Have a new kitten? Here are our vet's tips for their care.
You are probably very excited about a lifetime of play and cuddles with your new feline friend but don't forget that you will need to provide them with basic care and monitor their health. Below, our experienced Turlock veterinarians offer a guide to caring for your new kitten.
Providing Your New Kitten With a Proper Diet
One of the most important factors in kitten care is meeting your kitten's nutritional needs. It is essential to provide your adorable furball with high-quality kitten food that meets their specific dietary requirements. You should choose foods form known brands that don't stuff their blend full of additives. Consult your veterinarian for recommendations on the best foods, feeding schedules and portion sizes.
One money-saving point to note is that the least expensive food isn't always the best value for your hard-earned cash. Many less expensive foods have larger serving sizes so that you use considerably more and in the long run save little. It is also the case that less expensive foods may not meet all of your kitten's nutritional requirements, possibly leading to poor health later in life.
Attending Routine Vet Appointments
Routine exams and veterinary care will be crucial to the ongoing health of your kitty. Schedule a kitten exam soon after bringing your feline friend home. These comprehensive examinations allow your veterinarian to check your kitten for existing health concerns, provide vaccinations and deworming medications as needed, and answer any questions you may have about preventive care and more.
Regular check-ups and vaccine appointments throughout the critical first year of your kitten's life will help to set them on the path to excellent lifelong health. At Community Veterinary Clinic in Turlock our experienced veterinarians steadfastly believe that safeguarding your pet's health against preventable diseases is the best way to help ensure that your tiny friend lives a long and healthy life.
Ways to Care For Your New Kitten at Home
Now that your kitten is established with a proper diet and veterinary care, there are a few other things you can do at home to keep them safe and healthy. Here are some ways to care for your kitten at home:
- Kitten-proof your home by locking away dangerous items such as chemicals, cords, and small objects that could be ingested. Ensure windows and balconies are safe.
- Create a designated space in your home where your kitten can explore and feel safe. Make sure the environment is free of hazards and provide toys, scratching posts, and comfortable resting spots.
- Provide a clean and accessible litter box. Kittens are usually quick learners when it comes to using the litter box, but keep it scooped and be sure to clean it regularly to encourage proper habits.
- Socialize your kitten by exposing them to different people, sounds, and environments. Positive experiences early in life will help them grow into confident and well-adjusted adult cats.
- Engage in interactive play sessions with toys that encourage exercise and mental stimulation. This also helps create a strong bond between you and your kitten.
- Introduce your kitten to grooming at a young age. Brush your kitten's fur regularly to prevent matting and to help them become accustomed to being handled. Introduce nail trims early to prevent scratches and keep their claws manageable.
- Dental care is essential for our feline friends but often neglected. Begin brushing your kitty's teeth as soon as possible to maintain good oral health. By starting this process while they are very young, it will become a normal, stress-free activity in their life.
Signs of Complications in Kittens
Kitten care also means watching for certain signs or symptoms that could indicate a problem or even a veterinary emergency. If you see your kitten displaying any of the following signs call your vet immediately to schedule an appointment.
Here are some of the concerning signs that may be noticed in new kittens:
- Delays or difficulties in motor skills or coordination
- Refusing food (especially if being bottle-fed)
Beyond the age of four weeks, you can continue to watch for the following symptoms:
- Litter box usage / Not using the litter box
- Signs of play biting or aggression
- Fears and other concerning behaviors that should be managed when they are still young
Enjoying Your New Furry Friend
Life with a new kitten is definitely fun, but you cannot forget about the responsibility that comes with pet ownership. By providing your beloved kitty with proper nutrition, regular veterinary care, a safe environment, and lots of love and affection, you're setting the foundation for a healthy and happy life. Enjoy the time you spend together and pay special attention to your kitty's unique personality quirks, individual needs and preferences as you embark on this beautiful adventure together.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.