|Purred: Sun Sep 8, '13 2:57pm PST |
|First, welcome to the wonderful world of cats and to Catster! Mittens is blessed to have a mom wise enough to ask for advice.
She should be checked out by your own vet; if you don't have one, ask your pet-owning friends or neighbors to recommend one. On your first visit, be certain that you feel comfortable with the hospital and its staff; if there's anything that doesn't seem right, look elsewhere. The vast majority of pet hospitals are clean and well run by caring and competent people, but every great once-in-a-while, someone runs into another kind.
Mittens should be thoroughly examined, especially for internal parasites. If she's truly indoor-only (good for you!!), she won't need rabies unless it's the law in your state. She should have the "combo" shot (distemper/calcivirus - and one I can't remember. ) Bloodwork at her age isn't necessary but would do no harm.
Don't use clumping litter in her box until she's about 6 months old. Kittens, like babies, like to "taste" things; if clumping litter gets into her system, it could harden and cause a blockage, which necessitates surgery.
She will, of course, have to be spayed. Do NOT put that off; take your vet's advice as to age. Some do it as young as three months; the "standard" is six months.
Canned food is better for her than dry, and the "premium" brands are higher quality. Cats are "obligate carnivores" - meaning that they MUST eat meat! There are no exceptions to that. (I know a young woman who, on assignment in Africa years ago, adotped a stray kitten. Since Rachel was a vegetarian, she thought the cat should be, too. The kitten died, and, although I don't know the cause, I'm sure the inadequate diet had something to do with it.) Look for food with no grain. The food issue can be difficult; we all want to feed our kids the best, but sometimes, the budget just won't make room for expensive food. All any of us can do is the best we can with what we have. Any food that has the AAFCO symbol on the label somewhere will have all the right nourishment, although the sources of that nourishment might not be the best.
While Mittens is young, an annual checkup with the vet - once she's through her course of kitten shots - is usually adequate. If you notice ANYTHING that seems "not right," have the vet check her. Cats evolved not to show pain, so they are experts at hiding medical problems. We cat parents have to be diligent. Her teeth are VERY important; the vet should check them at her exams, and they should be professionally cleaned when needed. It's possible (so they tell me! ) to clean cats' teeth at home. With help from your vet you can try, but probably a professional cleaning will still be necessary from time to time.
I just responded to another new mom who asked about pet insurance. Absolutely, you should get it! Google "pet insurance" to find a company. Also, Mittens should be microchipped in case she ever gets out of the house - and it's surprising how easily they can slip out. Talk to your vet about that.
All that being said, I hope you and Mittens will have a very long and very happy time on Earth - and then into Eternity. Bless you.
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