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Kittens & Cats FAQ's
KITTENS & CATS: FAQs
Congratulations! You either have a new member of your family, and the responsibility that comes with it, or you are thinking about getting a kitten or a cat. In either case, here are some frequently asked questions and answers that may be of help:
Q. What will I need for my new kitten/cat?
A. You are going to need the following: a litter box and scoop, high quality kitten/cat food (there is a difference), a cat carrier, cat litter (preferably clumping), food dish, water dish, cat bed (or box) with a clean towel or blanket, a scratching pad or post, a variety of toys, nail clippers, metal flea comb and a brush.
Q. What should I feed my new pet?
A. If you have a kitten, you should not feed it food that is for an adult cat. Kittens require a “kitten diet” and should be fed three times each day until they get about six months old, then two times a day. As most cats are lactose intolerant, milk can cause stomach upset and/or diarrhea. Also, avoid giving kittens/cats human food, including tuna intended for human consumption as it is too high in ash. Always remember to provide a bowl of fresh water daily. And, with that advice you will be well served. (We give you about a week before an adult cat wears you down and you give in to its begging and give it at least one treat from the table.)
Q. Will my kitten/cat need shots?
A. It depends. Yes and no. If your kitten is younger than four months, some of the shots will be given prior to your adoption. Kittens need Rabies shots at 16 weeks of age and 1-3 years thereafter (check with your vet). New kittens/cats should be given shots for FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis), distemper, Feline leukemia virus, Calici and perhaps FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus). Talk with your APL representative prior to adoption and discuss with your Vet at your first appointment. Many shots are included as a part of the adoption process.
Q. When should my kitten/cat be spayed/neutered?
A. A kitten should be spayed/neutered at around 4 to 6 months, with a suggestion to do it closer to the “4” as it will lessen the likelihood of spraying. Adult cats, if unaltered, should be spayed/neutered as soon as possible. It is a responsible pet owner that has a pet “fixed” to prevent overpopulation and to help curb the spread of cat-related diseases.
Q. Can you recommend a veterinarian?
A. Portage APL does not make recommendations about veterinary practices. However, we do provide a listing of veterinary services within the county. (Click here to see the List)
Q. What about declawing my kitten/cat?
A. If a kitten/cat is to ever be allowed outdoors, we do not recommend having its claws removed as they will be needed to protect the kitten/cat against predators. The decision to declaw is up to the individual owner. Many kittens/cats can be trained to use a scratching post to reduce potential incidences of furniture (or people) scratching. Discuss with your vet.
Q. Should my kitten/cat be allowed to go outside?
A. If your kitten/cat has never been outside, then we highly recommend that you never let it out, because it is taking a step that is hard to reverse. Kittens/cats that have never been outside will have a full and happy life being an indoor pet. Your decision to allow the kitten/cat outside can potentially have some serious ramifications – running away or getting lost; being hit by a car, poisoned, stolen or shot at; catching disease from other animals or fleas, skin diseases, parasites or mites; getting abscesses due to bites. If that isn’t enough to scare you, consider that some communities may have local ordinances against allowing cats outdoors. Besides, have you ever tried to get a cat to come inside when you want it to come in?