New Kitten Care
Dr. Christina Frick, D.V.M.
Is your family thinking of getting a new pet for Christmas? Or have you recently acquired or adopted a new kitten? Here is some cat information your family needs.
A cat cannot be compared with other domestic pets, because it has many unique qualities. Cats combine a strong sense of independence with a deep affection for its owner. It is self-reliant, but can be trained in obedience and tricks. It is easy to housebreak, adapts well to apartment living, does not require you to walk or exercise it, and naturally keeps itself clean and neat.
The lifespan of an average indoor cat is 12-15 years while that of an average out-door cat is 2-3 years. By reducing stress, allowing the kitten to feel comfortable on its own terms, and Dr. Frick Health recommendations you will enjoy many years of affection, love, and loyal companionship.
General Health care:
- Have your new kitten or cat examined by Dr. Frick immediately after obtaining. Dr. Frick will set up the optimal vaccination plan for your feline. These include Feline Distemper, Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus and Chlamydia, Rabies, and Feline Leukemia. Routine Deworming will also be done. We start vaccinations at 6-8 weeks old for kittens.
- Daily brushing decreases shedding, improves coat and prevents hairballs. Long hair cats may require Cat-Lax or hairball foods. Frick Vet Services carries some great brushes for all animal's grooming needs.
- Flea control is important March through November. Only use approved veterinary products. The over-the-counter products do not work and will cause reactions, sensitivity, and even death. Fleas also give cats Tapeworms and will need to be treated by a veterinarian.
- Spaying (female) and Neutering (male) can be done as early as 5-6 months old. Female cats continue to come in heat every 3-4 weeks until they are bred! Signs of heat include restlessness, nervousness, rolling on the floor, more affectionate, and voice changes.
- Declawing can be performed as early as 3 months old. Declawing can also be performed at the same time as spaying or neutering the cat, so the animal only under goes anesthesia one time.
- Litter box training- usually no problem- done by instinct. Keep the box clean or use the automatic litter box cleaning systems. Keep the box in a quiet, accessible area. Feeding a premium vet diet will decrease stool volume and odor. Dr. Frick has many suggestions for cats that are hard to train to the box.
- Nutrition- feed a high quality, dry cat food, free choice. Fresh water must be available at all times. Dr. Frick has the pet water fountains available, which the cats love. Do not feed milk after the kitten is weaned (6-8 weeks old) since it often cause diarrhea and is not necessary in the diet. Don't use cheap or generic food because they cannot be digested properly. Don't use dog food because the protein amount is not high enough for cats. Make changes of food gradually.
- NEVER give a cat Tylenol or aspirin.
- A plastic crate is good for trips and also as a bed for them at home. It gives them a private place and offers security. Cats sleep 22 hours each day. Adequate rest is necessary for optimum growth and development.
- Use proper shampoos if you want to bathe your cat.
- Provide safe toys for your cat to play with. Objects that may cause stomach or intestinal surgery to remove, include string, fishing line, marbles, needles or any other small objects less than 1" diameter. Please kitten/cat-proof your house of these potential risks. Also remember toxic plants & chemicals that need to be put away.
- Dog and cats can adapt to each other- gradually and gently.
- Collar and ID tags ensure the animal gets back home. Dr. Frick also provides Microchipping to permanently ID your pets.
- There are many methods to training a cat. Using a squirt of water in the face doesn't hurt them but deters most kittens from doing things they shouldn't, such as jumping up on counters or furniture, scratching/clawing on inappropriate places, or chewing on cords. Dr. Frick can help owners depending on each situation.
Call Frick Vet Services at 285-3496 for your new kitten or cat check-up. Please feel free to call Dr. Frick for advice or suggestions on proper care of your kitten. She wants to help you insure a life-long happy relationship with your new pet.
Frick Vet Services also carries many PET Christmas presents, Stocking Stuffers, Pet Toys, and Treats etc. for your pets or your pet owner friends. Don't know what to get that pet owner in your family- Frick Vet Services offers Gift Certificates so they can chose what they want in products or services. Remember to book early for boarding your pets at the holiday time at our Frick Bed and Bone.