Your kitten’s basic health check
Your new kitten should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. The first visit will probably include:
– Thorough physical examination to determine his or her state of health.
– Check for external parasites (fleas, ticks, lice, ear mites).
– Check for internal parasites (tapeworm, roundworm, etc.), if you can bring a stool sample for analysis.
– Initial vaccination and/or a discussion of the types of vaccinations your kitten needs and when they should be scheduled.
– Discussion about whether your kitten should be sterilized (spayed or neutered) and when.
This first health check will give your veterinarian the information he needs to advise you on your kitten’s immediate diet and care. Plus, it will give him a “knowledge base” from which, on subsequent checkups throughout your cat’s life, he can better evaluate, monitor and manage your pet’s health.
Make your new kitten feel at home
With sensitive handling and friendly contact for at least an hour a day, your new kitten should soon be very comfortable with you and his new home. Be sure if there are also young children in the home that they are taught that a kitten is not a toy but a living creature who must be treated with gentleness and respect. Also provide your pet with lots of opportunities for interesting, challenging play that will satisfy his natural instincts. Toys that he can pretend to “hunt” and capture and special posts that he can scratch (instead of your carpets and furniture) will help make your kitten a joy to live with.
Your Geriatric Cat
When is the best time to start caring for your aging pet? When he’s a kitten. Starting off your cat’s life with good nutrition, scheduled veterinary appointments and a happy home life sets the blueprint for a high quality of life in his older years. Most cats are considered geriatric by the age of 8 to 10. Much like humans, time takes its toll on vital organ functions as your cat ages. Cats are more subtle than dogs in showing you when they are sick or in pain. Paying attention to your cat’s behavior will make detecting problems easier and help them live healthy lives well into their teens.
What you can do at home
– Check your cat’s mouth, eyes or ears regularly. Watch for loose teeth, redness, swelling or discharges.
– Keep your pet’s sleeping area clean and warm.
– Make fresh water available at all times.
How old is your cat?
If your cat is…
|In human terms, that’s