Getting a new kitten is a joyous occasion, but it comes with responsibilities. Ensure your pet has the best start in life with a full kitten health check.
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 happiness and quality of life by providing him/her with good nutrition, loving attention in a safe, clean environment and regular check ups at your local vets surgery.
What does a kitten health check consist of?
Your new kitten should visit a veterinary surgeon as soon as possible. The first visit will probably 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 when your kitten will need to be neutered
The first health check will give your veterinary surgeon the information they need to advise you on your kitten’s immediate diet and care. Plus, it will create a ‘knowledge base’ from which, on subsequent check-ups throughout your cat’s life, he/she can better evaluate, monitor and manage your pet’s health.
Many veterinary surgeons believe that spaying or neutering 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, whilst castrated males are calmer and less likely to ‘spray’ or urine-mark their territory or wander away from home or fight.
Removes the uterus and ovaries of a female cat, usually around the age of five to six months. A major surgical procedure, it is performed under general anaesthesia. Complications are rare and recovery is normally complete within ten days.
Also carried out under general anaesthetic, this procedure removes the testicles of a male cat. There are small wounds which usually heal within a week. This is less complicated than spaying and is often performed when a cat is 5-6 months old.
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 their 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 that must be treated with gentleness and respect. Also provide your pets 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.