The second version of our New Pet Tips series, this article is all about kittens! It's the beginning of a new year, and if you find yourself in possession of a new bundle of mewing fur, you might have a few questions on how best to ensure a long and healthy life for your new love! Though it might seem intuitive, raising a kitten is harder than it seems, and one may benefit from reviewing the basics. Here we provide a few quick tips for new kitten owners.
New Experiences Are A Must
It’s important to introduce your kitten to new environments and challenges so they can be the courageous, friendly cat they were meant to be! However, go at their pace and keep a patient, encouraging attitude. Avoid dominating, harsh correction and give loving guidance instead. Redirect instead of punishing unwanted behavior- for example, instead of spraying your cat with water when they scratch the couch, move them to their scratcher and praise them when they use it! A good cat is one treated with kindness and respect!
Immunization Saves Lives
Protect your new kitten and be sure to vaccinate! There are a variety of vaccines for cats, and your veterinarian can determine what is the most appropriate selection for your cat’s age, breed, & lifestyle. However, every cat needs what are considered ‘core vaccinations’. These are feline panleukopenia (distemper), viral rhinotracheitis, calcivirus, & rabies. Most cats only need these every three years, but kittens need several rounds of booster shots before they’re safe. Check with your veterinarian on your cat’s annual checkup if they recommend any additional immunizations. Keep your kitten’s immune system healthy and ready to fight off disease!
|Kitten's Age||Recommended Vaccinations|
|6 - 7 weeks||Combination Vaccine (Feline Distemper, Rhinotracheitis, & Calicivirus)|
|10 weeks||Combination Vaccine Booster|
|13, 16 & 19 weeks||Combination Vaccine Booster & Feline Leukemia (FeLV)|
Be aware that outdoor cats are at a much higher risk of disease, infection, & injury, and are detrimental to local bird populations. Your kitten’s life expectancy will be reduced significantly if they are allowed free range outside. We recommend exploring outside together instead! Try a Kitty Holster or Come-With-Me-Kitty Harness and safely see the world outside!
Healthy Food For A Lifetime of Happiness
Just like their big cat cousins, your kitten is an obligate carnivore, and must eat a majority of meat in their diet to survive! Cats must injest niacin, taurine, & arginine (all found in animal flesh) in every meal, and their blood glucose is derived from protein instead of carbohydrates. Just like a tiger, eagle, or snake, your kitten needs meat!
Until your kitten is around a year old, it’s important to give them a higher percentage of protein and fat for their growing body! We recommend reading the American Association of Feed Control Officers (AAFCO) minimum nutrient requirements for kittens and adult cats (Google it or ask us at the store to read our copy!) and ensuring your kitten’s diet meets their minimum recommendations
Simple Tips to Pick A Great Food For Your Kitten:
1. Grain-Free. (No Corn, Wheat, or Soy.)
2. Real Meat. (Muscle, Organs, & Bone, NO by-products.)
3. Ethically Raised & Responsibly Sourced Ingredients. (i.e. Cage-Free, Pasture Raised, Small Farms, & Locally Sourced.)
Of course, these are the basics— but if you want to have an even healthier cat, try out:
Freeze Dried or Frozen Raw Food (Primal, Stella & Chewy’s, Orijen Freeze-Dried, or Vital Essentials!)
Supplements (Special additions to your dog’s diet for their individual needs- try: Pet Naturals Daily Multi, Grizzly Salmon Oil, Dot’s Arthritis Blend, & Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom Goat Milk.)
Feeling overwhelmed? Our knowledgeable staff can help with any questions you may have!