Mental and Physical Development
Bathing and Grooming Needs At 10 weeks of age, kittens are highly energetic, playful, and curious. Combined, these three characteristics can mean that kittens are also dirty a great deal of the time. While you may be tempted to rinse your kitten under the faucet, other types of cleaning methods should be used instead to help your kitten become accustomed to regular grooming habits.
Brushing or combing your kitten daily will familiarize him with grooming, and it will remove any dirt or debris that your kitten has missed. Purchase wet wipes made for pet fur, which can be used to clean kittens without getting them soaked. A cloth moistened with water can be used to wash your kitten's face.
Trim your kitten's claws on a weekly basis, and use a lightly dampened cloth to gently wipe out your kitten's ears if they become dirty. You should never use Q-tips to clean your pet's ears.
An Exercise Program The 10-week-old kitten is a lot like an aspiring gymnast- constantly practicing balancing routines, leaps, jumps and feats of athleticism. All of this energy and activity is important to the growing kitten's physical and mental development.
If your kitten is not provided with an outlet for these necessary activities, he will find one on his own - and this could include climbing your curtains or knocking over everything on your shelves.
To help your kitten get all the exercise he needs, and to keep him out of trouble, provide him with plenty of exercise materials. These should include plenty of fluffy balls, small stuffed animals, climbing and scratching posts, and interactive toys such as small laser lights or kitty fishing poles. Use these toys to play with your kitten and to help him exercise.
Health and Veterinary Care: Rabies
Rabies is a fatal neurological disease that can infect humans as well as animals. It is caused by a virus and is typically transmitted by a bite wound (usually from a wild animal). In North America, the most commonly infected wildlife includes bats, raccoons, coyotes, skunks and foxes. Although this disease is very rare, the vaccine is considered core (necessary for all kittens) because it is a human health risk and because it is fatal.
Even indoor-only cats are at risk for rabies. There have been many accounts of bats entering homes and biting people or pets.
State and local regulations vary, so be sure to follow your veterinarian's recommendation regarding the correct age for vaccination. In many states, rabies vaccination is required in any kitten older than 12 weeks of age, but in some states the requirement is 16 weeks of age.
Training: Basic Commands
The 10-week-old kitten is still quite young in terms of mental and physical development, but at this stage you can begin to teach your kitten some very basic commands. The most basic of these commands teaches the kitten to come when you call. You should also begin to set behavioral limitations inside your household.
Begin by calling your kitten to meal times using the same tone of voice and words every time. Soon after, any time you want your kitten to come to you, use the "meal calling" tone and words. When your kitten appears, give him a small treat as a reward.
To teach your kitten behavioral limitations, make a short, loud "hiss" sound when your kitten is not behaving appropriately. Young kittens will respond instinctively to this sound and stop what they are doing. At this time, you should then redirect the kitten's attention to another activity.