They are such bundles of joy! Cute, cuddly, sweet, and soft.
They are kittens.
Both kinds—with breed or what we call pusang Pinoy or Puspins—are good pets if you are a good owner.
Just like dogs, cats follow their owners’ commands if they were treated and trained well when they were babies.
Kittens also grow into healthy, well-adjusted, happy cats if given PROPER CARE.
Today, I give way to the expert on animal care: Dr. Cerdy Deloso.
Here are his tips on proper cat care:
1. Have your pet vaccinated
Cat vaccines are typically divided into core and non-core vaccines
Core vaccines protect against diseases that commonly affect kittens and adults such as rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and rabies. (Note: these diseases will be discussed in another article)
Non-core vaccinations are given only to cats who are at risk of getting infected with peritonitis and leukemia, to name a few.
Core vaccines are given for the first time at around 6 to 8 weeks of age when the effect of maternal antibodies start to wane. The vaccine is given every three weeks until the kitten reaches 16 weeks of age.
Anti-rabies vaccine can be given at around 12 weeks of age.
2. Deworm your pet
Intestinal parasites (internal parasites) are a big threat to the health of cats and a good deworming program should be scheduled. Typically, cats are dewormed at the age of 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks, and again at 12 and 16 weeks of age. The deworming is repeated every 6 months thereafter.
3. Grooming is good but it depends on several factors
Some cats require complete grooming, but all cats definitely need ear cleaning.
Grooming includes giving a bath, hair trimming or hair cut if needed, ear cleaning, and nail clipping.
Getting your cat used to grooming early will make this moment less stressful for you and your cats.
To groom or not to groom?
This depends on several factors:
A. Kind of breed. Does the cat have long or short hair? Long-haired cats need frequent grooming.
B. A cat with a skin problem definitely needs a medicated bath usually once a week.
C. If your cat sheds a lot, it needs frequent grooming. Your cat will have hairballs if you do not groom him/her.
D. Your cat enjoys grooming.
4. Keep cats safe from external parasites
Keep your kitten/cat safe from external parasites as they carry certain diseases.
Prevention will depend on the following factors:
A. Your cat’s lifestyle (indoor, outdoor, roams)
A lot of preventives are available in the market which include soap, shampoo, sprays, and spot-on application, among others.
To choose what is best for your kitten/cat, please work with your vet who can come up with a preventive program depending on your cat’s condition.
5. Give nutritious food
Cats, like other animals, have different life stages which means they will have a different nutritional requirement for every stage of their growth.
Kittens need more nutrients for their growth and development. This is why kitten food contains higher amounts of nutrients such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Adult animals require a different level of nutrients for maintenance.
A pregnant or lactating cat will also require a different level of nutrient for themselves and their kittens.
Supplements can be given to support the immune system but this should not be regarded as a replacement for good food. (In another column, the best food for cats will be discussed further)
DO RESEARCH ON PROPER CARE FIRST BEFORE GETTING A PET.
The best advice I can give is for you to research first on the proper care of cats before getting one.
Ask yourself if you can do what a responsible cat owner should do:
1. Can you bring your pet to the clinic for regular check-ups?
2. Can you provide regular disease prevention shots?
3. Can you give good food that meets the necessary requirement of your cat so that he/she will always be healthy?
I also encourage you to have your cat spayed or neutered as desexing will lessen or eliminate the possibility of your pet acquiring some illnesses. This will also reduce the number of unwanted animals who may later become strays.
Lastly, instead of buying a pet, please ADOPT one. There are many kittens out there looking for a loving family or a kind, compassionate human.