Congratulations on your new family member! Here are some tips on keeping the new kitten safe and healthy.
Bringing Your Kitten Home - You will need some simple supplies: a litter box, cat carrier, kitten food, food and water bowls, a breakaway collar and tags, and toys to entertain. Cat–proofing your house is essential; make sure all cleaners and/or materials she or he could swallow are picked up.
Indoors or Outdoors - Keeping your kitten indoors or outdoors is a decision many pet owners struggle with. Many veterinarians suggest keeping your kitty indoors to increase their life span because indoor kitties tend to live healthier lives. If you choose the indoor life, make sure kitty has plenty of toys and window perches to keep them stimulated.
Kitten Food - Feed products marked specifically for kittens. Kittens need three times the calories compared to your average adult cat. Feel free to talk to your vet about canned food, dry kibbles, or a mixture of both. Place the kitten food somewhere Fido won’t be able to steal it. For dogs, kitten food can cause upset stomachs and unwanted weight gain.
Being Safe - Kittens like to explore new things, especially with their mouths. As your kitty plays, be mindful that string, ribbon, yarn, rubber bands, plastic milk rings, paper clips, pins, dental floss, and other temptations are harmful. Also, go ahead and store your cleaning supplies, pills, antifreeze and motor oil away from your kitten’s reach.
Playtime - This should be enjoyable for both you and your kitty! By gently playing daily (pouncing and chasing), you teach them people skills, coordination and fitness. Kitty’s often times like to use their teeth and claws, but give them something to bite or claw on and refrain from using your fingers or hands as toys. They could eventually hurt someone.
Obey the Rules - Your kitten is new to your house and the world, so they need to learn some rules. To stop some behaviors you need to give them outlets. Examples:
- Curtain climbing could be deterred by giving a carpet covered pole to climb.
- Couch scratching – install several scratching posts and show your kitty scratching posts are okay by demonstrating or sprinkling catnip on top of the posts. Also, make sure posts are secure.
Harmful Products to Kittens
- Examples of harmful food-Foods to avoid are onions and garlic. These foods may cause anemia.
– Drinks like alcohol, coffee and tea.
- PLANTS that are harmful – chrysanthemum, azalea, tulip bulbs, oleander, and lilies. Lilies are particularly poisonous, even small amounts can make them very sick.
Not sure if a particular plant or food is safe, talk to your vet. If you think they have eaten something dangerous, call your vet immediately.
Animal Poison Control 888-426-4435
Vaccinate - Your kitten’s vaccinations will keep them healthy and prevent common illnesses such as rabies, feline distemper, feline leukemia and upper respiratory infections. Talk to your vet to see which vaccines are right for your kitten.
Fleas and Intestinal Parasites: If your kitten is losing hair, its irritated, or is chewing and licking often, fleas might be the issue. Ask your vet which flea control they recommend for kittens (some products also protect against heartworms), then treat all the pets in the house. Some flea treatments for dogs are very toxic to cats, so always read the package carefully. Working with your vet, you can help your kitten avoid intestinal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Practice routine de-wormings with your kitten; see your vet for more information.
They grow up so fast! Before you know it they are braving the world on their own, so be sure to take lots of pictures and enjoy every moment as your frisky feline changes and grows into your cat companion.