For the Health of Your New Kitten
Your kitten will have a physical exam before their vaccinations are administered. Since kittens receive a series of vaccinations, they will have several physical exams during the first few months of their lives. This is an excellent opportunity to ask questions about your new pet- we can help with behavioral questions, too. As your kitten grows into an adult, annual wellness exams are important to help us identify age-related diseases early.
We will work with you to find the best vaccination program for your pet based on their lifestyle, age, medical history, and risk of disease exposure. Please let us know if your kitten will be living with other cats or going outdoors. We adopt our vaccination guidelines based on the current American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP)for core and non-core vaccines.
Spaying and Neutering:
Your kitten can be spayed or neutered at 6 months of age. Surgery patients need to be current on their annual exam, their vaccinations, and testing for parasites. All pets will also have lab work done prior to anesthesia. Also ask about microchipping your kitten at this time, especially if they will be going outside.
It’s recommended to meal feed and measure out each meal so you know exactly how much your pet is eating. This will help keep your kitten at an optimum weight while they are growing into adults, and reduce the risk of diabetes.
Start a home dental program early. Teeth-brushing is an important part of home health care and a very cost-effective way to prevent certain diseases later in your cat’s life.
Use toothpaste formulated for pets and a soft-bristled toothbrush or gauze wrapped around your finger, and brush your pet’s teeth every day. There are many other products available- such as chews, dental diets, water additive, sealants or rinses- that can be added to your brushing routine to help prevent periodontal disease. Ask one of our staff for information on these products.
Never give your cat medication for pain relief without consulting a veterinarian first. Many human medications are toxic to animals.
Crate Training Kittens:
Keep in mind kittens and cats rarely need to go places, but when they do, placing them in a crate is a foreign and scary thing. It is important to give them good experiences with a travel crate. After bringing your new pet home, open up the carrier, place treats or catnip inside for your pet to discover when exploring. Continue to keep the carrier in an accessible location so the pet can play inside. Occasionally offer a special meal inside the carrier for the pet to continue to experience something good. Randomly, close the door and carry the pet around the house then allow the pet to leave on his or her own time. Try to schedule short car trips with the pet without actually going to the vet. The time invested in a young pet will help for years to come.
Litter box Recommendations:
Not using the litter box is a common complaint by some feline owners. If just starting out with your first kitten or if you have had cats for a while, here are a few guidelines to help prevent elimination problems from developing.
- Have one litter box per cat in the house plus one extra.
- Multiple litter boxes should not all be located in the same place. If more than one level in the home, have boxes on each level.
- Be careful not to place boxes near noisy appliances that may scare the pet while using it.
- Try covered and uncovered boxes. Some cats like privacy.
- Litter should be as close to sand as possible (the natural choice for most cats). Many clumping litters are very similar.
- Non-deodorant litters are best since some cats are bothered by the deodorant smell.
- Cleanliness is very important to most cats. Scoop out the box daily and completely wash the box weekly with a mild soap and water. *Strong cleaners can deter cats from using the box as well.
If you notice your cat starting to have accidents outside the litter box then consult with us at the hospital right away. There may be medical issues causing it. If the pet has not been using the litter box for years, consider a behavior consult with us.
Wellness Plan Available:
Proactive preventative care will not only improve the quality of your pet's life but also will add years to it. We are offering an opportunity to spread the cost of your pet's preventative care conveniently over 12 months. Click on this Kitten Wellness Plan link for more details.