Kitten Care and Feeding
Congratulations on the new addition to your family. Your cat will give you years of joy and companionship; in return, you will provide your pet with the highest quality of life you can. Vaccinations and proper nutrition are essential for your cat’s health.
- FVRCP = Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia- (distemper vaccine)
- Feline Leukemia
- FIP- FIP is a contagious and fatal disease.
- If your cat goes outside we recommend yearly FIV and Heartworm testing.
What to Feed
We recommend a diet combining canned and dry food. Soft moist foods should be a convenience food. We do not recommend their routine use in your cat’s diet. The pouch foods are not hard enough to benefit the teeth and gums. Soft moist foods are extremely high in preservatives, sugar and calories but have little nutritional value. The foods you feed to your adult cat should have a low magnesium content and prevent urinary tract infection.Kittens should be fed a kitten formulation food for their first 6 months. Once your kitten is 6 months old, it may be switched to adult food.
|SCIENCE DIET FELINE GROWTH||SCIENCE DIET FELINE MAINTENANCE|
|IAMS KITTEN FOOD||IAMS CAT FOOD|
|HILLS C/D PRESCRIPTION DIET|
How to Feed
We do not recommend that food be left out all day. “Ad Lib” feeding is contrary to a cat’s ancestral feeding habits and has been proven to be the most common cause of pet obesity. Cats will usually eat what is needed to sate their appetite within an hour. Canned food should not be allowed to sit out for more than 1 hour. If all the food is not eaten within an hour, decrease the amount offered initially. A kitten should be fed 3-4 times a day. An adult cat needs only 2 feedings a day.
Clean fresh water should be available at all times. Change the water each time you feed your cat. Monitor your pet’s water intake- sudden increases or decreases may indicate a health problem. Milk is not recommended because cat’s milk is very different from cow’s milk, and may cause severe diarrhea.
Oil supplements like Nutravet, missing link, and occasional vitamin supplements like Favor are beneficial and may be purchased in our office.
Indoor kittens and cats often benefit from and enjoy potted grass. You can either plant unhulled cat or rye grass in your own pet planter or you can buy kitty grass from the local pet shops. House plants however, may be poisonous and should be kept off limits.
Many kittens are born with one or more types of intestinal worms. Not all types of worms are visible to the naked eye. We test a stool sample to detect worms. Intestinal worms are contagious from one cat to another. Rodents and fleas can also transmit worms. We should check a stool sample every 6 months. Tapeworms look like pieces of rice. They are mobile and can be seen crawling around the rectum or in the stool. They may also have dried out and have become stuck to the fur in the anal area. Roundworms resemble spaghetti and may also be seen in the stool.
Fleas are part of the environment. They are extremely mobile and can rapidly infest a house , even if the pet never goes outside. The flea products in the stores are generally not as strong as those available through our office. We recommend Program or Front- line for flea control.
Bathing and Grooming
Regular brushing/combing helps to remove surface dirt, loose hair and excessive oils. The longer and silkier your cat’s fur, the more regular attention it requires. Long hair cats should be groomed a minimum of once a day, with particular attention paid to behind the ears, under the front legs, and in the groin area. These areas are the most susceptible to matting. Short hair cats do not require as much coming or bathing. Usually, if a short hair cat needs a bath it is either to remove a foreign substance on the fur or a flea infestation. Long hair cats may need to be bathed more frequently, but no more often than once a month.
Preventive Health Care
We should see your cat once a year for a physical and to update it’s vaccines. Twice a year we should have a stool sample to check for worms. If you should have any questions or problems, please feel free to call our office.