Dr. Lori Cavitt
Kitten Care Tips
Updated: Aug 30, 2018
Cats and kittens have a reputation of being low-maintenance pets. If you are living in the presence of such a creature, you know that they can be quite the opposite. People who are cat-lovers flood the internet with hilarious cat memes describing the peculiarity of the species.
We have compiled a list of the answers to the most common cat-related questions, as well as some tips for keeping you kitty healthy and happy.
Kittens are born with maternal antibodies against deadly viruses such as Rabies and Feline Leukemia. Maternal antibodies eventually leave the body and a kitten needs vaccinations to continue immunity. We base our vaccination schedule on the latest research recommendations and use the best vaccines available.
Protect your kitten from parasites.
Flea and tick prevention comes in many different forms and can protect your pet from allergy issues and diseases carried by these parasites.
Some forms of flea prevention have intestinal parasite protection added.
We recommend feeding a good quality kitten food for the first year. (We would be happy to share our brand and type recommendations.)
Avoid Raw Diets that can contain bacteria such as salmonella, parasites, and protozoa.
Corn and other grains in a prepared food are cooked, therefore easily digestible and are not common causes of food allergies.
By-Products are not low quality ingredients. Nutrient-rich broth, gelatin, and clean parts other than meat (i.e. liver) are labeled as by-products.
We recommend feeding a diet that consists of wet and dry food to promote healthy weight, supplement water intake, and broaden the cat’s food preferences.
Cats thrive in low-stress environments and do not like sudden changes. This means that the less change they have to endure is better.
If you do have to change food, litter, or toys it is recommended that you place the new item next to the old item for several days to allow the cat to choose the change.
If your home is a busy place, make sure your cats have access to a dark quiet area to help them feel safe.
Cats need high quality food provided in a quiet area.
Cats prefer bowls that allow them to eat and drink without touching their whiskers to the sides. Wide, shallow dishes and saucers work best for this.
If you have more than one cat, have separate food bowls for each cat.
Provide clean, fresh water at all times. Some cats prefer a drinking fountain.
Place litter boxes in private, quiet areas to ensure the cat feels safe.
It is recommended that you provide a litter box for each cat in the household plus one extra.
It is important to remove waste from the box daily. Cats are clean animals and will choose to eliminate in a clean spot, even if they soil your rugs, laundry, or other items.
Cat’s noses are very sensitive to smells. Most cats prefer a fine-textured and unscented litter.
Provide your kitten with lots of opportunity to play. This keeps your kitten active and helps maintain a healthy weight.
Play with interactive toys keeps your kitten from going after your hands and feet as well.
Cardboard boxes and paper sacks make for inexpensive toys.
It also helps to rotate toys so that the cat will not get bored with one toy.
Cats enjoy hiding, watching, and sleeping from a perch (off of the ground). They also like to look out of windows.
If necessary, purchase inexpensive shelving or a kitty condo.
If possible, keep blinds and curtains raised a small amount so that the cat doesn’t damage your window coverings.
It is normal for cats to scratch. They use scratching areas to define territory visually and by smell.
Most cats prefer a vertical scratching post, but some do like a horizontal area.
Purchase a sturdy post covered in rope, rough fabric, or wood.
Locate the post near a window or a sleeping area as some cats like to use it to stretch upon waking.
Kittens can be trained to use a post or designated area to prevent them from destroying unwanted areas.
Cats communicate with body language. Pay attention to the position of the cat’s ears, tail, and hackles. It is also good to know his or her “normal” behaviors, (i.e. activity level, food and water consumption, elimination behaviors, grooming habits, sleeping habits, and vocalization) because even slight changes can indicate an illness.
Keep your cat carrier in a quiet place with bedding inside so that your cat may become more comfortable inside of it. If it is a pleasant place that the cat is used to, trips to the veterinarian office may be less stressful.