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How to Create an Enriching Environment for Your Kitten

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How to Create an Enriching Environment for Your Kitten

Kittens are curious, energetic fluffballs with boundless energy. A safe, enriching environment can cater to your kitten’s playful side, stimulate them physically and mentally, and benefit their health and development for the rest of their life.

 

 

Tips for Creating a Safe, Enriching Environment for Kittens

Keeping your kitten indoors has significant benefits because it protects them from a large number of dangers. But without all the sights, sounds and smells of nature, a kitten needs other ways to stimulate their mind and body.


To build your kitten an enriching environment, provide them with safe places for hiding and resting, like window ledges, carriers or perches. Your kitten should feel protected in their safe spots and may prefer an enclosed resting area. While kittens spend a great deal of their time sleeping, their periods of wakefulness can and should be used to stimulate psychological and physical activity.


It’s important to create stimulating places for entertainment and play, as well. Cats can benefit from spaces at different vertical levels, like cat trees and perches. A variety of scratching posts can teach your kitten appropriate scratching while nurturing their natural instincts, and protect your furniture and carpet from their sharp claws.


Many cats also benefit from social activity with other cats, especially if they were introduced to other cats early in life. Providing your kitten with another kitten or young cat as a play buddy can help meet their need for near-constant play and motion. Keep in mind that cats put a premium on managing space, so it’s important that multiple-cat homes offer a variety of places to hide, sleep and observe, using both the horizontal and vertical dimensions.

 

 

Engaging Games and Toys for Kittens

An important component to enriching your kitten’s environment is socialization and play, especially if your kitten is the only animal in the household. A kitten’s natural predator-play behavior is usually easy to stimulate with interactive toys, such as wand toys or balls to pounce on or chase.

 

 

Games for Kittens

Playing kitten games with your pet helps them develop coordination and natural hunting skills. It also can help them learn boundaries and develop a bond with their new owner. Aim for 10 to 15 minutes of structured playtime two or three times a day. One way to prevent the “nighttime crazies” is to engage in active, vigorous play before feeding your kitten at bedtime. This helps wear out the kitten before bed and mimics the natural hunting-feeding-grooming-sleeping sequence in cats.


Engaging games to play with your kitten include:

  • Hide and seek.Call your kitten to you; this may be easiest at mealtime. When your kitten comes running, move to a different room and call again. Reward them for finding you with a fun toy or treat.
  • Fetch.Toss a toy across the floor for your kitten to chase. When they “catch” the toy, call them back to you. If they bring the toy back to you, reward them with praise or treats to reinforce the behavior.
  • Paper bag prey.Place a paper shopping bag on its side, and gently scratch the sides or put a toy inside to encourage your kitten inside. Poke and scratch the outside of the bag while your kitten happily pursues the unknown “prey.”

 

 

Stimulate a Kitten Through Training

An important component to enriching your kitten’s environment is socialization and play, especially if your kitten is the only animal in the household. A kitten’s natural predator-play behavior is usually easy to stimulate with interactive toys, such as wand toys or balls to pounce on or chase.

 

 

Keeping a Kitten Entertained While Alone

A greater challenge is providing enrichment opportunities for kittens when a person or another pet is not present to interact with them. Puzzle toys are one option to fight kitten boredom. These toys come in a variety of designs to entertain your kitten and reward her with a treat or food, such as Opens a new window IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Healthy Kitten with Chicken. This offers twofold benefits, providing play and proper nutrition for supporting a kitten’s energy and playtime.

 

 


Kittens and cats will spend a great deal of time watching the outside world through windows, especially if there’s a bird feeder or butterfly garden within view. Make sure to keep at least one window blind open — especially if it looks out on an area with frequent movement and activity. There are also a number of “cat TV” videos of squirrels, birds and other nature scenes available online to keep a cat entertained.


Providing your kitten with enrichment opportunities helps prevent stress and the development of abnormal behaviors. Growing from a kitten into a cat in an enriched environment with lots of physical and psychological exercise supports the overall well-being of your pet at all stages of her life.

 

 

 

 

How to Create an Enriching Environment for Your Kitten
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    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

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    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

    Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.

     

     

    What Is a Product Code?

    A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.

    As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.

    The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.


    Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)

    Example: 040220 04FEB20

    Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ

    This product should be used before February 4, 2020.
     

    Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.

     

     

    What Is Shelf Life?

    Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.

    The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.

     

     

    How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food

    Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.

    Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.

    *IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.

    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
    cat article detail banner
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
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