Caring for Your Brand New Kitten
Info from Aqualand Pets Plus on Felis domesticus
 
 

Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 

Cat-N-Around Cat Club
Cat-N-Around Cat Club 2007 Annual Show
Hawkeye Cat Club 2004
Hawkeye Cat Club 2005
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Orange Bee
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Spider, Black Widow
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Walking Stick
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9
Misc Lizards 10


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Spiny

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Dandelions
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Anacharis
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Fern I
Java Fern II
Java Fern III
Java Fern IV
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

Different Watersprite

Kitten Factoids

Sexual Differences

Male’s testicles visible circa 8 weeks

Temperature

Room temp fine 

Attitude

Playful.  Climbs.  Likes to explore.  Likes naps.

Feeding Schedule

Kittens need frequent feedings

Habitat

Nomadic by nature, but keep indoors

Life Expectancy

Outdoors 4 years.  Indoors 12 to 16 years.

Brood Size

Averages 4 to 8 twice a year

Gestation Period

9 weeks

Heat Period

Adult females come into heat every 21 days

Breeding Comments Usually stop breeding November thru January

LA
Kids cannot resist kittens.


Weeks with Mom:  New kittens eat nothing but their mother’s milk at first.  She begins weaning them at about four weeks.  If you look at their sharp little teeth, you can see why.  She usually weans them to solid food by 6 to 8 weeks.  We prefer kittens 8 to 14 weeks old.  These sturdier kittens resist diseases better and adjust to new homes more easily.

Avoid Bottled Milk:  Mom’s milk contained colostrum which helps protect them from many diseases.  Cow’s milk contains half the protein of mom’s milk.  It also contains lactose which about half of all cats cannot digest.  They’re lactose intolerant – just like Santa.  Cartoon cats and kittens drink milk.  Real cats and kittens upchuck milk.

LA 
Kittens fare well on dry kitten food.

Kitten Food:  Your kitten’s food is its second line of defense (our vet is its first line) against health problems.  If you change from one kitten food to another, expect some diarrhea.  We recommend you stick with the food we (and our vet) feed your kitten.  If you decide to change foods, mix the two together and change it over gradually.  Sticking with the same food also helps your new kitten adjust to its new home.  Keep your fast-growing new kitten on kitten food for 10 to 12 months.  By the way, pregnant moms and lactating moms also need the extra protein and fats in kitten food.

Dry Foods:  Healthy kittens need no vitamin or mineral supplements when you feed a quality kitten food.  Dry foods offer several advantages over canned foods.  They cost less, take less room to store, rarely spoil, and feed out more easily.  Plus, you don’t have to keep their stinky extras in your fridge.

Canned Foods:  Kittens eat canned food more readily than dry foods.  They have to.  It’s mostly water – 80%.  They have to eat four times as much to “break even” nutrition-wise.  However, we recommend you feed the food YOU prefer – not the food your kitten prefers.  Dry food also keeps your kitten’s teeth cleaner and healthier.  Feeding canned food can make cats lose their teeth prematurely.

Water:  Provide fresh water daily.  Keep your toilet lid closed.  Toilet bowls present no danger to cats, but kittens can drown in a toilet.

LA 
This kitten's loafing right in front of his litter box.

Litter Box:  Healthy kittens always use their litter box – IF they can find it.  If your new kitten has to go and his litter box is four rooms away (and he doesn’t know right from left), he can find your shirt, shoes, or bedspread easier.  Confine him to a small area (with no shoes) until he learns where to find his litter box.  Also, keep it clean.  Cats and kittens hate dirty litter.  By the way, expectant human mothers should never handle dirty kitty litter due to the risk of toxoplasmosis.

 

Pick Your Vet:  We like our vets – the Highland Park Veterinary Clinic -- and recommend them.  Pick a vet now.  You will need follow-up inoculations.  Always call for an appointment.  You also need to talk to your vet if you see:

·         Diarrhea or excessive thirst,

·         Sudden weight loss or gain,

·         Difficulty breathing,

·         Straining in the litter box,

·         Fever or loss of appetite,

·         Poor coat or skin,

·         Red eyes or runny nose,

·         Vomiting – except hair balls,

·         Sluggishness or odd behavior.

LA Pic
Kittens need (and take) frequent cat naps.

Last Word:  Have fun with your new kitten. 

© 1998, © 2003  LA Productions

More Kitten Information


LA Pic
Kittens like young ladies and vice versa.

Allergies:  Some people react strongly to cat dander.  Kittens rarely bother them, but these people experience severe reactions to adult cats – which all kittens grow into.  Before adding a kitten to your family, nuzzle a friend’s cat to check for allergies.  Allergic reactions take all the fun out of owning a cat.

LA 
The mighty hunters survey their territory.

Marking:  When cats or kittens rub their faces against you, entwine their tails around you, or pat you with their paws, they are marking you with tiny sebaceous glands in their cheeks, tails, and paws.  They own you.  You just think you own them.

LA 
Some kittens snoop while others snooze.

Grooming:  Kittens and cats enjoy the extra attention when you brush and comb them on a regular basis.  Infrequent brushings of long-haired cats mean painful snags and mats.  Frequent brushings yield a sleek, shiny coat.  Brushing also means fewer hair balls.

LA 
Some kittens like to loaf.

Tooth Brushing:  Brushing your kitten’s teeth will make his teeth last longer and smell better.  Removing plaque and massaging his gums helps prevent gingivitis and helps keep his teeth healthy.  Start with the little finger-tip “brushes.”  Use a cat toothpaste – not human toothpaste.  Cats really resent you messing in their mouth unless you started when they were kittens.  Forget trying to brush the teeth of a ten-year-old cat for the first time.

LA Kittens recharging their batteries.

Neutering:  Male cats reach sexual maturity at six months of age.  Unneutered males howl, spray (mark their territory with very strong urine), run out the door every time you open it, and come back the next morning (hopefully) with oozing sores, ugly scabs, and torn ears.  Cat fights are not a joke.  Neutered toms live longer.  Tomcatting around poses serious dangers for most cats.

Spaying:  Female cats go into heat around seven or eight months of age.  They make much better mothers at a year old.  Strong howling and repeated escape attempts occur at 21-day intervals unless you spay her.  Females allowed to roam outside come home pregnant and infested with parasites.

Inoculations.  We do not allow un-inoculated kittens to mix with our healthy kittens.  Inoculations can prevent many kitten-killing diseases.  Also, most vets insist your cat have its rabies shot before performing surgery.  Most also want you to keep up your annual booster shots.

Leukemia Screen.  We pay for your kitten’s feline leukemia screen.  It works on kittens over eight weeks of age.

Licensing:  Des Moines requires you to buy a license for your cat -- $10 for “fixed cats” and $25 for fertile cats.  When your vet gives your cat a rabies shot at six months, your vet has to notify the city of Des Moines.  At this point, you will receive a license “bill” from the city.  Also, Des Moines limits you to three cats over the age of six months.

Ear Mites:   Too small to see, ear mites infest 75% of all cats.  Symptoms include head shaking, dirty and/or smelly ears.  Clean their ears and use any standard ear mite medication.  Allowing your kitten/cat to associate with infected felines will re-infest your feline.  Mites spread very rapidly.

Fleas:  Perhaps the most common parasite of all, fleas bother more people because they can see them.  Fleas also nip some people.  They prefer females (particularly fair-haired females).  As with other parasites, allowing your feline to run with infected animals will bring fleas home to you.  Don’t use dog flea killers on cats – especially kittens – because felines lick their fur constantly.

Flea Killers:  We prefer Bio-Spot.   Bio-Spot kills adult fleas when applied.  It also contains insect growth regulators that prevent flea grubs from maturing into blood-sucking adults.  And, unlike internal flea killers, the flea doesn’t have to bite your pet to make the flea killer work.

Worms:  See the parasite page for more info than you ever wanted.

De-Clawing:  Not everyone agrees on the practice of de-clawing.  Talk to your vet before deciding.  Keep your de-clawed cat indoors.  Oddly enough, de-clawed cats can still climb trees.

LA Pic
Kittens like young lads and vice versa.

Last Word:  Cats tied outside on a rope are known as “dog bait.”  You can walk a cat on a leash, but never tie it outside.  LA.

© 2000, © 2003, © 2006  LA Productions.

  

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

515 283-0300

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