Your Kitten’s Health Care Plan

Important Cat Vaccinations for Pets

Have you just brought a new kitten into your home? Congratulations – cats make a wonderful addition to families, bringing love and companionship to any home. Owning a cat is a great way for children to learn about responsibility, compassion and how to interact with other animals, as well as providing them with lots of fun and cuddles. So, here’s your Your Kitten’s Health Care Plan.

To help you look after your little feline companion properly, we’ve put together this practical owner’s guide, outlining some important factors you’ll need to consider for your kitten’s wellbeing.

Kittens are sensitive animals

When it comes to the socialization of kittens, there is a critical period that shouldn’t be overlooked. This sensitive phase takes place between the ages of two and seven weeks. These few weeks play a crucial role in shaping their future social behavior. During this time, kittens are like sponges, absorbing and learning from their surroundings. It’s a fascinating period that deserves our attention and understanding.

When bringing a new kitten into your home, it’s crucial to prioritize their comfort and well-being. Creating a safe and welcoming environment for your furry friend is not only essential for their physical health but also for their mental and emotional state.

Bringing Your Kitten Home

Your kitten will most likely be a bit nervous and unsure in a new environment. He or she will be used to being with its mother and siblings so will be feeling a little lost at first.

Make sure you plan ahead, taking your kitten straight to a quiet, warm place inside your home where it can feel relaxed and explore when it’s ready. The laundry can be a good choice, providing a quiet room that isn’t a major thoroughfare of the house.

Have a little bed ready for your cat, in a pet bed, basket or box, so he or she can curl up and feel cosy and safe. You can place a warm hot water bottle in the bed for extra comfort.

Introduce children and other pets very slowly and carefully to your new family member. You may even decide to wait a few days until kitten feels more settled and confident.

Your Kitten’s Health Care Plan: Kitten Playtime

Make sure your kitten has toys and playthings to keep them entertained and active. Cats need things to scratch and chew – if you don’t provide them with a scratching post they’ll look for the next best thing! 

Keep electrical cords and anything else that could be dangerous to chew or climb away from your kitten’s reach.

Food and Nutrition for Healthy Cats

Just like humans, kittens need nutritious food to grow up strong and healthy, generally with 2 or 3 meals a day. Premium pet food brands offer food specially formulated for young cats, providing your kitten with a balanced diet.

Cats are good at self-regulating their food, even when young, so leave kitten biscuits out for them to snack on throughout the day and always have fresh clean water available.

Kitten Toilet Training

Often you’ll find that your kitten has already picked up good toilet habits from their mother or litter mates. However, you’ll still need to encourage them in their new environment.

Have a readily accessible litter tray, away from busy areas of the house or other pets, for your kitten to use comfortably. Be sure to give your kitten lots of praise when they use the tray correctly, and don’t ever punish them for accidents – this will lead to fear of using the tray and more accidents.

Vaccinations for Cats

Cats are generally vaccinated at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks and then once a year, to protect them from diseases such as feline enteritis and feline respiratory viruses, which can be very serious and even fatal, particularly for kittens.

As well as vaccinations, you need to factor in desexing, microchipping, dental health checks, regular worming and flea control for your cat, as well as any emergency vet treatment in case of accident or illness.

Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is on the rise for both companion and working animals, and we couldn’t recommend it enough. Signing up for pet insurance while your pet is still young ensures that you will receive the most comprehensive cover. Many diseases become evident within the first few years of life, and if your furry friend develops evidence of a problem prior to you taking out insurance they will be covered for that particular problem or disease.

There are a variety of pet insurance policies to suit different needs. Pet insurance helps take the financial stress out of emergencies and gives you peace of mid knowing that your pet will always receive the best possible medical treatment without having to worry about the bill. Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital is offering its clients medical cover through Petplan.

Preventative Healthcare for Your Cat

If you’re reading this to help gauge whether you can responsibly care for a cat, please carefully consider the time and money you’ll need to invest into your newest family member – owning a pet is a long-term responsibility and our animal friends deserve a safe home.

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital offers a range of affordable wellness packages that provide regular preventative care for your cat’s health. Regular check-ups ensure ongoing good health for your cat, and by preventing illness and disease in the first place you’ll also be saving money on potentially expensive vet bills.

Monthly payment plans will take a lot of the financial stress out of owning a pet, giving you 100% peace of mind that you’re looking after them properly, and have somewhere to turn to in case of emergency. You’ll also have professional and qualified vets on hand to offer you guidance and support in looking after your kitten. Now enjoy your time with your new feline friend!

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Management Plans of Overweight Pets

Recent studies have shown that up to a third of Australian cats and dogs are now considered overweight. Dogs are more likely than cats to have weight problems, and pets that are older, neutered or live in single-pet households are also more at risk. Unfortunately, certain breeds are more prone to obesity but this doesn’t mean it can’t be avoided.

Here’s some information on diagnosing and treating obesity in your pets.

Is My Pet Overweight?

To check if your pet is overweight, start by feeling around their ribcage and spine. In a healthy animal, you should be able to feel their bone structure through only a thin layer of fat. If you can’t find the ribcage at all then you definitely have an overweight pet.

 

If you know the optimal weight for your pet’s age and breed, then you can weigh them at home. Step on a scale to read your own weight and then step back on while holding your pet – their weight will be the difference between the two sums. As a general rule, if your pet is up to 15% over their optimal weight they are considered overweight. Above 15% is categorised as obese.

 

What Are the Risks?

An overweight pet has a shorter life expectancy and a poorer quality of life overall than a pet of a healthy weight. The health risks to an overweight animal include arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and respiratory problems. In addition to these, carrying that extra weight around will cause excessive wear on your pet’s joints and ligaments. Not only will your pet be less happy but it could leave you with huge costs in surgical bills and additional veterinary visits.

 

Step One – Diet

 The first step in managing your pet’s weight is to get everyone in the household on board with the diet plan. Make sure no one is going to feel sorry for your overweight pet and sneak it extra treats or supplementary food as this will make it harder to achieve weight loss goals. Get advice from your vet on how much energy your furry friend needs from food and make sure they are still getting the nutrition they need while on their new diet. Portion control is an easy way to lower calorie intake so try cutting daily food intake by 20-30% as a first step. For help and guidance, sign up for Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital’s free weight loss clinics for pets.

 

Step Two – Exercise

The second part of the weight management plan is to increase exercise. For dogs, this is a simple matter of taking longer and more frequent walks, but for cats, it’s a little trickier. Try adding height to your cat’s play area with vertical scratching posts and playing areas. Invest in a few more toys and encourage the whole family to play with the cat as much as possible. Bring out its natural instinct to hunt using lights, wands and other moving objects. Make meal times into an aerobic adventure by dividing food into smaller portions and hiding them around the house.

 

Maintaining Healthy Weight

Once you begin to achieve success in your pet’s weight management plan, it’s crucial to maintain this new routine. Continue to keep treats to a minimum and get as much exercise as possible. Getting the whole family into the habit of looking after your pet’s health is essential for maintaining weight loss.

If you’re interested in discussing a diet plan for your pet, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital providing veterinary services to Port Kennedy and surrounding Perth suburbs now or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Pet Nutrition Basics

How to Address a Skin Allergy in Your Pet

If you’re a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your dog or cat is getting the level of good food and nutrition they need to maintain good health and muscular bodies.

In the same way humans rely on food for energy, minerals and vitamins, your pet’s diet is the fundamental basis of good health and vitality. You’ll need to know the importance of certain food groups and nutrients in their diet for optimal pet well-being.

Read on for more information about feeding your pet to make sure your pet is eating a well-balanced and nutritional diet.

Providing Proper Nutrients for Your Pet

All animals require a balanced diet containing 6 essential nutrients.

Proteins, fats and carbohydrates provide our bodies with energy, while vitamins, minerals and water are necessary for other metabolic needs.

Read on to see why each nutrient is essential for your pet’s health.

  • Proteins – an essential source of amino acids, required by both cats and dogs, with cats needing twice as much protein as dogs!
  • Fats – the most important source of energy for animals
  • Carbohydrates – a vital energy source for dogs primarily, providing fibre and calories; too many carbs will be stored as fat in dogs and cats and can lead to obesity
  • Vitamins – healthy coat, nails, and assists in food digestion for healthy bones
  • Minerals – providing levels of sodium, magnesium and iron, for example
  • Water – the most critical ingredient, water accounts for between 60 to 70% of an adult pet’s body weight

A Balanced Diet for Your Pet

As you can see, it’s imperative to cover all nutrients to ensure your pet’s well-being.

You can do this by providing a well-balanced diet that includes the major food groups needed by dogs and cats. You can achieve this with high-quality premium pet food brands appropriate for the age and lifestyle of your pet.

Natural foods, in the way of raw meats, bones and vegetables, can be used to supplement pet diets. It’s best to choose high-grade raw meats for human consumption for the best nutritional value.

Professional Guidance for Your Pet’s Diet

If your pet is sluggish, low in energy or carrying a lot of excess weight, it’s probably best to talk to a qualified veterinarian about improving their diet. Your vet will recommend foods designed for your lifestyle and to help treat chronic conditions.

It’s always good to get regular vet check-ups for your pet, as preventative healthcare contributes to a happier, healthier life for your best mate.

At Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital, your pet can receive regular professional care under an affordable monthly payment system that suits your budget and guarantees ongoing good health for your cat or dog.

Offering a range of wellness packages, your pet will receive regular check-ups to ensure ongoing good health and prevent illness and disease. With compassionate and skilled vets always on hand to guide you on areas such as diet and nutrition, you know your pet will be in good hands.

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