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Kitten Basics – Ready to Own Your First Kitten!

Ready to own your first kitten? Lets look at some kitten basics.

It is hard not to want a kitten. They are crazy adorable! Plus if you spend any amount of time on the internet, all the cute kitten meme’s might just drive you into a kitten frenzy. As cute and fun as they are, being a kitten is a pretty important time in their life. This is when you set them up to be healthy cats.

 

Make sure you know your kittens age. You don’t need to know the minute they were born, but knowing how many weeks old they are is important. During the first 10 weeks of their life there are some important things that need to happen. Many shelters and breeders will wait until their kittens are older than 10 weeks before allowing them to be rehomed, to help make sure that the kittens are properly tended to. But sometimes we find kittens that have been abandoned and rehome them ourselves.

New Kitten: Getting Started

Bring your kitten to the vet for an exam. Your vet will want to check out your kittens overall health. He will look for issues like birth defects, parasites, feline lukemia, and nutrition. But this is also a great time to get some advice from your vet.

Ask your vet about:

  • Diet: what to feed them, how much, how often, when to switch from kitten food to adult food.
  • Controlling Fleas and Ticks- discuss your options. At Albuquerque Vetco we recommend Frontline to control fleas & ticks as the best year round treatment.
  • Best way to litterbox train your kitten.
  • Signs of illness: How to know when you kitten is sick and when to bring them into the vet.
  • How to introduce them to your other pets.
  • Vaccination schedule: what vaccinations do you need and when do you need to bring her in to get them.
  • When should you microchip?

When it comes to health, the best place to start is with their diet. If you are giving your kitten good quality food, you are setting them up for a healthy life. Food affects nutrition, overall health, coat health, energy, dental health, and more. Good food is a building block for a healthy cat. You want to make sure the food is a good quality and that you are not feeding them too much. People are often surprised at the amount of food a kitten needs and tend to over feed. An overweight kitten might be cute, but it can set them up for long term health problems. When they are young, it is often good to feed them 3 times a day, then scale down to 2 times a day when they hit about 6 months old. Consult with your vet about the best feeding schedule.

Always make sure to keep fresh water available for your kitten. You do not need to give them milk. Though many people think that milk is healthy for kittens, it is more likely to just give them diarrhea. Plus, do you really want your kitten who is still learning how to use the litter box to have diarrhea? Probably not. Give the milk a big skip.

 

 

It is during kittenhood that your cat learns to be sociable. It is important to handle them and play with them. If you have kids, make sure the kids play with them. If you want your cat to be ok with dogs, this is a good time to introduce them to the family dog. It is during this social play that your kitten will form their emotional bond with you and your family.

It is a good idea to give your kitten a safe space for them to retreat to. This is where they can be quiet and calm and undisturbed. Don’t put it right next to their litter box, and keep their litterbox and food separate. Much like people, cats don’t like to sleep or eat next to their toilet.

 

We have a great kitten checklist to help you get started with your cute furry new member of your family.

 

Why does my dog drool? When is normal slobber a health issue?

drooling dog

drooling dog droolAll dogs drool. Ok, that is not entirely true. There are some breeds that don’t, like the Basenji. But most dogs drool. They use their saliva to help cool down. But some dogs drool more than others, such as breeds with big or open lips.

Why Dogs Drool

The reason they drool is the saliva from their mouth pools in their cheek pouches. Then when they shake their head, or enough pools up, it drips out. Sorry to say, but there is no way to prevent your dog from drooling. You can minimize it in the moment by wiping their face, or keeping them cool, but even a cool dog is going to drool.

From time to time, drool can indicate other problems. In Albuquerque, it gets very hot during the summer. If you leave your dog outside, he is more prone to heatstroke. Sudden drool can be a sign of heatstroke, along with heavy panting, and fatigue. If your dog starts having a hard time breathing, you need to get her to a vet immediately.

Drooling can be a sign of nervousness. Even typically non-drooling dogs may drool at the vet. Pay attention to when your dog drools and you will be able to tell what is normal drooling behavior verses something that might be a health issue.

Another common reason for your dog drooling is dental health issues such as periodontal disease or a tooth abscess. This is why it is important to get your dogs teeth cleaned every year. Not only does it reduce drooling and bad breath, but helps to keep them healthy.

If your dog has never been a drooler and suddenly starts drooling we recommend bringing them to your vet for an evaluation. Drooling can be a sign of a blockage in the esophagus, a neurological problem, dental health issues, poison, or other health issues. If your dog suddenly has excessive drooling, this could be a sign of an emergency and they need to be brought to a vet ER right away.

If you are concerned about your dog’s drooling and what is considered normal, talk to your Vetco veterinarian during your annual exam.

 

 

Regurgitation vs Vomiting: What is the difference?

vomit vs regurgitation cat dog

vomit vs regurgitation cat dogYou hear the hacking sound, or the splat of liquid hitting the floor and you cringe because you know your pet just threw up. Or worse, you are walking around your house and your bare feet step in something squishy and you know you just stepped in throw up. If you are a pet owner, you know both of these scenarios well. But did your pet throw up or regurgitate? Does the difference matter? Yes it does. There is a big difference between regurgitation and vomiting, and persistent vomiting can indicate a bigger health issue that may need to be addressed.

Vomiting is a forceful ejection of stomach contents. It involves heaving stomach muscles, gagging, and stomach contents coming up through the esophagus and through the mouth. Vomiting contains stomach acid, can contain bile, and may not contain any food at all. The yellow or orangish fluid in vomit is bile.

Regurgitation is food coming back up that has never reached the stomach. There is no stomach acid in regurgitation, and it is always food. It is typically in the shape of a tube and is usually a mixture of food, saliva and sometime mucus. But never bile.

Typically regurgitation is not a big deal. Most pets do it at some point in time. If your pet regurgitates frequently, this could be a sign of a problem, like a blockage in their esophagus and should be evaluated by your Albuquerque Veterinarian.

Vomiting is usually indicative of something being wrong with your pet. This does not mean you need to rush your pet to the vet every time they vomit. Sometimes it could just be a stomach upset, or maybe they ate too much grass. If your pet vomits frequently, or you see a lot of bile in their vomit, this could be a sign of something wrong and you should call your veterinarian.

If you are not sure if it is vomitus or regurgitus, when you speak to your vet you can describe what you saw and they will be able to let you know.

 

 

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8200 Menaul Blvd NE #R Albuquerque, NM 87110 Phone: (505) 292-3030

Veterinarian Clinic Website: www.vetconm.com

Disclaimer

The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.