Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8am - 9:30pm
Sat: 8am - 4pm
Sun: 8am -12pm & 1pm - 3pm
Hours:
Mon, Wed, Fri: 9:30am-5:30pm
Tues & Thurs: 12pm-8pm
Sat: 9am -3pm
Sun: closed
 
 
 

Kitten Care

Getting a new kitten is a very special experience with lots of joy, warmth and laughter. There is a reason why the internet is so full of kitten and cat pictures and videos. Kittens are super fun, loving and entertaining. Kitten care does involve some amount of hands-on attention from human family members. The focus of kitten care is on acclimating the kitten to its new family, and providing for the kitten's physical well being to support healthy development.

Drawing upon a lifetime of love for kittens and many years of clinical experience, our veterinary staff would love to help ensure that you are well informed about your kitten's needs. There are many phases of a kitten's life and it is important to understand how your cat's needs will change as they grow. We have compiled some essential kitten care information for you here.

Remember that proper kitten care also requires an examination from cat friendly veterinarian, kitten vaccinations, deworming and other forms of care that support development throughout the various phases of kittenhood.

Socializing Your Kittens

A huge part of kitten development is socializing your kitten with both human family members, as well as any other animals in your household. The old adage about dogs not getting along with cats is anything but true, however some dogs have a strong prey instinct and cannot decipher a cat from a rabbit. For this reason, proper interspecies interaction, and overall behavior, requires hands-on, responsible and sustained social development, including:

  • Litter box training
  • Frequent petting and cuddling
  • Toy introduction
  • Exploration with boxes, paper bags, etc.
  • Rewarding good behavior with treats
  • Time outs for bad behavior
  • Redirection from biting or scratching
  • Introduction to new people and animals in a controlled environment
  • Weekly combing and grooming and handling
  • Controlled outdoor excursions (only after kitten vaccinations have begun) is acceptable in some areas.
     

As you can see, kitten development is filled with fun but requires you to be actively involved in the process. It is critically important that you consider the time commitment necessary to do your part and ensure proper kitten development.

Preventive Care For Kittens

Preventive care is important in ensuring your kitten is given the best opportunity to live a healthy life. Preventive kitten care begins with finding the right veterinarian and working with them to implement a sound checkup, kitten vaccinations and preventive maintenance schedule. As experienced veterinarians, we are able to pick up on subtle signs that something may not be quite right with your kitten. Between a thorough discussion with you and a physical exam, our veterinarians will be able to identify health or behavioral issues that your kitten may be experiencing. The following are some helpful tips to begin planning for the long-term health of your kitten, and overall positive kitten development.

When To Schedule Your Kitten's First Veterinary Appointment

No matter when you get your kitten, you should schedule a veterinary appointment within the first week. Early and frequent visits will help socialize your kitten with your vet, and help the vet establish an informed baseline for your kitten's health and wellness.

Intestinal Parasites, Fleas And Heartworm In Kittens

All kittens need a regular deworming program which includes medication to kill most intestinal parasites. In addition, we will want to check your kitten's stool for more uncommon but potentially serious parasites. In addition to intestinal parasites/worms, cats can contract heartworms. If cats develop heartworm disease, there is no treatment. Therefore we recommend heartworm prevention for all cat patients.

Of all threats to your kitten, one of the most common and annoying parasitic dangers is fleas. A discussion about your cat's lifestyle and proper flea and tick control is an indispensable component of kitten care. We do not recommend over-the-counter sprays, powders and collars. They are less effective and more toxic to your kitten. At your next appointment we would be happy to discuss an effective flea/tick and overall parasite prevention program.

Schedule For Kitten Vaccinations

Kitten vaccinations are essential to proper kitten care and should be started soon after you get your kitten. The average age to get a kitten is 6 weeks. This is when we recommend starting the vaccination program. Boosters will follow at one year and we can help you understand a long term plan for the rest of the cat's adult life. Kitten vaccinations are given to prevent feline leukemia, rabies and distemper. These infectious diseases are devastating and completely preventable with simple vaccinations.

When Should You Spay/Neuter Your Cat?

By 5-6 months of age, kittens are reaching a point of mature adolescence, or kitty puberty if you will. Because of this, it becomes essential for you to have your kitten spayed or neutered. Reasons for spaying and neutering include:

  • Avoiding unpleasant habits like territorial scent spraying
  • Avoiding unplanned litters
  • A decrease in the chance of mammary or testicular cancer later in life.
     

If your kitten is in contact with other kittens or cats of the opposite sex, it is essential that you have them spayed or neutered before or as they reach 5-6 months of age.

Schedule A Kitten Care Appointment With Rau Animal Hospital Today!

While caring for a kitten can certainly be one of the most fun and rewarding experiences you can have as a pet owner, however, if you are under-informed about the needs of your kitten during this time, you can leave them at a developmental disadvantage.

At Rau Animal Hospital kitten care is one of our greatest joys. Our veterinary staff would be delighted to spend some time with you and your kitten ensuring that your relationship will be a healthy, happy and rewarding one for many years to come. Schedule your first kitten care appointment today!