Bringing Home a Cat or Kitten

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Your Kitty’s First Meals

Starting your kitten on a high-quality diet is a step in the right direction towards a healthy cat. However, a classic rookie mistake can make those first few days miserable for your pet and the family member on kitten clean-up duty. Many owners immediately switch to a new brand of kitten food upon arrival and mop up a lot of nasty accidents as a result.

Abruptly changing foods is never a good idea! You should find out what food the kitten is eating currently and purchase a small bag of this brand, even if it is not your preferred brand. Transitioning the foods slowly is the key to a happy calm GI system. Your kitten will already be nervous, so any change in food formulas should happen over the first week or two. Anything quicker and your furry friend may experience vomiting and diarrhea, which are particularly dangerous in kittens since they can become dehydrated and weak very quickly. As you are settling in on day 2 or 3 with your new kitten, you can slowly begin the transition to a high-quality food of your choice.

Veterinary Care for Your New Kitty

Your newest family member will need a veterinary exam ASAP including vaccines, routine tests, and evaluations (and perhaps treatment) for parasites. It is smart to find a veterinarian and book an appointment before you bring your new pet home. Scheduling the introductory visit for the ride home on the first day is a good way to ensure your kitten is healthy and free of parasites before you even bring them in your house. While I don’t recommend scheduling vaccines on that already stressful day, you will rest easier knowing your kitten has a clean bill of health. You are responsible for your pet’s health from day one so it is important to consider things like purchasing a pet insurance policy before you cat is sick and you face an intimidating veterinary bill.

While all this may seem like a lot of work, sharing your home with a feline is wonderful and well worth it. A little preparation will make this new transition for all a safe and happy one for cat and human alike. .

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