictures of 4 kittensThe C.F.A. (Cat Fanciers' Association) recognizes 44 kitten or cat breeds, The I.P.C.B.A. (International Progressive Cat Breeders Alliance) recognizes 73 cat breeds. The TICA (International Cat Association) recognizes 58 and Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) recognizes 43.

Why Get A Kitten?

Kittens and cats make fantastic pets. They are affectionate, are house trained and relatively easy to care for when compared to other pets. Here's a list of questions to ask when considering a pet kitten.

What is a Kitten?

A kitten is a young cat age 0 to 6 months. After 6 months a kitten becomes  a young adult until age 6.  

4 abyssinian kittensA cat is considered a kitten until 6 months of age at which time they become a young adult.

When does a kitten or young adult cat become sexually mature?

Cats reach sexual maturity as a young adult, between 9 and 12 months.

So Many Kitten Breeds and Choices

Cats come in many shapes and sizes, not to mention a variety of temperaments and personalities. This site tries to distill it all down so that you can choose the best behavioral and physical type for your home.

Also consider if an adult cat is better for you than a kitten.Adults adapt well to new homes and already are trained to use a litter box.  Keeping kittens requires litter training and well as teaching the cat how to socialize without scratching.

Kitten Care

It's important that if you adopt a kitten, that you are ready to take on the responsibility of providing excellent care. This includes selecting a high quality diet, and a commitment to play and exercise. Some cats require grooming everyday, while others do not, so if this is an issue, look for a short-haired kitten. Failure to groom a cat can result in matts and skin problems.

Kittens and cats should only be kept inside the home. Outdoor living subjects a cat to injuries, disease and predators. Each cat in the home also needs its own litter box.

Cat Lifespan

The lifespan of a cat is 16 years if living indoors and 3 to 5 years if living outdoors.

Costs of Owning a Kitten

The average cat will cost an owner between $500 and $1000 per year. They cost less than a dog since when you deduct costs such as a dog walker or groomer as is the case for the short haired cat. The lowest cost option for getting a kitten is adoption. The cost to adopt a kitten from a reputable shelter such as the ASPCA is around $125(adults are less, usually $75).

The fee covers expenses such as a micro-chip, vaccination, spaying or neutering, deworming and basic veterinary tests. Kittens purchased from a breeder typically cost $50to $750 or more.

The $75 kitten adoption fee is a good value when you consider that if you purchase a cat spaying and neutering costs $145, while the first veterinary visit is $130.  Kitten toys and supplies cost another $120.  Kitten food is another $145 a year.

Kitten Fun

There is also fun stuff all over the Keeping Kittens site like our monthly Cutest Kitten Contest, kitten names and kitten care tips from the Keeping Kittens community.

Keeping Kittens Cutest Kitten Picture Contest

Enter your kitten to win next months title of the cutest kitten picture, and claim bragging rights!

cutest black maine coon kitten
Photo of Minky - Find out more about Minky

I doubt anyone could deny that kittens are adorable! As cute as kittens are however, they are not just little cats. Kittens, like human babies, have needs and caring requirements that differ to a full grown cat. It is our goal that each and every kitten gets the best chance at living a cared for and happy life.