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I'm a new cat owner. What kind of things can I do for prevention?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm a new cat ower. I have two male cats under a year old. Probably 10 months and 8 months old. They are both fixed and I got their shots. I feed them nutro indoor cat formula 1/3 a cup in the morning and a 1/3 of a cup at night.

What else do I need to do for their health? And keeping them healthy? Do I need to add anything to their water to clean their teeth? I do give them Tarter Control treats.
How often do they need shots. They are strictly indoor.

Anything online I can read? TIA.
post #2 of 16
Well first of all congratulations on your new additions!!

I have 2 kitties as well and they are both indoor. I feed them a mixture of dry and wet (but as long as it's good quality dry that's ok to feed all the time)

Just be sure that you have lots of options for your boys to drink water...I have 3 dishes in different places in the house. It's important especially for boys that they drink enough water to prevent crystals (that is very important with an all dry diet)

I would also suggest taking them to the vet yearly for a good checkup. Things like vaccines and checking their teeth.
post #3 of 16
Shots and how often is a regional to a town to town thing... gerneral protocal would be give them next yr a booster and then every three after that ...

wet food would help
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
wow thank you both. I am already getting some good advice. I really appreciate it. I really like the idea of putting water dishes in more places! One of my boys drinks plenty of water..the other one not so much.

Okay if I decide to give them wet food how much of it? Every day? Any good wet food at walmart? And is the wet in the pouches just as effective for water content?

post #5 of 16
Sounds like you have a very good start with everything. Its now recommended that you get the shots every 3 yrs instead of yearly. You don't need anything special in the water.

Up to you and your vet on the teeth cleaning. Might do it a few times in their lives when the tarter builds up (it will even tho you are using tarter control treats).

I recommend some canned food as well as the dry (we use Fancy Feast or Friskies canned - Royal Cain dry). Also weekly combing (if they are shorthairs; daily or at least 3 times a week if longhairs). Trim nails as needed - check once a week.

A nice treehouse by the window is a good thing and lots of kitty toys to play with. Do they share one litter box now? If you have any problems in that area, get a 2nd box - some cats don't like to share bathrooms

What's their names, colors and do you have pics of them?
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hi Goldenkitty,
Thanks for all the tips.

They do share a litter box...I have a self cleaning one and I clean it every day. They haven't had any trouble in that department! Which is great! Especially since they were outdoor kittys for awhile until I brought them inside.

Their names are Kilowatt (he is black) and Megabyte (he is orange)

They do love to get brushed and we have been trimming their nails! They do real well with that too.

I have to go now but I will check this thread later. Thanks for all the help.
post #7 of 16
Congratulations and welcome to the world of cats!

And I'm SO GLAD you found The Cat Site! We'd never been guardians to cats either - and because of all the help I found here, hubby and I started rescuing cats.

DEFINITELY get your kitties vet checked every year if you can afford it. And if you can't afford it, consider a payment plan with your vet if they'll do it. So many problems that people write about here could have been avoided by having annual check-ups. Testing pH levels, blood profiles, etc. all can provide early indications of a problem brewing. Don't wait until the problem is out of control. The annual tests provide base lines for comparison for when there may be a problem in the future. It helps you establish a relationship with a vet so that when you have a problem, you know where to turn.

You're using a high quality food, so that's great. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water available. The more water they drink, the less problems you may have with urinary tract problems, common with males.

There are special treats you can purchase to help with teeth maintenance - chews that help remove the plaque. Of course, you can brush their teeth (weekly is fine). Some cats hate it, some learn to tolerate it - and some love it. Cats love to rub their cheeks - there are scent markers in there. The gland starts at the back of the mouth - and that's why some cats LOVE to have their gums massaged (which is what teeth brushing also does). Spooky goes nuts for having her teeth brushed!

As young cats, they should probably have their first dental check-up at 2. Also, at regular, annual vet check-ups, the Doc will take a look at their teeth and can let you know whether they need a teeth cleaning or not. Spooky gets lots of plaque build-up, and needs a dental every year. The other cats don't have a problem (so far).

You'll get to know your kitties and their behavior. With any noticeable changes in behavior, get kitty to a vet. One of our cats was pretty social. He started sitting with his back to everyone when in a room together. Then he took to leaving the room when we went in there. Turns out, he was very sick.

Also be aware that 85% of the time, when cats pee or poop outside the box, the problem is medical, not behavioral. If one of your kitties has a litter box problem, the first thing to do is get them to a vet. And if there ever is a problem, use an enzyme cleaner to clean it up. We use this: We find it to be better than the enzyme cleaners available at pet stores or supermarkets.

For 2 cats, you should have 3 litter boxes. Scoop at least daily, and once a month bleach the boxes.

Where we are requires rabies annually and distemper... ? Even though they're indoor only.

Are you clipping their claws? This will save your furniture. It can be a bit difficult to get them used to it. We did it by clipping one claw at a time while they were asleep. We focused only on the front paws at first. It took about a year or so, but we got to the point where I can clip all their claws without any fuss (or much fuss, anyway. Treats and brushing, which they now all love, during the claw clipping is the "no-fuss" trick).

Get them stuff to scratch on. Some of our kitties love the post, some love the mat, and some love the cardboard that's kind of on an incline.

Kitties love to scratch after they wake up, so put something for them to scratch on near where they sleep the most - this will help your furniture too.

Going "vertical" is important for cats. If you don't already have something that it's OK for them to jump onto, consider purchasing some cat furniture. There are some incredible cat trees out there. Ours are designed in green and brown - like trees with tree houses. We love the way they look, and the kitties love using them.

Welcome to the world of cats!

post #8 of 16
Well, you posted while I was writing (since I always write tomes!).

The food available at Walmart for the most part is not very high quality.

As to feeding, we let our cats free feed on dry food (meaning we leave it out in bowls and they eat when they want to). We feed them one meal of wet food every day - we do it a dinner time.

Pouch food and canned food are both pretty good for water content. I'd think the pouches actually have more water, but I don't really know.

But our cats get their basic nutrition from dry food. The wet food is more of a treat, really.

But I don't know how much food they actually require. We split one can between the six of them, because none of them finish anything more.

Cats in the wild eat small mammals frequently. That's why so many people let their cats free feed - their digestive systems are set up to eat very small meals frequently, although it is possible to have them eat two meals a day. Ours would have to "learn" that they need to eat enough food to take them through the day, but there's nothing wrong with not leaving food out for them per se. But as to the free-feeding, if they're active, they generally don't get overweight.
post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by Miss Mew View Post
Just be sure that you have lots of options for your boys to drink water...I have 3 dishes in different places in the house. It's important especially for boys that they drink enough water to prevent crystals (that is very important with an all dry diet)
you might consider getting them a fountain. i know mine drink a lot more since i got one. there are 3, 2 of which seem to be pretty good, IMO. i have a freshflow, which i really like, a catit, which i don't. there's also the drinkwell, which others have said that they like.

BTW - love the names! my cats are Pixel, Cable, Chip & Java.
post #10 of 16
Welcome to this very special website for kitty lovers.

I second the suggestion for a water fountain. Our two drink more water since we got it.

I also stopped feeding only dry food some months ago and now give both kitties wet food in the morning and again at supper time. I give measured amounts of dry food for snacking through the day. (Bijou was getting to be a rather large fellow - since I've been feeding wet food he has actually slimmed down a bit.)

We feed Merrick's (no seafood flavours) but that can get pretty expensive. It's $1.69 Cdn. for 5.5 ounces and if you add the taxes to that it ends up costing about $1.93 per can. There are some less expensive foods out there that are as good quality but I just like the Merrick's because it looks so good.

Stay away from Fancy Feast (McDonald's for cats) - it's not a quality food. Unfortunately some folks here have kitties that won't eat any other kind of wet food, so in those cases, Fancy Feast wet food is better than no wet food.

PS - they are both very beautiful and healthy looking kitties.
post #11 of 16
Wow, you have lots of great advice here and I have nothing to add. Just wanted to say congratulations on your new family. You have absolutely gorgeous fellas there!

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for all of the tips. I am going to copy all of it in notepad and save it!

I am definately going to consider feeding them some wet along with the dry food and I will definately put out more water dishes and check out the water fountains!

I couldn't help but show you all another picture of them!
post #13 of 16
you have received great advice, just wanted to say that your cats have awesome names! they are cute too, I am a huge sucker for pure black kitties!
post #14 of 16
Your kits are adorable! I love black ones and orange ones and tigers and white and grey and calicos anf torties and so on, and so on...

Sounds to me like you and your kits are off to a fantastic start.

post #15 of 16
Hi and welcome! If you stick around here you will learn loads here that will be good in the future and you will see what signs to look out for in case of problems. But also how to keep your kitties in absolutely tiptop condition, mentally and physically. Your boys are gorgeous.
post #16 of 16
It sounds like you're well on your way to keeping your pets healthy. Good job! You seem to have done all the right things so far!
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