You have a new Kitten!!!
So you have an addition into your home, you have done the ‘kitten proofing’ and had lots of fun choosing the crate, bed, blanket, toys and other supplies she will need. You are excited that this little creature will bring lots of joy and fun. In return it’s your responsibility to contribute to your pet’s wellbeing and quality of life in providing good food, attention, clean environment and of course regular checkups at the vet.
De-sexing your Kitten
Many veterinarians believe that de-sexing your Kitten will solve the issues of pet overpopulation and make them friendlier and easier to play with. Spayed female cats are generally calmer while castrated males are less likely to roam or urine-mark their territory. There are many other health benefits to de-sexing, e.g. lesser risk of cancers of the reproductive organs and the mammary glands in females, and reduction of risk of prostate and testicular cancers for males.
is the process in which the ovaries and uterus of female cat are removed at the age of around six months. It is a major surgery, performed under overall anaesthesia and may require an overnight stay at the veterinary clinic. Complications are rare and full recovery is expected within two weeks.
Is another procedure which is also carried out under general anaesthesia. This involves removing the testicles of a male cat through an opening at the base of the scrotum. It usually takes place when kitten is about six months old with a small stay at veterinary clinic. The cat is fully recovered within seven to ten days.
Your kitten’s Basic Health Examination
Your newly born kitten should be taken for a regular check-up as soon as possible. The first check-up will generally include:
- A detailed physical check-up to determine his state of health.
- Examination for external parasites (bugs, ticks, parasites, ear mites).
- Examination for internal parasites (tapeworm, roundworm, etc.). Fresh stool sample maybe needed for analysis. Blood tests may also be required.
- Initial vaccination or discussion concerning your kitten’s vaccinations and when they should be scheduled.
- Discussion as to whether your kitten should be de-sexed and at what stage.
This first health check will give your veterinarian the information they need to advise you on your kitten’s immediate diet and care. Plus, it will give your vet a “knowledge base” from which, on subsequent checkups throughout your pup’s life, they can better evaluate, monitor and manage your pet’s health.
Make your kitten feel at home
Train and show your kitten the assigned spots where they can comfortably eat, sleep and go to the toilet. Give them time to adjust to the new home, new sounds and light in your environment. If small children are in the home, then make sure they are warned and taught that the new kitten is not a toy. They are living creatures and must be treated with care.
Your Ageing Cat
Do you know that caring for your senior cat really begins when they are a kitten? Providing your cat from the start with good quality nourishment, regular exercise, scheduled veterinary appointments and a happy home environment will definitely give them a high quality of life in their later ages.
Nevertheless, as your cat gets old, much like humans, changes to the metabolism will happen. By paying regular attention to your cat’s behaviour you can easily detect problems.
What you can do at your home
- Keep a regular check on your cat’s mouth, eyes and ears. Watch carefully for loose teeth, redness, puffiness or discharge.
- Keep the sleeping area of your pet clean and warm.
- Groom your pet regularly so you will see any wounds or lumps and keep their coat healthy.
- Make sure fresh water is available at all times.
- Maintain a regime of proper nutrition, exercise and loving attention.
What is your cat’s age?
You can compare your cat’s age with human ages.
If your cat is…
|In human terms, that’s|
Most Common Problems in cats
Obesity: Your cat will become less active as he ages, so modifications to the diet will be essential to ensure your cat stays within a healthy weight range. A reduction in caloric intake will ultimately lessen the pressure and burden on joints, and minimise your cat’s risk of heart failure, kidney or liver infections and any other gastric problems. The new diet should include fibre, fatty acids and vitamins and reduced levels of sodium, protein and fat.
Arthritis: Severity can range from slight stiffness to debilitation. An exercise program, also to maintain muscle tone and mass, can be adjusted to their condition. Anti-inflammatory medication prescribed by your vet can also help with pain relief.
Intolerable hot and cold temperatures: These may bother your cat because he produces fewer hormones to regulate normal body temperature. Move your pet’s bed close to a heater or keep him indoors during the winter.
Tooth loss or decay: This not only makes it harder to chew but also increases the likelihood of infection. Regular brushing and cleaning the teeth will help in preventing dental problems.
Skin or coat problems: Skin loses elasticity with age, making your pet more vulnerable to injury while their fur becomes thinner and duller over time. Regular grooming with fatty acid supplements is highly recommended in this case.
may point to colon problems or hair balls. A diet that is easily digestible and rich in nutrients is essential.
Frequent colds and infections
may indicate an impaired immune system. Bring your cat in for a check-up. Your veterinarian may suggest a test for Feline Leukaemia Virus, and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus.
is a possible sign of diabetes, kidney failure or hyperthyroidism. Your veterinarian will determine this and prescribe the appropriate medication.
Decreased sense of smell
may drastically reduce your cat’s appetite. Try serving smaller portions more often throughout the day. Ask your veterinarian about foods formulated for geriatric cats. They may have a stronger concentration of aromas.