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Ashley's Cat & Kitten Care Tips

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Your cat's care!

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Hello and Welcome to my Page!
I am Ashley and as you can tell, I love animals and I am very interested in their care. Let me start out by saying... I AM NOT A VET! I am interning with my veterinarian. I work both in surgeries and with our clients and their animals. I find my "job" to be a very rewarding one and sometimes a very heartbreaking one, but I know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I try my best to keep my page up to date with new information that I learn while I am at work. I learn new things everyday and I absolutely love it!
So I am hoping to answer some of your questions for you. If there is somthing I didn't cover that you would like to know, please fill out the Question/Comment form below!
Thanks so much for coming to my page! ENJOY! (Oh, and if you want to... check out my myspace... myspace.com/bball_girl_on_fire)

Check out my site! CLICK HERE

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Vet Trips...
It is extremely important that a cat or kitten receives yearly veterinarian trips. Your cat's shots should be up to date. They need to be protected from the many diseases a cat can contract from everyday things or coming in contact with other cats.
 
Vaccines your cat should receive:
 
Rabies (at six months, 1yr, 2yr, and then every 3 yrs)
 
4 in 1
(Panleukopenia
Rhinotracheitis
Calicivirus
Chlamydia
( ^Given at 4-6 wks, 8-10 wks, and 14-16 wks, then once a year) 
 
Leukemia (8-10 wks, and 14-16 wks, then once a year) ((**optional))

Spaying/Neutering...
Most vets recommend that you spay (ovariohysterectomy) and neuter (castration)  your animal. These procedures are very low risk for any healthy animal. If you are concerned, you can request pre-anestetic blood work to check their kidney and liver functions. (They are the organs that filter the anestetic out of their system after). These surgerys can really increase the life of your animal. It also prevents them from developing problems such as pyometra. This problem is literally a pus-filled, infected uterous that without treatment causes death from the toxins in the system. Want to know the simple prevention technique that works every time? Spaying...

Nail Clipping...
It is very important to clip your cat's nails. If a cats nails go to long without being clipped they curl under as they grow more, causing great pain to the cat.
 
 Some people de-claw their cat. I don't feel it is necessary to cause the cat extra pain if they are good and will hold still long enough for you to clip their nails. But in some cases it is near impossible to clip your cats nails and you should consult your veterinarian about declawing, for it may be better for the cat in the long run.  
 
(How to clip your cats claws...)
First, if desired, wrap the cats bottem half in a blanket to prevent yourself from getting scratched. Then put gentle presure pushing up on the large pad of the paw and the nails will become visible. Then take your cat clippers (you can buy these at any pet or grocery store) and cut off the clear part of the nail. Be sure not to cut past the pink part of the nail, cutt off only the hook. If you choose to, your veterinarian can show you how to clip the nails. It is a little easier to show than to tell.

Having Fur So Soft..
For a cleaner shinier coat, brush your cat regularly, and feed your cat a food that is veterinarian recommended for a healthier coat. The cat should be bathed when needed. It is VERY IMPORTANT that you have rinsed ALL of the soap out of your cat's fur before you finish the bath.
 
Brushing your cat once or twice a week is a very good idea also. This will help prevent your cat from getting mats or very oily fur. Use a comb or brush meant for your cats fur length and don't pull too hard. YOUR KITTY DOESN'T LIKE TO HAVE ITS HAIR PULLED BY A BRUSH. (and neither do we humans!) Brush gently, but be sure you are getting the job done. The dead hair and/or mats are not comfortable for the cat and when you brush their coat out, it feels good.
 
You may also use a hydrating spray made for cats, if you choose to. It will give the fur more of a healthier, smooth look. It is also good for cats with dry hair. It will make their coat look and feel much better. The spray will also improve your cat's coat quality. 
 
If your cat does get mats, brush/comb them out gently and throughly. You can also purchase a comb meant for getting rid of mats. Mats can be prevented by regularly brushing their coat. 
 
(recommendation for a food is found in the "Cat Food" paragraph.)

Cat Food...
Don't change your cat's brand of food too fast!! This can result in a runny stool. To change their diet, little by little add the new food of your choice, adding more each day, and decrease the amount of the old brand of food until you can completely take the old brand away. Therefore substituting the old food little by little with the new food.
Our recommendation for feline food is Science Diet.
 
The Science Diet link can be found near the bottom of our HOME page.

Water...
Believe it or not, there are different kinds of water, and they effect your cat too.(well water, city water, purified water, etc...) Cats are very sensitive animals and they need a lot of time and thought put into their care. When you buy a new cat or kitten from somebody, it is a good idea to make sure to get a bottle or two of their water and wean the cat or kitten off of that water to your water. Even a quick change of water types can cause an upset stomach, etc.

Giving Pills...
To give your kitty cat a pill just follow my directions. Simply wrap the cat in a towel and open their mouth. Drop the pill as far back in the throat as possible. Quickly close their mouth and hold it closed. Rub the throat in circular motions until they lick their lips. When they do so, they have swallowed the pill... most of the time. Check their mouth if you are not sure if they swallowed it. Your kitty may hide it under their tongue and spit it out when you look away. It takes practice giving a cat a pill. You may also choose to butter the pill with margerine to help it slide down easier. Good luck!

Fleas...
Use Advantage to treat your cat's fleas.
 
How to treat your kitties with Advantage:
Part the fur at the back of their neck. Open the tube of advantage.  Simply put the correct amount of Advantage on their neck and brush the fur back in place. The flea treatment should be done once a month.
 
(Advantage is not harmful to humans or animals, just fleas.)
 
The fleas can cause great irritation to your cat's fragile skin. Flea collars, powders, and sprays don't work and may cause your sweet kitty to get sick.

De-Worming...
When you worm your cat don't use the cheap stuff. If you really love your cat, invest in using Drontal wormer. (This comes in pill form) This product may be expensive, but it is a very good wormer and it is highly recommened by vetrerinarians! When you worm your cat, it helps to prevent the tapeworms and other parasites like them that can be found in the cat's stool.

What's that smell...
If you get a new "smell" in your house, your kitty might be urinating on the floor or your furniture. Cats are "attracted" to plastic. They think it is a great place to add a new scent to. They also like to mark messes -- such as a pile of toys, old news papers, piled up boxes, or garbage bages filled with things. If the spot is still wet when you find it, try to soak it up with paper towels and, if you have one and they urinated on the carpet, try suck it up with a steam cleaner. To get rid of urine smell use white viniger or baking soda and cover the spot. It soaks up the smell.
 
If your kitty begins urinating on furniture etc., Have him/her checked for a bladder infection or crystals. If your  cat has crystals in his/her urine, I reccomend the Hills Science Diet Perscription diet. I have seen that food actually save a lot of lives when used correctly.

The Litter Box...
Keeping your cat's litter box clean is a good idea. When the litter box is clean the cat uses the litter box instead of the "Big Litter Box", A.K.A. Your house. Using clay litter is is a good idea also, especially when you have a kitten. Being as curious as they are, kittens tend to try things. The clumping litter soaks up moisture. So, kittens "trying" the clumping litter could be hazardous. If a kitten sticks their nose in it, the litter could stick to the kitten's nose and sufficate the kitten. So, you should be using clay litter with kittens!!   Our recommendation for litter is Fresh Step litter.

New Kitten Care...
When you purchase your new kitten be sure you have received a copy of the kitten's health records and that you know what kind of food the kitten is used to. Another important thing to ask is if the kitten is on any medication or vitamins, and if you should continue them. If so, you should continue this until otherwise indecated. Also be sure to ask when the kitten was last flea treated and de-wormed to be sure you keep them up to date. You may also wish to take your kitten to your veterinarian for a check-up.
(New Kitten Care... part 2)
You should introduce your new kitten by putting it in a seperate room for 5-7 days, letting them get used to your smells and sounds; while slowly introducing them to the family and other pets, if you have them. When you do let them roam, be sure to bring them back to the litter box repetitively to make sure that they know where the litter box is. Remember, you don't want them using your house as a litter box!! A good way to get your kitten to "warm up" to you is to play with them with a cat wand or even a shoe lace. A jack is good for the kitten to play with too. It keeps them jumping around for hours!! Cats can really relate through playing. So, it is very important that you make time to play with them.
(New Kitten Care... part 3)
Your other animals may envy the kitten getting so much of your time. So, be sure to give your other cats and/or other animals just as much attetion or even more than you give the kitten. This way, they won't feel left out and do "something" you'll Regret.
(New Kitten Care... part 4)
SO HAVE FUN WITH YOU NEW KITTEN! REMEMBER WHAT YOU JUST READ AND YOUR CAT WILL BE SOOOO WELL CARED FOR!!! I WISH YOU LUCK!!!!

Outdoors or Indoors...
You may choose to let your cat(s) outside. It is your decision. It is safer if you leave them inside though. You won't have to worry about them eating rat poisening or getting hit by a car or killing and/or eating a smaller animal, but, if you keep them inside, be sure to play with them a lot to give them some exersize. They would get plenty of exersize in the wild remember. You could also make a cat pen outdoors. So, they can go outside and get some fresh air. We have two pens. One is for the males, and one is for the females. The choice is yours to make.

Travel...A long way...With my cat?...
Here are some things to do when you bring your cat along for a ride.
  • Your cat should be healthy. If you are traveling to another country, be sure to have your cats medical records, and they may require your cat to have their rabies shot.

 

  • Bring your cat for a few short rides, around the block, to get them aquainted to the feel of the car and to be sure they don't get car sick.

 

  • Keep the car windows shut enough that the cat can't climb out.

 

  • Don't leave your cat in the car! The heat grows rapidly in the car and makes it very, very, hot in there. This is serious... don't leave any animals in a car alone! EVER!

 

  • Check your rout to find pet friendly hotels along the way before you leave for your destination. For most hotels do not take pets.

 

  • Bring a litter box to keep in the car so  they have a place to use the bathroom, and be sure they have a blanket to rest on in the car.

Animal First Aid List...
  • Veterinarians phone number 
  • Adhesive tape for bandages
  • Nonstick bandages (Tefla pads) to protest wounds and controll bleeding
  • Towels or cloth rags to absorb excessive bleeding
  • Gauze to wrap wounds or muzzel the animal
  • Hydrogen peroxide ( 3%)
  • Milk of magnesia or activated charcoal to absorb poisen
  • Large syringe (without needle) or eyedropper to give oral treatments
  • Stretcher (door, board, blanket, or floor mat) to transport the injured
  • Cotten balls or pads to clean injured area(s) 
  • Q-tips to apply medication
  • Bag Balm for open cuts or wounds

Thank You...

I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my page. I spend a lot of time working on it and checking to make sure everything is accurate and up to date, as much as possible. So, If you have any suggestions or anything I could change, add, whatever, please let me know. THANK YOU!

 

A HUGE thanks to our friends at Falconer Veterinary Clinic for all of the help you have given us. We don't know what we would do without you. You take such good care of ALL of our pets. From our bird to our cat to our dogs, you are there, and I just wanted to take the time to thank you for all of the hard work you have done for us. You guys are AWESOME!! Our wonderful Veterinarians are Dr. Mary Fales D.V.M. and D. Patricia Fales D.V.M.. They provide so much knowledge and care for our animals whenever we need them... day OR Night, Rain, Shine, or Snow... :) The are always ready to lend a helping hand. Mary and Pat... you guys are my heros. Right now I can only dream of doing what you guys do. Thank you so much for everything!

To Visit Falconer Veterinary Clinic's Home page Just Click Here!!

How old should a kitten be when it goes to a new home? CLICK HERE

Cats are like potato chips, you can never have just one!!

Black Cat

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