Welcoming Your Kitten
Adding a new kitten to the family is exciting! Kittens are full of energy and curiosity, and can provide lifelong companionship. Raising a kitten is a fun and memorable experience that involves providing for the kitten’s healthcare needs as well as its social and enrichment needs.
We want to help you navigate not only your health needs, but also their emotional and mental needs. People think of cats as low maintenance, and compared with dogs, they are. However, we need to always remember that cats and kittens need enrichment.
Your Cat’s Teenage Years
As your kitten grows, he will inevitably go through what we call the teenage years. As with people, this is quite normal. Cats begin to explore their world and push the envelope a little to establish boundaries. The kitten you thought was the most adorable thing in the world may turn into a monster between the ages of 6 months to 2 years. This is when your kitten is sexually maturing and exploring his world. Be patient and follow the recommendations set out by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and your sweet cat will return.
Vaccinating Your Kitten
Even after your kitten has his initial testing and vaccines, don’t let your guard down! Many people think their cat doesn’t need vaccines because he doesn’t go outside, but this is not true. Both kittens and adult cats need vaccines for protection. Even if your cat does not go outside, there are several reasons to get regular veterinary care each year:
- Your cat could accidentally get out of the house and be exposed to other cats who are not vaccinated.
- You may find a cat that you temporarily house or decide to adopt a new cat who is not yet vaccinated.
- Every cat needs regular check-ups. We need to evaluate your cat’s health, and most important of all, clean their teeth each year to see when they need to start receiving regular dental cleanings.
Cats are very good at hiding pain and need examinations to make sure they are healthy and not in need of medical intervention or medication.
Healthy Play and Scratching For Kittens
Don’t forget that scratching is normal cat behavior. While we understand that you don’t want your furniture shredded, the key is to provide acceptable places for your kitten to scratch. It helps to allow your kitten to become accustomed to using a scratching post from a young age.
Provide your kitten with resources of his own as well. A cat tree with a scratching post is an excellent example of such a resource. Cats like to observe their world from high places, so allowing them to have a tall perch will suit their needs well.
Get your kitten used to things that you will need to do for the rest of his life. Help him become accustomed to nail trims and cat carriers. Be careful not to play rough with a kitten, either. It’s cute when they are kittens, but they will get used to this form of play and it will become dangerous when your cat is 10 or 12 pounds.
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