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 delay.
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 horse-flesh 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.