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Of Kittens In General

Kittens usually shed their first teeth from five to seven months old,
and seldom possess even part of a set of the small, sharp dentition
after that time. When shown as kittens under six months old, and they
have changed the whole of their kittenhood teeth for those of the
adult, it is generally considered a fairly strong proof that their
life is in excess of that age, and the judge is therefore certainly
justified in disqualifying such exhibit, though sometimes, as in other
domestic animals, there occurs premature change, as well as inexplicable

Kittens are not so cleanly in their habits as cats of a mature growth;
this is more generally the case when they have been separated from the
mother-cat, or when removed to some place that is strange to them, or
when sufficient care is not taken, by letting them out of the house
occasionally. When they cannot from various reasons be so turned out, a
box should be provided, partly filled with dry earth, to which they may
retire. This is always a requisite when cats or kittens are valuable,
and therefore obliged to be kept within doors, especially in
neighbourhoods where there is a chance of their being lost or stolen.

It should also be borne in mind, that the present and future health of
an animal, be it what it may, is subject to many incidences, and not the
least of these is good and appropriate food, shelter, warmth, and
cleanliness. It is best to feed at regular intervals. In confinement,
Mr. Bartlett, the skilful and experienced manager of the Zoological
Society's Gardens, at Regent's Park, finds that one meal a day is
sufficient, and this is thought also to be the case with a full-grown
cat, more especially when it has the opportunity of ranging and getting
other food, such as mice, and "such small deer;" but with "young things"
it is different, as it is deemed necessary to get as much strength and
growth as possible. I therefore advocate several meals a day, at least
three, with a variety of food, such as raw shin of beef, cut very small;
bones to pick; fish of sorts, with all the bones taken out, or refuse
parts; milk, with a little hot water; boiled rice or oatmeal, with milk
or without it; and grass, if possible; if not, some boiled vegetables,
stalks of asparagus, cabbage, or even carrots. Let the food be varied
from time to time, but never omitting the finely-cut raw beef every day.
I am not in favour of liver, or "lights," as it is called, either for
cats or kittens. If horseflesh can be depended on, it is a very
favourite and strengthening food, and may be given. The kitten should be
kept warm and dry, and away from draughts.

Also take especial care not in any way to frighten, tease, or worry a
young animal, but do everything possible to give confidence and engender
regard, fondness, or affection for its owner; always be gentle and yet
firm in its training. Do not allow it to do one day uncorrected, that
for which it is punished the next for the same kind of fault. If it is
doing wrong remove it, speaking gently, at the time, and not wait
long after the fault is committed, or they will not know what the
punishment is for. Many animals' tempers are spoiled entirely by this
mode of proceeding.

Take care there is always a clean vessel, with pure clear water for them
to drink when thirsty.

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