Kitten Care

Kitten Care Tips from Our Veterinary Clinic in Asbury Park, NJ

How to Take Care of Your New Kitten

Being the owner of a kitten is an exciting time. You’ll have a lot of fun caring for your cute new pet, but you need to be sure you know how to take care of your new kitten. City by the Sea Veterinary in Asbury Park, NJ is here to help you with these kitten care tips. Taking care of a kitten is a big responsibility, but you’ll be rewarded by their cuteness and company. Our kitten care guide is intended for first-time kitten owners as well as those who haven’t had a kitten for a while.

Caring for Your Newest Family Member

Welcoming a new kitten into your home is undoubtedly exciting. But among all that excitement, there’s some pretty heavy responsibility. You’ll need to bring your pet to the veterinarian for their initial wellness exam. Our team can help with preventing disease through vaccinations. You’ll also need to choose the proper kitten food and get your young cat spayed or neutered. Don’t be overwhelmed by all this new responsibility; our team is here to help! Read through this page to learn everything you need to know. If you have any questions, we’d be happy to hear from you. We can provide guidance for many areas of your kitten’s health, including:

  • Vaccination and preventative care   
  • Housetraining
  • Litter box training
  • Breed-specific risks
  • Socialization and behavior training
  • Calmness training
  • Cat husbandry
  • Safe pet chews and toys
  • Dental care
  • Pet health insurance

A Valuable Resource for Pet Owners with Kittens

Raising a kitten is somewhat similar to raising a child. Providing them with the proper care and training they need when they’re young can help them grow up to be healthy and well-adjusted. The first thing to remember is not to treat your kitten like an adult cat. There are multiple stages of kittenhood, and each is a bit different. Here’s what to expect:

  • Under eight weeks – At the earliest stages, kittens should still be with their mother and littermates. At this young age, kittens are not able to regulate their temperatures and rely on body heat to survive. They are in the process of developing vision and leg coordination. When adopting or fostering an orphan kitten under eight weeks old, special care will need to be taken. This care includes bottle-feeding the kitten every two hours until the kitten is four weeks old, as well as possibly helping your kitten go to the bathroom. Consult with your veterinarian for specific directions and advice.
  • Eight to eleven weeks – Kittens are typically weaned by the eight-week mark, so they should be eating a kitten diet. The diet should be rich in protein, highly digestible, and energy-dense. Be sure the wet food or dry kibble is formulated for kittens. Your kitten should begin to run, jump, play, and explore during this time frame. Set boundaries and keep an eye on your kitten for their safety.
  • Two to four months – Kittens have almost three times more energy than adult cats during this rapid period of growth. They need three or four individual meals a day, made up of at least 30% protein.
  • Four to six months – Your kitten will reach adolescence and sexual maturity. You should talk to your veterinarian about having them spayed or neutered before this stage, so they don’t develop bad habits like territorial spraying or accidental litters.

Vaccinating Your Kitten

It’s essential to have your kitten vaccinated. Our veterinarians are here to help you choose the appropriate vaccinations based on your specific pet. City by the Sea Veterinary offers low-cost pet vaccinations in the Asbury Park, NJ area. Vaccines are essential for happy, healthy pets. Our team follows the American Animal Hospital Association’s Guidelines for core and non-core vaccines. We can discuss the prevention of heartworm disease.

Kitten Care by City By the City Vet

Preventing Diseases in Cats & Kittens

There are many diseases you can prevent with the proper vaccination or deworming for your kitten. Keeping up to date on cat vaccinations can prevent the following:

  • Rabies
  • Feline panleukopenia (feline distemper)
  • Feline calicivirus infection
  • Feline herpesvirus infection
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection
  • Feline leukemia (FeLV)

Choosing the Right Food for Your Kitten

Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult cats. It’s essential to create a well-balanced diet to meet your pet’s unique needs. Your kitten’s diet depends upon their stage of growth. The mother cat should be feeding your kittens for their first four weeks of life. If not, you should use a special commercial milk replacement formula. From there, your kittens will drink the milk replacement formula from a shallow dish. They can eat moist, easily chewable canned or dried kitten food. After that, they will need a protein- and energy-filled diet. Our veterinary experts can help you choose the best diet for your kitten. Order your kitten’s food from ProPlan Vet and it will be delivered right to your door.

When to Spay or Neuter Your Kitten

Once your kitten reaches a point of mature adolescence or kitty puberty, they’ll need to be spayed or neutered. You should have your kitten spayed or neutered before they reach four to five months of age, especially if they are in contact with other kittens or cats of the opposite sex. The reasons for having your kitten spayed or neutered include:

  • Avoiding unplanned litters
  • Avoiding unpleasant habits such as territorial scent spraying, aggression, and in heat females
  • Decreasing the chance of mammary or testicular cancer later in life

Schedule Your Kitten’s Initial Wellness Exam

New kitten care is essential. If you’re wondering how to care for a baby kitten or searching “how do you take care of a kitten?” you’ve come to the right place. City by the Sea Veterinary provides complete pet care services, including vaccines, microchipping, dentistry, pet surgery, and more. Contact us today to learn more or request an appointment.

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