Congratulations on your new purring family member! Here is a reference guide to help you feel fully prepared for your new little one!
To feel fully prepared upon arrival of your new kitten here is a quick reference guide of highly recommended items:
- Leash and harness especially if you intend to let your cat outdoor in a supervised manner
- Identification tag which includes their name, your name, phone and even address
- Appropriately sized food and water bowls
- Appropriately sized litterbox with a safe type of litter
- Sturdy cat tree
- Appropriate scratching furniture and surfaces
- Brush and nail clippers
- Kitten appropriate toys
Upon bringing your bundle of joy home you want to fully prepare your home and make sure it is an appropriate and safe environment for them. There are many household items that can be extremely harmful for your pet if they ingest them or even have direct contact with them. Always make sure you check your house multiple times before the arrival of your new kitten.
- Household cleaners, aerosol sprays and garage chemicals should always be behind cupboard doors or high up on shelves completely out of reach of new kitten.
- Foreign body hazards are probably the easiest items to forget. Securing all cords and wires is essential to prevent accidental electrocution. As well as string and yarn can look like a lot of fun to a kitten but can cause serious problems like obstruction to the intestines.
- Many plants can cause gastrointestinal upset if chewed on by your new kitten and training should be used to prevent this, but there are certain plants that can cause extremely serious life threatening situations like lilies, hops and azaleas. If your animal ever ingests any plant and you ever have questions please contact your veterinarian or visit: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com
- Human medication should always be stored away safely to prevent accidental mix up with medications prescribed to your kitten in the future as well as accidental ingestion by a curious kitten.
- It is also extremely beneficial to pick up discarded cigarette butts on the floor and in your backyard as they present health risks to your animals due to their curious nature and eating behaviours. Nicotine found in cigarette butts is extremely toxic to animals and can lead to severe vomiting and serious neurological signs. It is very important to make sure the environment your kitten lives in is as safe as possible.
- One of the most common misunderstandings is that all milk is good for cats. As cats grow up they easily become lactose intolerant, the only time kittens are exposed to lactose is when they are young weanlings. To digest lactose, the feline digestive tract must contain the enzyme lactase which helps them thrive on their mother’s milk. As weaning occurs the cat’s body slowly starts producing less lactase leading to them becoming lactose intolerant. When lactose intolerant cats are given milk to drink it can lead to gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea. Also, milk is extremely high in fat, leading to unnecessary calories in your cat’s diet. Most veterinarians do not recommend it; cats do not need milk and the potential problem highly outweigh the potential benefits.
Introducing a new pet into the house may cause a lot of anxiety and stress for any current pets you have. Here are a few tips to help make the transition as stress free as possible:
- If an animal is ever acquired with an unknown history and vaccination status it is always highly recommended to keep this new animal separated from others until after its first veterinary visit. This will help prevent unwanted transfer of unknown illnesses.
- In the beginning, it is always beneficial to have supervised socializing time. This helps prevent unwanted injuries and helps reinforce good behaviour. When leaving the house, especially in the beginning, separating the animals is recommended to prevent team destruction or unwanted injuries.
Once your animal has settled in to the family it is extremely important to license your animal with the City of Edmonton. All information about licensing can be acquired through 311 or online at https://www.edmonton.ca. All cats and dogs over six months of age, even if they are strictly indoor animals, must be licensed and renew yearly.
There are so many brands of food available to be purchased, therefore it is always important to establish a healthy diet right from the beginning. Consulting your veterinarian on a diet suitable for your pet is always beneficial. Here are some quick tips to help you in the proper direction:
- Kitten formulated diets are always higher in proteins, calories and have the proper calcium balance needed to help with proper growth and development. It is always recommended to speak with your veterinarian on the proper time to wean your animal from a kitten diet to an adult diet.
- Feeding a high-quality food that has had a multitude of product testing helps ensure your animal is receiving proper nutrients needed daily. When choosing a food for your new pet read the bag carefully, as there will be an AAFCO statement on the bag. AAFCO is the regulating body for pet foods throughout North America. There are two different statements that could be on your bag; one is that the food has been formulated to meet standards and other is that animal feeding trials were done to ensure that the food meets proper standards. The better statement in fact is the animal trials, as this means that the pet food went through testing on real pets to ensure the food is healthy and of good quality for pets. For questions about whether your chosen food is appropriate for your pet, please ask your local veterinarian.
- Always ensure your pet has fresh drinking water available and if water intake ever becomes an issue in the future, feeding canned wet food is an easy and great way to increase water intake.
- Avoid table scraps as much as possible, many foods can be dangerous to your animal. Especially avoid foods like onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, artificial sweetened food likes sugar-free peanut butter, high fat foods and chocolate.
Exercising your pet is extremely important to keep your pet healthy and at an appropriate weight. It is also great bonding time for you with your animal. Setting aside even 10 minutes daily helps ensure playtime with your pet is not missed. It is always recommended to have certain toys that are only used during bonding playtime to help keep it fun and exciting for your animals. Before you begin thinking about letting your kitten outdoors, it is essential to make sure your animal is fully up to date on their core vaccinations to help avoid acquiring contagious diseases that could have been prevented.
For any further questions pertaining to your new kitten, please do not hesitate to call us here at The Spay Clinic. We would be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns to ensure you are fully ready for your new kitten.