YOUR NEW KITTEN
A cat cannot (and should not) be compared with any other domestic pet, because of its 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.
General Health Care Suggestions:
Have your new kitten examined by a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY after obtaining it.
Feline Distemper, Rhinotracheitis, Calici virus
We routinely DEWORM for the major internal parasites at the same time as immunizations are given. Over-the-counter medications are usually not effective, and may even cause illness. Watch the stools for small white segments that look similar to rice. These are tapeworms and require a special type medication. Daily brushing decreases shedding, improves coat, and prevents hairballs.
Apply Revolution or Frontline once each month. Talk to us before using any other insecticide. Avoid all over-the-counter products. We have seen many reactions to those products because cats are very sensitive to most insecticides. Confining the cat TOTALLY INDOORS is the best solution! Fleas may give the cat TAPEWORMS. ("Rice" in the feces.)
Long-haired cats may need Laxatone twice a week to prevent hairballs. Brushing daily is the most important hairball prevention. Special diets can also help prevent hairballs.
Only cats that are entirely indoors should be declawed. It is a painful procedure that should only be done as a last resort. If done, it should be done at 4-6 months of age. Front feet ONLY are usually declawed so your cat can still defend itself if necessary.
Performed at 6-9 months of age--both male and female.
Note: Female cats are not like the female dog! They continue to come in heat every 3-4 weeks until they are bred. Signs of heat include restlessness, nervousness, rolling on the floor, acting more affectionate, vocalization, voice changes, etc.
Litter Box Training:
Usually no problem -- done by instinct. Keep the litter box clean! Odor neutralizers or baking soda will decrease litter box odor. Change at least twice a week. Remove droppings DAILY. Oil dry material or alfalfa pellets make good cat litter. Plastic garbage bags can be used for litter box liners. Premium diets will decrease stool volume and odor tremendously.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they eat animal proteins entirely. This is different than dogs, which are omnivores (eat plants and animals). For this reason, cats should never be fed dog food. A good quality kitten food should be fed until 9 months of age. A good quality adult food should be fed until 7 years of age, at which time they should be switched to a senior diet. Good quality foods include Purina, Eukanuba, Hills Science Diet, and Iams, among others, I do not recommend grocery store foods due to their lower nutritional quality. Cats should be fed some canned food regularly to add water to their diet. This helps prevent urinary tract problems. Dry food helps prevent tartar buildup on teeth.