Many people don’t know what they should do before getting a new kitten and maybe find some issues with that. So, we will give you a helpful 5 things to know before getting a kitten. Of course, these tips will also be useful to anyone bringing an adult cat into their household. Let’s start with the first one:
Tip number 1: Vet exams aren’t just for vaccinations:
vaccines are important but vaccines do not equal to vet visits. Traditionally veterinarians always talk about vet regular health checks as vaccine appointments, but they do this just so people don’t get confused about what’s happening during them.
It’s important to realize that a vaccination is an important part of a physical exam. A physical exam it’s not just a vaccination. When you get a new kitten, you will have to do three visits that are called kitten vaccine visits. They are health checks to make sure your kitten is healthy and is growing appropriately.
Just as you would do for a little human child. You got to take them to the doctor once in a while and make sure they’re growing well, check for congenital abnormalities, and deal with all the juvenile health issues that arise.
The goal of vaccination is to create an active immune response, that protects them from diseases all of us mammals. Kittens inherit antibodies from their mom for the milk they drink. And these antibodies protect them in the first few weeks while their own immune system develops.
These maternal antibodies tend to wane over time and usually, they disappear around eight weeks of age and it’s not a coincidence that that’s when they have their first vaccine.
Tip number one: all kittens have worms.
Treat every new kitten as a little worm factory. The reason behind this is that kittens do have a very high incidence of gastrointestinal parasites. Which of course isn’t just worms, it can also be single-celled things like giardia and they can get infected from their mom. They get detected from the environment because their immune system isn’t that active. They can also self-reinfect.
So, typically if you get your kitten from a reputable breeder or a rescue society, they will have been dewormed at least once in their life but they should still be treated as if they have worms.
It means that regular deworming or screening for parasites using fecal samples is going to be a part of your initial three kitten visits. And again, there’s a reason why we do those three visits for young cats. It’s because you need multiple fecal samples or multiple treatments to clear all the gastrointestinal parasites.
Tip number three: find a veterinarian.
Ahead of time and more importantly, try to find a good competent veterinarian.
Most people don’t really look for a vet until after they’ve gotten a kitten or a cat, and most people just go to the nearest vet to their house.
70% of people according to the studies that have been done, just pick a veterinarian based on geographic proximity. This means, they just go to the vet that’s closest to their house. This is the worst way to pick a doctor, there is a massive variability in the skill sets and the knowledge base of veterinarians.
It is important for you to look around your city and try to find a veterinarian that’s going to take good care of your kitten. And of course, this is another challenge there, because veterinarians are kind of unique in the fact that their patients are animals.
The best way to find a good vet is to talk to friends and talk to people that you know who have pets. Then ask them who their veterinarian is, then go to the vet clinics and ask to see the facility, ask to go in the back and ask if you can have a tour of the clinic.
Most vet clinics will let you do that. If they don’t, they might not be the right vet for you. You can ask to meet with a clinic owner or if it’s a corporate-owned practice with a medical director, have a quick chat with them. Because the owner or the medical director really sets the whole tone for the practice.
A good doctor in a bad practice will not perform very well and at the same time even a mediocre doctor in a well-structured practice with a healthy practice culture will still do a good job or a better job than they would in another facility so try to get to know the facility and who runs it more than just meeting a veterinarian or meeting a doctor or just picking somebody close to your house.
Tip number four: Supplies well in advance before getting your kitten.
Here it’s a checklist of things that you should have ready before you get your kitten into your house:
- Get some kitten food:
Don’t feed your kittens adult food kitten food up until they’re 12 months old. There are lots of good reasons for this. Get some kitten food and make sure you can feed it separately to your kitten from your adult cat. Because kitten food is super important.
- Make sure there’s a cat food dish:
You don’t want cats sharing a dish if you have other cats.
- Get a water dish and consider getting a water fountain.
- Get litter boxes:
Remember the right number of litter boxes to have is the number of cats plus one. this is super important for cats to be happy to have multiple litter boxes.
- Get a variety of toys for your new little guy.
You know cats just like us have preferences. They want to play with toys, so make sure you get a variety of cat toys, and then you can learn which ones your new cat prefers.
- Get a short hair cat brush:
It’s kind of optional. Although, there’s still a really nice way to connect with your cat a chance to like to groom them and brush them. It reduces the amount of dust bunnies in your house. But of course, if you have a long-haired cat this requires meticulous grooming.
Tip number five: Indoor cat or an outdoor cat.
It’s a very important lifestyle decision and there’s really no right or wrong to it.
It can be arguments both for and against having an indoor cat versus an outdoor cat.
Whatever decision you make, make it early and try to implement the lifestyle that you want for your cat.
Finally, hope you have now an idea before you get a new kitten. If you have any questions or any other suggestions let us know below in the comment section.