Mental and Physical Development
At 13 weeks of age, your kitten still needs a tremendous amount of fat, protein and vitamins in order to fuel physical and mental growth. Deficiencies in the kitten's diet will result in malnourishment, which can cause stunted growth, poor health, vision problems, lowered immune function and depression.
Homemade Diets If you have decided to feed your growing kitten a diet of homemade foods, you will need to carefully balance it with the right types of foods and supplements.
Cats, and their kittens, are true carnivores; any homemade diet for kittens should be based on fresh meats. Easily digestible meats, such as raw turkey, chicken, or tuna, are best for kittens. A bit of olive oil should be added for extra fat and vitamin content, and a hard-boiled egg will provide additional protein.
A supplement recommended by your veterinarian needs to be given to the kitten daily to ensure that his nutritional requirements are met.
Health and Veterinary Care
Allergies The same allergies that affect on humans - causing itchy and watery eyes, persistent coughs, rashes, and sometimes, in the case of food allergies, gastrointestinal upset -- also affect kittens in much the same way.
Like humans, kittens display similar symptoms as they react to offending foods, pollen, insect bites, dust, drugs and vaccines. They too will have irritated eyes, sneezing, itching, and dermatitis as well as vomiting and diarrhea. In severe cases, as seen with vaccine or anesthetic reactions, kittens can develop life-threatening respiratory distress requiring a visit to an emergency veterinary facility.
Treatment for allergies may not always be required, especially in mild, seasonal cases. However, a veterinarian may recommend a prescription of antihistamines or anti-inflammatory drugs to provide the kitten some relief. Sometimes, in moderate to severe cases of allergies, a more challenging treatment regime may be proposed, which could involve a diet change, ongoing medication, or an environment change to help your kitten avoid repeated exposure to an offending allergen.
What Are the Signs of an Allergic Reaction? Kittens can have an allergic reaction at any age, due to vaccinations, food allergies, stings, insect bites, pollens, or chemicals. The signs of an allergic reaction in cats and kittens are usually the same, regardless of age.
Mild allergic reactions can cause slight nasal discharge, periodic coughing, raised bumps or rashes on the skin, itching, or a slight swelling on a particular area of the skin. More serious allergic reactions can cause wheezing, fever, excessive salivation, swelling of the head and throat, confusion, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, or a physical collapse. Food allergies in kittens may cause symptoms such periodic vomiting or loose stools.
Serious allergic reactions are often fatal if they are not treated promptly. If you believe that your kitten is having an allergic reaction, take your kitten to a veterinarian immediately.
Training: Excessive Meowing
Kittens at 13 weeks of age may meow constantly for a variety of reasons. While many kittens will meow excessively if they want extra attention, kittens may also meow if they are hurt, hungry, bored or anxious, so it's important to try to find out why your kitten is meowing.
If your kitten seems to be meowing a lot, try to evaluate what the cause could be. Is the kitten eating well? Has the kitten been dewormed? (See Week 8 for information on deworming.) Does the kitten experience any pain or tenderness when lightly touched? Are there plenty of new toys and climbing posts for the kitten to play with? Has the kitten been left alone a lot? Have you just recently adopted the kitten?
If you have tried to calm your kitten's meowing with plenty of extra toys and attention without success, your veterinarian should examine your kitten for any health issues that could be causing pain or discomfort.