We want to make your kitten’s visits with us as relaxed as possible. You can help us by preparing your kitten for this with the following.
First Things First:
- Brushing their teeth, handling their feet and touching their ears will make our nose to tail examinations easier.
- Adjust them to getting their nails trimmed by manipulating each toe individually many times a day and always make the kitten behave during this time.
- At first, make these sessions short then gradually lengthen them.
- Handling their ears may make future ear cleaning easier.
Always make these sessions a positive experience and reward your kitten for being good. It IS possible to train a cat! Just look at all those crazy cat videos on YouTube!
Preventative Care Exam
A thorough physical exam is the most important part of your kitten’s visit. They will receive an exam from nose to tail. We want to be certain they are healthy before any vaccinations are given.
A fecal sample should be checked once a year on all pets. The most common intestinal parasites are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and coccidia. Roundworms infect most kittens, but they do not show up in every fecal sample. Roundworms can also cause disease in humans, especially young children. For this reason, your kitten will be dewormed at their first visit, even if the fecal is negative.
The fecal is still important to identify any other parasites and determine the proper medications. Some intestinal worms can encyst in the wall of the intestine when your kitten is young and will be released to infect your pet during times of stress. For this reason, the CDC mandates that all pets should have a stool sample checked every six to twelve months. Revolution (a monthly parasite and flea preventative) will also deworm your cat for intestinal parasites. This is why we recommended giving preventative year round, not just in the months you see fleas.
Nutrition is an important part of your kitten’s health. Many cats have sensitive gastrointestinal tracts and become ill easily if their diet changes in any way. It is best to choose a quality food that is readily available and consistently feed that diet. Table scraps are not recommended and can make cats seriously ill.
It is important to use a measuring cup to feed your kitten a specific amount each day. Measuring a daily ration will allow easier evaluation of the actual amount your kitten is eating. This system is especially important if your kitten is ill or if weight management becomes an issue as an adult cat. As a kitten, if you can meal feed (usually 2-3 times per day) rather than feeding free choice, it will help with obesity. It can be a good thing to introduce your kitten to canned food at a young age. The majority of their diet should still be dry food but canned food can be beneficial as they get older. We recommend the following brands of food:
- Hill’s Science Diet
- Royal Canin
- Purina ONE or ProPlan formulas
Neutering your pet has many important health and behavior benefits. They include eliminating ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, uterine cancer and uterine infections. It dramatically decreases the incidence of mammary cancer and prostate issues if done at a young age. It also virtually eliminates over-population problems. We recommend neutering your pet around 6 months of age. The health benefits are the greatest if females are spayed before her first heat cycle; aggression, roaming and marking behaviors can be greatly reduced or even eliminated by castrating a cat, even an older cat.
Dental disease is an often overlooked part of pet care. This young age is the perfect time to get your pet accustomed to having its teeth brushed. Start by handling your kitten’s mouth often. Lift the lips and open the mouth while constantly reassuring and talking to your kitten. However, if they struggle too much or are nibbling and biting you, even if playing, they must be firmly held and given a firm “NO.”
Never give up when the kitten is not cooperating or it may cause future training sessions to become difficult. Always end on a positive note when the kitten has done something well. As they grow accustomed to this exercise, you can begin rubbing the gums gently with your fingers. Gradually over weeks or months, you can progress to using a toothbrush and special pet toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste, as the fluoride content is too high for cats.
Flea and Tick Control
We have very effective, safe and easy solutions to controlling fleas and ticks on your kitten. We offer two topical products that can protect your new companion. At your kitten’s visit with the veterinarian, we will discuss their individual risks and find the perfect product to keep your kitten flea and tick free! There are many copycat products that are simply flea sprays packaged to look like brand name products but since they are totally unregulated they could potentially cause harm to any pet but especially cats.