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«Colonial Veterinary Hospital Kitten Pack Table of Contents Adding New Pets to an Existing Pet Family Essential items for a New Kitten in the Home ...»

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Colonial Veterinary Hospital

Kitten Pack

Table of Contents

Adding New Pets to an Existing Pet Family

Essential items for a New Kitten in the Home

Feline Vaccines

Kitten Vaccination Checklist

Wellness Exams

How to Prevent and Control Internal and External

Parasites and Reduce the Risk of Zoonotic and Vector-

Borne Disease

Symptoms Not to Ignore

Emergency Care for Cats and Dogs

10 Most Common Poisonous Plants

Creating a Poison Safe Home

Adding New Pets to an Existing Pet Family

Introducing New Pets to Your Existing Pets Before you start introducing your new pet to other pets make sure the new pet is healthy and up-to-date on vaccinations. At first, keep the new pet and the other pets separated while all of your pets are unsupervised.

Separate and isolate your new pet in a neutral space.

A neutral space is one that the other pets are not particularly fond of, or where you give the other pets a lot of attention (i.e. petting, praise).

Make sure to “pet-proof” your house. Remove items that could harm your pet (or items you don’t want broken) from the reach of your new curious pet. New pets like to explore their new environment, and items like electric sockets and antique vases are potentially dangerous to new pets.

Introduce your new pet gradually. Let the other pets investigate the new pet. However, make sure that there isn’t any aggressive behavior between the new pet and the other pets. If aggression does enter into this stage, separate the animals and try again later in the day.

Do not reward aggressive behavior by telling your pet its ok when there are signs of aggression.

Signs of aggression  Staring  Piloerection (lifting of the hair on one part of the body i.e. neck or tail)  Hissing  Snarling  Stalking  Pouncing  Growling or lip lifting  Grabbing the new pet by the neck Do reward good behavior such as the new pet and the other pets sitting close to each other without problems.

Make sure that each pet, current or new, has 5 to 10 minutes of individual attention each day. This will decrease the jealousy between pets.

Use restraints when introducing your new pet. Once all of the pets are reacting positively to one another, the restraints can be removed, and the pets can be left unsupervised.

Make sure to provide extra water dishes, litter boxes, toys, and beds while your pets are unsupervised to minimize competition for items.

Essential items for a New Kitten in the Home  Water bowl  Food bowl  High quality kitten food  Collar  Can opener ( if you plan on feeding canned food)  Litter box  Litter scoop  Cat litter  A brush or comb  Traveling carrier  Bedding  Cat toys  Kitty Climber Handling your New Kitten Some cats really enjoy being handled while others do not. Make sure you always support their body. If holding them in your arms, make sure the kitten is up against your body and you can place the front paws in the crook of your arm. If you would like to hold them to your shoulder, place their paws on your shoulder and support their bottom. If the kitten begins to struggle, gently put it down, otherwise it could scratch or bite you.

Litter box training When choosing a place for the kitten’s litter box, make sure the area is a quiet spot. Never put the litter box next to the boiler, for example, if the kitten is using the litter box when the boiler suddenly turns on, may scare the kitten and the kitten may never want to return to this spot again to use the litter pan. The best type of litter to use is unscented clumping litter and the best litter box to use is the biggest litter box you can find with NO cover.

When you first get your kitten home, place the kitten in the box and gently grasp the kitten’s paw and “scratch” the litter in the manner that the kitten would bury the elimination. You can do this several times but usually the kitten knows right away where to eliminate. If the kitten does not use the litter box the first few times, never punish the kitten by rubbing her nose in the accident. Remember the kitten is still a baby and is learning. If the kitten is consistently not using the litter box, there may be a medical problem and you should consult your veterinarian.

Follow these basic litter box management “rules” and

you will have the least amount of issues:

Litter Box Management:

 One box per cat plus one (i.e. 2 cats in house = 3 litter boxes)  Use unscented scoopable litter (cats prefer finegrained, unscented litters)  Place boxes in multiple sites around the house  Place boxes in quiet places away from heavy foot traffic, noise, drafts and "safe" from the dog/other animals  Use the largest box you can find or plastic storage containers -boxes should be about 1.5 times the size of your cat from nose to tip of tail  No covered litter boxes (odors are concentrated in covered boxes)  Clean/scoop pan daily  Completely empty and scrub with soap/water once a month or more Getting your Cat into a Routine Just like a dog, you can train your cat by establishing a routine. When feeding your cat, call its name, and they will soon learn to respond. Also, when feeding, make sure to do it at the same time and location. If you have a long haired cat, brush it at the same time every day. If you have a short haired cat, brush at the same time once a week. If your kitten is going to be an indoor cat, it is highly recommended that you play with it at least 10-15 minutes per day. This will help you and your kitten bond and get some of that energy out. Playtime will also help prevent obesity when the cat is older. Most indoor cats in the United States are prone to obesity due to overfeeding and lack of exercise. It is also a good idea to get your kitten a scratching post. This way the kitten will not ruin your furniture and it is a healthy way to use up excess energy. Place your kitten’s bed in a quiet spot so they can get some shut eye out of the way of a busy household. Your kitten may try to sleep in your bed at night, if you don’t want this to happen, gently place your kitten in its bed and close the door to the room that you decide is your kittens. Make sure to have a litter box and some water in the room as well.

Feeding your Kitten When deciding on a food for your kitten and later on in adulthood, you want to choose a high quality food. A high quality food is essential to maintaining good health.

A high quality diet means less shedding, less waste and less health problems. When looking for a high quality food, make sure that the first three ingredients are a protein source. If you would like suggestions please feel free to give us a call or set up an appointment to speak with a doctor. Deciding where to feed your kitten is important too. Make sure the place you choose is a quiet spot. A corner in the kitchen is a good place. Make sure to keep the area clean and dry and cleaning the bowls on a daily basis. If you have other animals fed them in separate bowls and watch that the other animal is not stealing the kitten’s food.

Clipping Nails It’s best to get your kitten used to having its nails cut.

This way it’s less stressful for them as adults. You can start by just playing with the kitten’s feet and letting them sniff the clippers. You can also just clip one nail a day to start so the kitten learns that nail clipping is not a bad thing. Give the kitten a treat after you clip its nails.

This will reinforce that nail clipping is a pleasant experience. To clip your kitten’s nails, hold the kitten gently with one hand around the chest and hold the paw with your other hand. Lightly press the paw the nails are exposed. Use your clippers to take just the white part off the nail. The pink part is called the quick and if you cut into that, then your kitten will bleed. You can be cautious and just take the tip off. If you feel that you cannot do this, we would be happy to clip your kittens nail and give you a demonstration.

Brushing Teeth Getting your kitten used to having its teeth brushed can save you money in the long run because they won’t need dental work until they are older or if at all. The best way to start getting your kitten use to having its teeth brushed is to put the toothpaste on your finger and just let the kitten lick it off like a treat. Do this a few times then start rubbing the toothpaste on your pet’s gums and teeth. If they don’t like this very much, go slow and just start with the front teeth and work your way back to the molars. Once your kitten is used to this put the toothpaste on the toothbrush. Trying getting the smallest one possible since your kitten has such a tiny mouth. Let the kitten lick the toothpaste off the toothpaste. They may even chew on the toothbrush a little. Start moving the brush across their teeth. Once they are comfortable with this you can start to brush their teeth. Start slowly and work your way back to their molars. This process does take time and some effort, but in the end it is worth it. Oral health is very important to the overall health of your kitten. One myth that should be debunked is that dry food cleans kitten’s teeth. Although there are prescription diets now available that do help with cleaning, everyday kitten food does not. Think of it like this, if we don’t brush our teeth, but only eat crackers do you think your teeth would be clean and odor free? This is true for kittens and cats. The best thing is to get your kitten used to it at an early age and brush them as often as you can. This would be a good activity to work into their daily schedule.

Kitten Proofing This is probably of the most overlooked areas when purchasing a new kitten, but one of the most important.

Just like human babies, kittens are babies and they love to explore and investigate, not realizing the potential dangers. It is up to you to make sure its environment is safe. Kittens love to use electrical cords and phone cords as teething rings. Wrap them in protectors, tape them down or put them up out of reach. Make sure blind cords are kept out of reach. Kittens love batting them around, but they can get tangled in them and coke. Be sure to either anchor the cords or tie them up out of reach. Keep small items like jewelry, buttons, pins, needles, coins, rubber bands, tacks, paper clips, broken balloons, bobby pins, and breakable items picked up. Kittens love little tidbits to chew on or tote around. If they are accessible they could swallow them which could be fatal. Same thing holds true with decorations, especially around the holidays. Breakable Christmas tree ornaments and tinsel should be kept off limits. Make sure to keep the garage off limits. They are too many dangerous chemicals and hazards lurking in the garage. Anti -freeze has a sweet taste to pets, and is deadly. Vehicles are another reason to keep your kitten out of the garage. Kitchens and bathrooms also pose a risk. Keep toilet lids down and tubs and sinks drained. A kitten can easily drown in these places. Cabinets are a fun place for a kitten to explore, but they usually contain cleaners and detergents that are harmful. Make sure to keep such items out of reach or get child safety latches to keep them out of those areas.

Keep appliance doors like washer, dryers and dishwashers closed. Always check before starting appliances to make sure your kitten didn’t climb inside while you weren’t looking, especially the dryer! Kittens love to snuggle up in warm places. Traps and poisons left out can also be fatal to a kitten. Make sure to place such items where they cannot be found. Certain plants are also dangerous, to be safe put all plants up or in rooms where your kitten doesn’t have access. One of the best ways to keep your kitten safe is to have a “safe-place.” This is a room where you can place your kitten when you first bring them home. This is also the place where your kitten stays while you are not home or at night while you cannot keep an eye on them. Stock this room with food, fresh water, litter box, plenty of toys, scratching post, and comfy bed. This will also give your kitten a chance to get used to their environment.

Kitten Essentials A bed is a great way to give your kitten a safe place to relax. Look for a bed that is warm, lightweight and comfortable but that has a washable cover. Keep away from wicker or rattan as they can be difficult to clean and could break apart mad become a choking hazard. Keep in mind that you may have picked the perfect bed, but your kitten may pick its own, like your pillow.

A cat carrier is essential for safe trips to the vet or travel. It needs to be large enough for your kitten to stand up in and turn around comfortably. Make sure you allow for growth. Lightweight plastic or fiberglass tends to be the best, however make sure it is well ventilated.

Carriers that open from the top are also best to use.

Food and water bowls are essential. Stainless steel is the best choice; ceramic would be a nice second. They are easily cleaned, which should be done daily. Plastic is known to cause chin acne in cats. Cats do not like to soil their whiskers so keep that in mind while you are looking.

Make sure and place your kitten’s food and water dish a good distance away from the litter box.

A brush and comb are also necessary. Don’t let daily grooming scare you. A daily once over does not take that much time and it will prevent the kitten from matting and tangling. It also cuts down on shedding and keeps its coat healthy. Make sure to get under her legs where there tends to be a much greater potential for matting.

A scratching post will prevent your furniture and curtains from becoming your kittens exercise equipment.

It is natural for your kitten to scratch. It tones kitten’s muscles and maintains her claws. Never hit a kitten for scratching. A light spray from a water bottle will deter it from things that are off limits and then take it to its scratching post. Make sure the base is wide and heavy to prevent tipping. Also, kittens and cats seem to prefer rough coverings like rope, burlap or low-pile carpet.

Entice your kitten by rubbing a little catnip on it.

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