Your New Kitten - Health Tips
Responsible pet ownership involves a commitment on your part to learn everything you can to keep your new family member safe and healthy.
Risk Factor Management:
Veterinary care should begin as soon as you get your new kitten. During your first appointment. the veterinary health care team will plan a management program promote wellness throughout your kitten’s life, and to identify and modify any risks to its health. This is called Risk Factor Management. A risk factor is a condition or characteristic that can cause illness or injury to your pet. Some risk factors, like an inherited tendency to acquire certain diseases, cannot be eliminated but can be minimized by preventive planning. Others, like overfeeding, which leads to too-rapid growth. obesity and many other health problems, can be modified or avoided all together. How well these controllable risk factors are managed will help determine the length and quality of your kitten’s life.
There are several important steps you can take to get the most out of your first visit with your cat’s veterinarian.
• Bring your adoption paperwork to your appointment. This will allow the vet to copy all of your kitten's pertinent health data from the PAWS record into your own client file.
• Write down any questions you may have about the kitten's health or behavior before your appointment so you don't forget anything you want to ask.
• If your kitten has had issues with loose stool, bring a fresh stool sample with you to the clinic. A fecal culture may not be indicated, but if it is warranted, this will save you a second trip.
• Be sure to tell the veterinarian everything your kitten is eating, including treats.
Fleas: Each PAWS kittens or cat is treated with a topical flea medication that kills fleas for 30 days. You should discuss a flea control regimen with your veterinarian. If you have only indoor pets, you may not need regular flea medications, but if you have pets that go outside, you may need to give your kitten flea control products even if they are indoor only because your other pets may be bringing fleas into the house.
Worms: PAWS kittens are treated for round worms when they come into the PAWS Program, however, some kittens and cats come in to PAWS carrying a very heavy load of worms and would benefit from additional treatments after adoption. If your kitten is experiencing loose stool this may be the cause
PAWS feeds its kittens a high quality dry kitten food. Kittens should transition to adult cat food between 4 and 5 months old. Kitten food is very rich and some kittens digest adult food better. If your kitten has loose or very smelly stool switching to adult food may solve this problem. PAWS does not recommend feeding canned food to kittens except using small (1 tsp.) quantities for training and socialization. When feeding kittens canned food be sure to refrigerate unused portions and warm leftovers to room temperature before feeding.
Clay based scoopable cat litters can be dangerous for kittens if ingested. PAWS kittens are used to regular non-clumping clay cat litter. If you would like to use a scoopable product look for labels that specifically say “Safe for Kittens”. If your kitten is immature or is having difficulty transitioning to using a litterbox with whole house access, PAWS recommends Kitten Attract™ litter, available at local pet supply retailers.
The costs of keeping your new pet healthy is one of the most important considrations in acquiring a pet. Veterinary costs for routine care can add up, and emergency and accident care care run into large amounts of money. One cost effective option available is pet health insurance. These plans offer various levels of coverage and reimbursement options. Pet insurance not only reduces expenses for routine vet visits but can also provide a significant financial cushion to protect against the expense of accidents and illnesses. With the latest developments in veterinary medicine, new treatments can help cure diseases that used to result in euthanasia. These treatments can be expensive, but no one wants to deal with the guilt of not being able to afford their pet’s healthcare. PAWS works with PetFirst™ Healthcare through our partnership with PetFinder™. You can get discounted rates for pet insurance because you have an adopted pet.
This article has been brought to you as a public education service of PAWS of Bainbridge Island & North Kitsap.
PAWS is a non-profit 501(c)(3) and operates solely through the generosity of individuals concerned for animal welfare. If you would like to contribute, please click here to make your tax-deductible donation.
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