Kittens are lovely - there are very few people that can pass by a lovely fluffy meowing thing and resist the temptation of taking it home. I am a cat person and I have a lot of such stories - for as long as I can remember, I've had something purring at my side. So, how do you live with a kitten?
First of all - a kitten is not a cat... yet.
Even though they have the self esteem of a tiger, kittens are baby cats. You cannot expect them to be something else. They are young and they need to be cuddled, loved, cleaned even. A kitten may do all the things an adult would but it can invent a hundred and one ways to make a mess out of your favorite curtains or get in trouble - with the neighbor's dog, the door, you name it. So living with a kitten means that you have adopted a child - say it's a messy two-year-old.
This leads to the logical question - are there any general rules of living with a kitten? The simple answer is - yes, there are. It's easy enough to take a stray kitten home, the difficult part begins afterwards.
Even if you have had a cat already, you can never guess what a kitten would eat. What I can tell you from experience is that kittens CANNOT and will not eat food for adult cats OR the food off the table. They are just too small to do so - a kitten's belly is the size of a walnut - if it eats too much or something or the food is not good for it, it does what a baby would do - it throws up. Disclaimer:Do NOT feed ANY cat with dog food (it's made for dogs and the ingredients may be harmful to cats).
A kitten, especially if it is still a suckling, cannot eat regular food - like some leftovers from your table or the granulated food you give to your dog. For such infants you can try bread mashed with milk - they usually eat that. Such kittens, though, are hard to raise - they are just too young and are supposed to be suckled by a female cat - the milk she produces is very difficult if not impossible to substitute. If you are fortunate enough to have a kitten that is older, however, then you have a wider variety of choices - you can buy regular granulated food (for kittens only!) or you can try to cook something yourself. The rule is - no salt, no grease and NO (I repeat NO) sugar of any kind. A kitten can eat boiled rice and a bit of chicken (my cat would kill for chicken) for example, but it cannot eat a leftover from a hamburger (or at least, it shouldn't eat that). Part of the plan is to 'hack' what the kitten likes - they are like people - with their own tastes and opinions. if it likes the food, it would eat it - for example, when my cat was only 20 centimeters long (less than 3 months old), she (it was a female) had a knack for olives and she kept eating them for the rest of her life but she hated any kind of fish.
I mean a lot of attention A kitten is a commitment for many years to come, if you are not prepared to devote some time and all your love and care to a living being, better buy a plant. Don't expect a kitten to sit quietly in the corner and have a nap. Kittens have the mentality of a two to five-year-olds and they need constant attention, care and play. They would jump in your lap at 12 am and would demand a wild chase through the room, they could sit on your laptop and plead for attention or would jump in you handbag to play hide-and-seek. Just like child, a kitten needs to feel secure and loved - neglect can lead to serious problems when it gets older. If you think that a kitten would be OK by itself all day, you are mistaken - if left alone they would start meowing in a way that could break your heart. They have lost their mother, now you are the new mother and they would treat you like one. Normally a kitten would try to sleep in your bed and go out with you (hiding in your bag) out of fear that you would leave it. Once they get a bit older they will know that you are not deserting them if you leave the house but they will still miss you.
3.Rules and safety
Once you have a kitten on board, there are a few things you should do, just to be on the safe side. That includes closing the doors when you are not in the room - or you may hear a heart-wrenching crash of your mother's vase or worse still - the laptop; keeping all food that's not in use in the fridge or in a cupboard out of reach - because cats have the habit of tasting everything that looks interesting; keeping all fragile and/or valuable objects locked or out of reach (you know why) and last but not least - keeping an eye on the window/ balcony - you never know when the 'tiger' would go hunting and you don't want them to fall from the viewpoint. Kittens can't think about safety - it's up to you to do so - occasionally you may need to get them off that high tree or object or take out their paw from where it got stuck - and you should always be on the alert. They don't know the rules of the game yet, you have to show them what is good and what is bad. The only problem is that they learn by trial and error - so be patient. Once they learn the dos and don'ts they will not be that troublesome.
Having said all that, I want to add that there's nothing more rewarding of feeling something fluffy cuddling by your side and purring after a long day at work. A kitten is as big a joy as any other small animal and the good thing is that it doesn't require much space to be happy. It needs only a place to sleep (your bed will do), something to eat, some care and someone to love... YOU.