Mental and Physical Development
Different Kitten Personalities Though most pet owners have always believed that their animals are unique, scientists have only recently confirmed that animals do indeed each have their own distinct behavioral characteristics - or, personality. Breed and environment each have a role in forming how a kitten acts, but his personality is perhaps the key factor in determining the kitten's overall behavior.
At 19 weeks of age, a kitten is taking its first steps towards mental maturity and adulthood. Now is the time when your kitten's unique personality begins to flourish, and you may have noticed that certain personality traits or tendencies in your kitten have recently become stronger and more apparent.
To help your kitten develop confidence and security during this sensitive time of growth, you should provide your kitten with a variety of mentally stimulating toys -- and don't forget plenty of attention and loads of affection.
Natural and Holistic Pet Food Holistic pet foods usually contain human grade organic sources of meat as their main ingredient, plus organic sources of vegetables for added nutrition. Most natural pet foods contain quality whole meats -- such as turkey, chicken, fish or beef -- as their primary ingredient.
Natural and holistic pet foods are usually free of ingredients like food colorants and artificial preservatives, and they contain little, or no, amounts of filler ingredients such as corn, which are not required in the kitten's diet. However, these diets maybe more expensive than pet foods you find in the grocery store.
Natural and Holistic pet foods are an option to consider when choosing a diet. The type of kitten food you chose for your pet should depend on your lifestyle, and the needs and preferences of your kitten. You may also decide talk to your veterinarian about their recommendations. Be sure to discuss any diet change with your veterinarian.
Health and Veterinary Care: Hairballs
Eventually, your growing kitten is going to hack up a hairball. This can be quite disturbing the first time you witness it, but it is quite normal -- as long as it doesn't happen more frequently than one hairball per week.
Cats are fastidious groomers and are constantly licking and ingesting their own fur. Occasionally, this fur gets stuck in the esophagus and is coughed up or regurgitated by the kitten.
Regular brushing of the kitten's fur will help minimize the amount of fur he ingests. You can also try feeding him a dollop of hairball ointment once per week. These ointments typically consist of flavored petroleum jelly which lubricates the hairball so that it can pass into the stomach and intestines. If your kitten doesn't eat this gel willingly, you may have to wipe it on the roof of his mouth.
Training: Mealtime Habits
Your kitten is almost five months old now. Ideally, you are still feeding canned food at certain times each day while giving your kitten access to dry food all day long. If you aren't already feeding your kitten several meals per day of canned food in addition to the unlimited dry food, now is the time to start.
Getting your kitten in the habit of having several meals per day will help prepare her for her adult feeding schedule. Always announce the meal with a verbal cue, such as, "Dinner time!" Soon, she will learn to associate the word or phrase with eating, and will eventually come running when you call.
Also get into the habit of replenishing the water bowl with fresh water at each meal, as well as scooping the litter boxes at this time. That way, the boxes will be clean when your kitten is done eating - which is probably when she'll need to visit the litter box again.