Information For New Kitten Owners
you are so excited that you have a new addition to your family. As you shower your new kitten with love and attention, don’t forget the most important key to the kitten’s health: a visit to the vet. All new kittens should always have an preliminary examination with a vet. During that first visit, the vet will check your kitten thoroughly to assess her general health. You will also have the option of ordering other diagnostic and preventative tests , such as a fecal exam to check for internal parasites. They can also test for other feline diseases such as Coccidiosis, Giardia. Usually, you will need to de-worm your kitty to prevent infestation of parasites that can lead to malnourishment.
As long as FELV/FIV tests are negative, your vet will suggest to vaccinate the kitten to help build immunity to fatal feline infectious disease. These shots will be done in a series, usually with FVRCP, FELV/FIV, and Rabies. Different vets follow different schedules but a typically schedule has shots given at 3-4 weeks apart. The only exception is the Rabies shot, which is usually given around 12-18 weeks old. As with all vaccinations there are risks, so you should address any questions and concerns to your vet before having the vaccinations.
Even if you have adopted your kitten from a pet store or shelter, it is not a good idea to assume your kitten is current on her shots or is in good general health. If possible, ask for vet records, breeder records, and certificates of health, to show to your vet at the first exam. If there are no records available, your vet will most likely vaccinate regardless just to be safe.
Once you know your kitten is in good health and you have provided protection with de-worming and vaccinations, then you can turn to making the home life comfortable and fun. Make sure that you have proper equipment if the kitten is to remain inside. For example, you will definitely need a litter box. Make sure to keep clean, fresh litter at a proper depth for the kitten to bury feces. You may also want to invest in a textured rubber mat for kitty to step out on to help prevent spreading litter pieces all over the floor. Usually, the kitten will opt to use the litter box in preference to other household locations, but it is essential that you show him or her where it is.
A scratching post can be helpful in saving your furniture from the common practice of claw sharpening. Other toys to keep your new little friend entertained can provide loads of fun for the family as they watch the kitten chase the toy mouse, slap at the feather on the string, and pounce on the ball spinning inside the circular tray. Always inspect toys for broken pieces or worn parts that could cause problems if a small part is swallowed.
Your kitten has an innate urge to pounce on objects. This “object play” mimics his or her predatory nature. If you give your kitten a variety of toys, she’ll develop this behavior early. This will keep your kitten health in optimal mental and physical condition because he or she will learn the social skills and coordination that her litter mates would normally provide. This type of play will also give the exercise needed to help prevent many health problems such as obesity. Abundant amount of play will also keep the kitten entertained, so that boredom doesn’t set in causing behavioral problems.
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