A cat cannot (and should not) be compared with any other domestic pet, because of its many unique qualities. Cats combine a strong sense of independence with a deep affection for its owner. It is self-reliant but can be trained in obedience and tricks. It is easy to house break, adapts well to apartment living, does not require you to take it on walks, and naturally keeps itself clean and neat.
General Health Care suggestions:
1. Have your new kitten examined by a veterinarian IMMEDIATELY after obtaining it.
2. Felv/FIV test – it is ideal to retest 6 months after last possible exposure
- Feline Distemper, Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Virulent Calici
- Feline Leukemia
4. We routinely DEWORM for the major internal parasites at the same time as immunizations are given. Over-the-counter medications are usually NOT effective for some of the more common hidden parasites, and may even cause illness. Watch the stools for small white segments that look similar to “rice.” These are tapeworms and require a special type of medications. Outdoor cats should be dewormed regularly with oral or topical medications. We recommend checking at least two stool samples for kittens and yearly for adult cats.
5. Litter box training
- Usually no problem and done by instinct.
- Keep the litter box clean. Plastic garbage bags can be used for litter box liners.
- High quality diets can decrease stool volume.
6. Flea control
- Confining the cat TOTALLY INDOORS is the best solution!
- Treat all cats with Revolution every month (even if they are strictly indoor).
- Treat home with Knock Out if fleas or flea dirt have been found.
- Treat all cats and dogs in the house with Revolution or Frontline Plus.
- Fleas may give the cat TAPEWORMS (“Rice” in the feces or on the hair coat). Please call if there is a flea infestation or tapeworms are suspected.
- Plants (Ex lilies) and other toxins (visit www.ASPCA.org for additional information)
- Electrical cords
- Over the counter (OTC) medications
- Many human medications like Tylenol , Aspirin and Advil
8. Signs of Illness: refusal to eat, vomiting, diarrhea, gagging, coughing, sneezing, sluggishness, eye discharge, increased drinking, increased urination, increased trips to the litter box, urinating outside of the box, hiding and other abnormalities.
9. Daily brushing limits shedding, improves coat, and prevents hairballs.
10. Hairballs: Long-haired cats may need Laxatone twice a week to prevent hairballs. Brushing daily is the most important hairball prevention. Hairball formula cat foods can also be helpful.
11. Home dental care with t/d diet, tooth brushing and CET chews can be very beneficial in slowing the progression of periodontal disease. This keeps your cat’s whole body healthier and decreases bad breath. Regular care will decrease the number and extent of dental cleanings under anesthesia that you pet will need.
12. Carrier/Bedding – A plastic carrying crate is a good investment for cat trips and also as a “bed” at home. It will give the kitten a private place and offers security. It should be placed at least a couple of inches off the floor.
13. Play/Exercise – Once they become adults, cats typically will not entertain themselves with their toys but enjoy interactive play/exercise such as following a laser light, chasing after a moving toy and batting at a feather on a string. This exercise helps give your cat mental stimulation as well as burning calories to minimize obesity – a problem for many indoor cats.
14. Commode training for cats
- Start by putting the litter box on the toilet seat so the cat becomes accustomed to jumping up when it needs to use the litter box.
- After a week or so, cut a little hole in the center of the litter box. Every 4-5 days, increase the size of the hole, so the cat learns to balance itself over the hole. At the same time, reduce the amount of litter placed in the box.
- In the end, of course, there should be NO litter in the box and the size of the hole should approximate that of the toilet seat.
- Be careful not to rush the training. If your cat feels uncomfortable at any point, it will choose another location for its toilet.
15. Declawing: If this procedure is elected, it should be done at 3-6 months of age (as soon as properly vaccinated, or at the time of spaying or neutering). Front feet ONLY are done.
16. Neutering/Spaying – We recommend this be performed at 6 months of age for both male and female cats.
Note – Female cats are not like the dog! They continue to “come in heat” every 3-4 weeks until they are bred. Signs of “heat” include restlessness, vocalization, voice changes, nervousness, rolling on the floor, more affectionate, etc.