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Advise on kitten care

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

I'm looking into getting a kitten could you give some advice? Such as... nutrients, fleas, play, environment, and introducing them to the older cat of the house.

Leira Franchez


Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. I'm so glad you are asking questions before you get your kitten. That is wonderful. So often pet owners don't know what they are getting in to until after they have their cat and then trying to figure out what to do.

As far as what your kitten needs – I'd recommended feeding a high quality diet by premium pet food company, formulated for kittens. If you are feeding a high quality diet – you should not need vitamins. Provide lots of toys – I'd recommended getting some feathery flyers, a laser pointer and some crinkle balls and see what your kitten likes best. To read a great article on choosing cat toys, go to Choosing toys for your cats play preference.

See your veterinarian for all required vaccinations. If your cats are indoor only – you may not need preventative flea control medications. If you allow your cats out, then they may. There are several good medications now available to prevent and treat fleas – for more information – see Flea Control in Cats.

Your last question is about introducing your kitten to your existing cat. This is what I'd recommend: Keep the kitten confined in one room when you first take it home- give it food, water and a litter box in that room. Make sure you give your existing cat plenty of attention and time. Allow them to smell each other under the door and maybe even eventually play "tootsies" and paw games. After a few days you can open the door a crack where they can see each other but not feel "threatened". The idea is that they will play through the crack. Eventually allow them to meet – supervised. Make sure that you play with your older cat and continue to give him or her plenty of time, play time and attention.

An article that might be helpful to you is on our Petplace.com is "Introducing Your New Cat to the Household".


Best of luck!


Dr. Jon


PS – For those of you reading this...do you have any great tips on how you introduce new cats into your home with cats? I love learning from pet owners and have been looking for some pet tips. I might try to share some of these with other PetPlace users! Send me your pet tip!







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