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Cute Kittens

Kittens are adorably cute, playful and mischievous.  A kitten's youthful energy can even cause them to be destructive at times.  Kitten litters vary between two and five with kittens being born after a gestation period just over two months.  A female cat (molly) can produce two to three litters annually.  Cute kittens' eyes remain closed during the first week to ten days.  For their first several weeks, cute kittens are extremely dependent on their mother whose milk provides them antibodies.  Most cute kittens should be able to walk around after about four weeks but may be able to crawl around somewhat after only a week.  Around four to five weeks of age, kittens will be bundles of energy with periods of chasing and play fighting with littermates. After six to seven weeks, kittens are weaned and normally reach full maturity within five to ten months though this can vary by breed.  Kittens ideally should stay with their mother for up to three months to allow them sufficient time for social development.  Adopting a cute kitten from a local shelter or SPCA may be the best choice as they will often ensure that adopted kittens are healthy, socialized, disease-free, spayed, neutured and vaccinated.  Before bringing home a kitten, check to make sure that any kitten you are considering is inquisitive, friendly, and comfortable with being held.  A kitten which shies away from human contact may be very aloof as pets.  Also make sure that a kitten is given its required vaccines (FVRCP) at this time.   

   

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Cats have been human companions for thousand of years.  It is estimated there are currently more than 500 million cats worldwide with fewer than ten percent of those being purebreeds.  A study by the Pet Food Institute in 2000 estimated that the number of pet cats in the US is approximately 75 million.  The Cat Fanciers Association recognizes 41 breeds of cats though crossbreeding has resulted in the overwhelming majority of kittens being classified as either a domestic shorthair or domestic longhair.  It is estimated that the domestic shorthair cat is approximately ten times more common the domestic longhair.  Acquiring a domestic shorthair cat is far less costly than a purebreed variety.  While the domestic longhair is less common than the domestic shorthair, domestic longhair cats are still more popular than any other recognized breed.  Longhairs tend to be a bit less lively than shorthairs.     

  

                        

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Cats actually hear higher-pitch frequencies than dogs and can hear sounds at distances several times further than humans.  The vestibular apparatus in a cat's inner ear contributes to the cat's phenomenal sense of balance.  Cats have an amazing olfactory sense used to determine if food is suitable to eat.  Cats have retractable claws - five on the front paws and four on the hind legs.  Cats have a natural tendency to claw certain surfaces to exercise their legs and mark their territory.  A scratching post can be a furniture saver from a cat's innate desire to clean their claws and exercise their leg muscles. Cats also have excellent night vision and can function at light levels one sixth that required for human vision.  However, cats' color vision is poor.  Cats will normally sleep between twelve and sixteen hours daily and have a heartbeat about twice that of humans. 

                      

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Cats are carnivores which require a diet of meat and their digestive tracts are not really suited to plant or vegetable consumption.  Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements so a cat should not be fed dogfood.  Cats generally are not fond of sweets.  After a kitten is weaned, they don't need milk and may have difficulty digesting it.  Commercial cat food is more likely to provide the proper balance of nutrients than sporadically giving your cat tunafish or other meats.  Dry cat food is more calorie dense than canned food.  Care should be taken to not overfeed their cat as obesity can lead to a number of health issues.  To address weight problems, a cat can be given a modified diet, divide their food into multiple but smaller meals, eliminate table treats and give your cat games to play to increase their activity level.  

                        

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Cats have a rough tongue which they use to spend hours daily grooming their fur.  However, owners should still brush/comb the fur regularly with the frequency depending on coat length.  Grooming helps prevent the accumulation of hairballs, shedding within your home and promotes circulation.  Cats shed their coat twice annually with their summer coat being lighter than their winter coat.  Domesticated cats normally live to between fourteen and twenty years of age while feral cats (those living outside and without an owner) have much shorter lifespans.  Cats should be provided with a clean litter box so that they don't do their business elsewhere in the home.

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