What is the most important thing to know about raising a healthy kitten?

There are many things, but the most important thing to know is that they are going to be a very special part of your life, and as the kitten grows, they will become a part of your family for many years to come.

Dr. Emily Ehmann
Modern Vet Care

What are the right and wrong ways to pick up my kitten?

You always want to be gentle with the kitten and not scare them. You can pick them up from under their chest and place a hand under their hind end, so they feel supported. You can rest them against your shoulder, so they don't feel scared and, again, supported. I would not pick your kitten up roughly, scare them, or put them upside down.

How can I tell if my kitten is happy and healthy?

There are many ways to tell if your kitten is happy and healthy. A normal kitten should play a lot of the time, so they should be very active, engaged, and play with toys. You also want to watch their appetite to see that they're eating and drinking a few times a day. Any abnormal behaviors, such as when they are lethargic, sluggish, sneezing, or vomiting, would all be signs that your kitten is not healthy.

How should I feed my kitten?

Anytime from four to six weeks, you can feed both wet and dry food out of small, low bowls that they can reach into like this or this. You want to feed kitten food of any brand of food that is made for kittens. Feed them multiple times a day, at least three or four small meals throughout the day, and have fresh water available.

What are some products that I might need for my kitten?

We just talked about the food. You'll definitely need food, food bowls, and water bowls for your cat. You'll also need litter and a litter box for your cat, a few toys to keep them engaged and playing, and a few treats. Those are the primary products you might need for your cat.

How soon should I bring my new kitten to see a veterinarian?

If your kitten is healthy and active, the first time we recommend bringing them to the veterinarian for an exam and starting vaccines is around six to eight weeks. If at any point your kitten is acting sick, though, then we recommend bringing your kitten in right away for an exam evaluation.

How can I get the most out of my first veterinarian visit with my new kitten?

That's a great question. I always love when clients come prepared with a list of questions. It shows that you've thought about any questions that might arise and are looking to know how to best care for your kitten. So, coming in with a list of questions I can answer about what to expect from your kitten at home or any other questions is the best way to prepare for your first veterinarian visit.

What will a veterinarian look for during an initial kitten care visit?

I will assess your kitten's overall health during a typical kitten visit. So I will look at their demeanor, ensuring they're bright and alert. I will listen to the heart and lungs and ensure those sound normal. I will feel the belly to make sure that it is normal. We also take a temperature to look for any fever. Then we ask you questions about how they're doing at home: whether they are coughing or sneezing, how their appetite is, and if there is any vomiting or diarrhea. Those are all things that I will assess and ask for at their first veterinarian visit.

What are some early signs and symptoms of health issues in your kitten?

Kittens are prone to a few typical types of diseases. An upper respiratory tract infection might be possible. If you see a runny nose or eyes or any coughing or sneezing, that could indicate disease. We also see intestinal parasites commonly in young kittens. Any bloating of the belly, a decreased appetite, or any diarrhea could be an indication of poor health. So if there are any abnormalities in your kitten's behavior, like not eating, being lethargic, vomiting, or diarrhea, those are signs that your kitten could be coming down with something, and it's recommended to call and make an appointment.

Why is it important to avoid self-diagnosing possible kitten health problems?

It's important that you always call and make an appointment with a veterinarian if you have any questions about your kitten's health. We definitely want to diagnose any issues as early as possible to avoid serious complications or your kitten getting severely sick.

When should my kitten get vaccinations?

The earliest your kitten should get vaccinated is around six to eight weeks. We do a few series of vaccines every three weeks thereafter, as well as the rabies vaccine around 12 weeks. When you bring your kitten in, we will discuss a full vaccine series and schedule and go over what to expect in the next few weeks. But the first visit is usually around eight weeks old.

What do you need to know about kitten behavior?

Kittens can be very rambunctious and curious. They tend to be very playful and very active, so make sure they're stimulated with many toys. They like to climb and jump when they learn, so getting a cat tree or a scratching post is good. As they grow, they tend to jump and get into places you would never expect. So it might need to kitty-proof your house in preparation for a kitten.

If clients have any questions regarding how to care for a new kitten, what should they do?

If you have any questions or concerns, you can definitely give us a call. We love seeing kittens and answering any questions that you might have about kitten care. So please call, schedule an appointment, or you can visit our website, www.modernvetcare.com.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (718) 267-7251, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083161540802, https://www.instagram.com/modernvetcare

Kitten Care - FAQs

Dr. Emily Ehmann
Modern Vet Care

What should I expect at my kitten's first veterinary visit?

At your kitten's first veterinary visit, you should expect that your veterinarian will perform a full exam on your kitten. We will also take their weight and temperature and listen to the heart and lungs. We might recommend some vaccines depending on age and previous medical history. We may recommend a fecal test or a FeLV-FIV snap test. So there may be some testing or vaccines recommended as well.

What should I ask my veterinarian at my kitten's first appointment?

That's a great question. You can ask any question that you like or think of. I recommend asking about kitten behavior and what to expect as they grow in your house. You can also ask about the vaccines, when they will be due and why we give them. You can ask about spaying and neutering your kitten, as well as monthly preventatives. You can even ask how to introduce them to other pets that might be in your house or other family members.

How often does my kitten need to go to the veterinarian?

While they're young, around eight weeks, they will be going quite often, potentially every three to four weeks. We complete the series of vaccines in the first few months of their life. After they're fully vaccinated and if they get spayed or neutered, it'll usually be a yearly exam. But initially, there are quite a few kitten exams and visits to the veterinarian.

What vaccinations does my kitten need?

There are a few core vaccines that you can discuss with your veterinarian, including rabies, which is required by law. There is a combo vaccine called FVRCP that protects them against a few different types of viruses. That is recommended as well. Then there is a FeLV vaccine. Based on your cat's exposure, your veterinarian will discuss those vaccines and recommend what's appropriate.

Does my kitten need vaccinations even if I keep them inside?

Yes. I still recommend vaccines, and I even give my own cats vaccines yearly, even though they are indoor cats. They could still be exposed to different viruses and diseases. Again, rabies is required by law, so that's also recommended for indoor cats.

What kind of preventive care does my kitten need?

I recommend using a monthly preventative for heartworm, fleas, and ticks, even for indoor kittens. I personally like to recommend using Revolution monthly, which also has a dewormer in it. For young kittens, testing fecal samples and ensuring they don't have any intestinal parasites, and if they do, we may need to deworm them, is also good preventative care for young kittens.

When should I get my kitten spayed or neutered?

That's a great question. I definitely recommend spaying and neutering for every kitten that comes in. It improves their longevity and prevents any diseases or complications in the future. I recommend spaying and neutering kittens when they're around five to six months old.

If clients have any questions about kitten care, what should they do?

If you have any questions regarding a kitten or if you have just found a kitten, please give us a call. We're happy to help and schedule an appointment to get your kitten vaccinated and on the road to keep your kitten healthy.

If you still have other questions and you'd like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at (718) 267-7251, or you can email us at [email protected]. But please do reach out, and we'll get back to you as fast as we can. Don't forget to follow us on social media https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100083161540802, https://www.instagram.com/modernvetcare