Congratulations – you have a new kitten!
You’ve anticipated the new arrival by ‘kitten proofing’ your home and had lots of fun choosing the carrier, bed, blanket, toys and other supplies they will need. This adorable little bundle of fluff is sure to bring you much joy. In return, you can make a major contribution to your pet’s longevity, happiness and quality of life by providing him/her with good nutrition, loving attention in a safe, clean environment and regular checkups at our veterinary practice.
Neutering your kitten
We believe that neutering (spaying or castrating) not only helps solve the serious problem of a burgeoning population of unwanted cats but also makes for friendlier, easier-to-live-with pets. Spayed female cats are more relaxed, playful and affectionate, while castrated males are calmer and less likely to ‘spray’ or urine-mark their territory, wander away from their home or fight. Plus, neutering has health benefits – it minimizes the risk of mammary cancer in females and reduces the incidence of straying and fighting in males.
Spaying removes the uterus and ovaries of a female cat, usually prior to the age of six months and before they come into heat for the first time. Spaying is performed under general anaesthesia. Complications are rare and recovery is normally complete within ten days.
Castration, also carried out under general anaesthesia, removes the testicles of a male cat. The small wounds that result usually heal in about a week. Less complicated than spaying, it is often performed when the cat is six months of age.
Your kitten’s basic health check
- Your new kitten should visit us as soon as possible. The first visit will include:
- A thorough physical examination to determine his/her state of health.
- Check for parasites (fleas, ticks, lice, ear mites, worms).
- Initial vaccination and/or a discussion of the types of vaccinations your kitten needs and when they should be scheduled.
- Discussion about whether your kitten should be neutered and when.
This first health check will give our vets the information needed to advise you on your kitten’s immediate care and dietary requirements. It will also create a “knowledge base” from which, on subsequent checkups throughout your cat’s life, we can better evaluate, monitor and manage your cat’s health.
Make your new kitten feel at home
With sensitive handling and friendly contact for at least an hour a day, your new kitten should soon be very comfortable with you and the new home. If there are young children in the home, make sure that they are taught that a kitten is not a toy but a living creature who must be treated with gentleness and respect. Also provide your pet with lots of opportunities for interesting, challenging play that will satisfy natural instincts. Toys that they can pretend to ‘hunt’ and capture and special posts that can be scratched (instead of your carpets and furniture) will help make your kitten a joy to live with.