Health

What special concerns are there for kittens?

Health is a major consideration

Welcoming a new kitty into your household is always a bunch of mixed feelings. As the adopting family, there are various questions and fears that owners may have. Will the cat cope well in the environment that you have provided them? Will the cat be able to survive away from its mother? Does it like the food that is being served? Is the cat deaf? These are just a few concerns that owners may have while bringing their kittens home for the very first time.

There are various things that can be done for the kitten to help it feel at home.

1. Hairball control: Hairballs are masses of hair fiber that cats have swallowed while they were grooming and cleaning themselves. You may occasionally find hairballs in the cat’s excrement or vomit; fur is generally indigestible. The hairball normally smells foul when passed. To avoid this mess, the owner needs to groom the cat by regularly brushing it.

Another trick is to apply petroleum jelly to the cat’s paws; once it licks the jelly it will ease the stuck hairball through the gastric tract. This should be done for days once you notice the cat has either vomited or pooped hairballs.

2. Skincare & coat maintenance: Taking care of a cat’s skin and fur is extremely important. If the owner neglects the cat and does not groom it regularly, then it will eventually become problematic due to possible complications like hairballs and itchy skin.

The cat needs to be in good health. If the cat becomes infested with fleas then it will be uncomfortable and will be constantly itching and scratching itself. Flea infestations can cause anemia.

If your cat has a dull coat, omega 3 and 6 can help restore its shiny coat. Always check with your vet for the correct dosage. Visit the vet regularly and keep your cat’s vaccines and immunizations up to date.

3. Weight: This is a huge concern for you and the cats. Being obese is not easy and certainly not fun. Obese cats tend to be more prone to skin problems than skinnier cats because they are unable to groom themselves properly. A cat that is overweight is more likely to get attacked by fleas. The cat is unable to reach the parts that it would naturally reach with little effort.

If your cat is obese it could be due to the fact that you are feeding it with food that is packed with more calories than it needs, or you could be giving your cat too many treats. Also, it could be due to the fact that the cat is overfed; excess food. If your cat is inactive then chances are that it may be obese. Quality of food may also lead to a cat being plump. Gaining weight can be done almost overnight, but losing the weight is the problem as it is a slow process.

For a cat to be able to lose weight, its owner needs to work closely with the vet in order to find the best diet for the cat. Tweak the amounts that the cat is served. Elimination of treats is inevitable if weight loss is the goal. Smaller portions are a must.

You may even have to take the cat to the vet regularly, where they can check for diabetes and even check its weight after every two weeks or so. You will need to be very patient and be consistent with exercise, diet plans, and vet visits, if you want the cat to lose some weight.

4. Spaying & Neutering: Neutering is also commonly known as castration. It’s the removal of testicles in male cats, whereas spaying is the removal of uterus and ovaries in female cats. Vets normally advise owners to neuter or spay their cats when they are at least 6 months of age.

Spaying and neutering are really essential in helping with population control. They also contribute to the well being of the cat. Breast tumors and uterine diseases are common in cats that have not been spayed or neutered. The cat owner may be content with the number of cats in the house and may not be really enthusiastic about a new litter of kittens.

The house will be less chaotic as the tom cats will no longer have to fight over females that are in heat. Tom cats (the male cats) tend to roam a lot, looking for a mate. When a tom cat roams, there is a high chance that he may get lost or may never come back home. This can be very devastating for the cat owner(s).

5. Dental Hygiene: Having pets is a huge responsibility. Cat owners cannot afford to drop the ball on this one. Since cats are carnivores, they need their teeth to consume meat. Research shows that over 70% of cats show signs of oral/dental diseases by the age of 3 years. Some of the ways an owner can tell if the cat has a dental hygiene problem are: if the cat has difficulty in eating or chewing, if it is constantly pawing its mouth, if it has bad breath, loose or missing teeth, or if it has red, swollen, or bleeding gums.

Cat owners need to take care of their kittens all the time; they need to brush their teeth on a daily basis. As the owner is brushing their teeth, they need to brush their cat’s teeth as well. Brushing can be done by using finger brushes. Visiting the dentist is a must for the cats. The diet also really matters. Dry foods help remove plaque.

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