What could be better than a brand new kitten? Sweet, soft, cuddly and totally dependent on you, the adoptive pet parent, to take proper care of him or her and to give them a good start at a life in your home. Your journey together should start with a check-up at your local animal hospital in Dartmouth. It’s the best way to find out how healthy your new kitten is and to discover what needs to be done to keep them healthy for many years to come. From vaccinations to feline dental care, proper nutrition to seasonal parasite prevention, vet care for cats and dogs is a very important responsibility for pet owners in Southeastern Massachusetts and across the country.
The Basics: Nutrition
Chances are the pet adoption place where you got your kitten provided you with information about the diet that was being given. You may have been given a bag of food or purchased a bag of food to continue feeding the same food. However, it is important to speak with your veterinarian during your visit to the Dartmouth vet hospital to find out about the quality of the food you are giving. If it is lacking in nutrition and does not have enough protein or taurine, or is too high in carbohydrates and cheap fillers, you will want to make an upgrade. Slowly introduce the new food, according to your veterinarian’s instructions, for best results.
Feedings should occur three times a day in a shallow plate to make it easy for your kitten to eat. You will likely get a larger bowl as your kitten grows into a cat, but for now you should keep it low to the ground. Some healthy snack offerings should be included now and as your feline friend grows, including boneless fish, cooked or raw liver and cooked egg yolks. These things help to build strong bones and provide a shiny, healthy coat. Free-feeding of dry food can be recommended for kittens who like to “graze” their food throughout the day. A balance of wet and dry food can also be offered to provide your kitten with variety and well-rounded nutrition.
FRESH WATER – Above all, make sure to provide your kitten with fresh water and check it throughout the day for cleanliness. No other liquid needs to be provided. While we often see cats licking milk and cream on television and in movies, cow’s milk can cause some cat to have digestive issues and stomach pains. Fresh water is the absolute best thing to offer to ensure that your cat is properly hydrated.
Getting to Know You
New kittens need to know the house “rules”, just like new puppies and even human children. Keep your cat in a room with you and a litter box for the first few days so they will get used to it and where it is located. This is especially important if you have other pets. The animals need to get comfortable with each other in order to live together effectively. Keep closet doors closed to prevent the kitten from doing his “business” in your shoes.
Make sure that he knows where the litter box is, where the food and water are kept, and is provided with a safe, comfortable place to sleep. Chances are that your kitten will end up on your bed or some other equally inconvenient location, but we all have to give a little in order to get along. Keep an eye on your kitten to ensure that they don’t get into trouble. Crazy things like appliances, toilets, sinks, light sockets, plugged in lamps and ceramic collectibles can all be tempting and attractive to young kittens, and equally dangerous.
Baby’s First Check-Up
Plan on taking your new kitten to the animal hospital in Dartmouth for a first check-up as soon as you can after adoption. If you adopted your kitten from a breeder or a rescue, chances are that you have already been provided with a vaccination and veterinary record. However, it is important to establish your kitten as a new “patient” at the Dartmouth vet hospital to start a regular series of check-ups, follow up vaccinations, boosters and records of wellness as a baseline for any future illnesses or problems.
Feline dental care can be taken care of or at least discussed during your veterinary visit. There are many different types of vet care for cats and dogs that should be considered, depending on where you live, whether your kitten will be going outdoors and the lifestyle that you will be providing. Immunizations are important to give your kitten a solid start at health and parasite prevention for fleas, ticks and other local issues are essential to a long and happy life. If it hasn’t been done already, consider spaying or neutering your kitten to prevent illnesses that are common to cats who don’t have the surgeries done.
Contact Anchor Animal Hospital in Dartmouth
If you have a new kitten, puppy or have adopted an older pet into your family, make an appointment with Anchor Animal Hospital for a first check-up and to get caught up on any vaccinations or treatments that are required. Call us at 508-996-3731 to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the services that we provide to residents in the South Coast area – and their pets!