Respiratory Infections in Cats Respiratory Infections in Cats : Your cat has just been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. This is an extremely common condition, especially in cats just acquired from any multi-cat situation (i.e. humane shelter, rescue)

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Upper Respiratory Infections in Cats



Your cat has just been diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection. This is an extremely common condition, especially in cats just acquired from any multi-cat situation (i.e. humane shelter, rescue facility, breeders' cattery, a multi-cat household). It may be that you have an indoor/outdoor cat and a brief encounter with another cat allowed contact with the virus. Or it may be that your cat never leaves the home but you made contact with a cat with a cold and managed to transmit the virus on your hands and clothing.

Signs

Cat colds will cause sneezing, coughing, nasal and eye discharge. If only affected by the virus, the quality of the discharge is usually clear and watery. However, secondary bacterial infections will cause the discharge to become thick with mucous and green or yellow colored in appearance.

Treatment

Like human colds, unfortunately, it is a virus, and there is no specific treatment for this condition. Nothing can be done to eliminate the virus from the body. The cat will usually do this on its own in a 1-3 week period. If it doesn't, there are concerns about the cat's immune system and/or re-infection. Suppression from the feline leukemia virus (Felv) or feline AIDS virus (FIV) can cause a protracted bout with upper respiratory infections. Or it may be that re-infections may be occurring from other cats in the household. Sometimes, it simply takes longer for an individual to clear up from cold symptoms.

Antibiotics

When there are secondary bacterial infections, antibiotics can be helpful. These may be given systemically as pills or liquids, or topically as ointment or drops applied to the eyes, or topically as drops applied to the nose. Supportive care is important.

Medications

Decongestants are sometimes useful and for this reason, an over-the-counter anti-histamine chlorpheniramine (Chlor-Trimeton) may be recommended. Another over-the-counter item that can be helpful for congested cats is "Little Noses", a pediatric formulation containing phenylephrine (Neo-synephrine) 1% nasal solution. These drops applied to cat's nostrils can help clear nasal passages and make the cat more comfortable.

Hydration

Maintaining hydration by ensuring sufficient fluids are taken in by the cat is critical. This can be done either by giving fluids by mouth with a syringe or by mixing extra water in with canned food. Occasionally, it may be necessary to give fluids subcutaneously with a sterile solution (usually lactated Ringers) given under the skin. Your veterinarian can do this or if it will be needed for an extended period of time, you can be shown how to do this so it can be done at home.

Nutrition

Ensuring adequate nutrition is important. Canned food, especially warmed up, can increase palpability and smelly fish based foods are helpful to cats with a decreased sense of smell from the cold. Baby food (any of the meat based) is sometimes easier to swallow for some cats with colds. Note that baby food is not meant to be given exclusively nor long term since nutritional deficiencies will arise by doing so. However, it can be helpful short term to get a cat to eat something. Sometimes, forced feedings are necessary. Hill's A/D (available from your veterinarian) is a balanced, nutritious food that can be easily drawn up via a syringe and given by mouth. It also has a soft consistency and is easy to swallow. Appetite stimulants such as low doses of valium or an anti-histamine, cryptoheptadine (Periactin) can be used to encourage food consumption.

Maintenance

Keeping the nasal passage and eyes clean and free of build-up of secretions is important. This may necessitate cleaning several times a day with a soft cloth or cotton swabs, moistened with warm water. A form of nebulization, the "steam effect" can be helpful, and this is achieved by placing the cat in a steamed bathroom (easily done when taking a shower).

Prevention

There are some simple precautions that can help minimize the course of disease for the affected cat and decrease the exposure to other cats in the household. Note there is no indication that colds can spread between humans and cats. Nonetheless, especially after handling the cat's nasal or eye secretions, thorough hand washing is indicated.

Cat colds are very contagious between cats, both aerosolized and on items. For this reason, it is important, if possible, to isolate the affected cat away from the others. Sometimes, by the time a cat shows signs, it may be too late for the other cats who may have already been exposed. All other cats in the household should be monitored for sneezing and eye and nasal discharge. To minimize the spread of the virus, it is important, too, to wash all items such as bedding and food and water bowls that the affected cat has frequented. Even washing your hands is important to limit the spread of the virus when touching different cats in the household.

If you have any questions about this disease and its treatment, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian.

The above is general veterinary information. Do not begin any course of treatment without consulting your regular veterinarian. All animals should be examined at least once every 12 months.

About the author:

Linda Mar Veterinary Hospital and its cat-only affiliate, Coastal Cat Clinic, are small animal practices located in Pacifica, California. To find a veterinarian or to learn more about the vet clinic and our staff, visit:[http://lindamarvet.com/]





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Problems That Aging Cats are Susceptible to

It’s a given that a cat ages more rapidly than what humans do. Some veterinarians will tell you that a one-year old cat is equivalent to a 16-year old child, although I think this is extreme. The different schools of thoughts propounded by vets and feline experts will tell you that the ratio is anywhere from 4 to 7:1 when it comes to comparing the aging process of a feline to that of a human. Despite the difficulty in predicting an exact age, most vets and experts consider a feline to be “geriatric” once it is 10 years old.

Cats are now living longer than ever before with the average age of a house cat that has been well cared for being around 15 years of age. Additionally, cats that have been neutered or spayed tend to live longer than those that have not been. The speculation here is that cats that have not been “fixed” tend to roam around a lot more and are there prone to even fatal injuries. It also holds true that they succumb to diseases and health maladies because of exposure to the outside environment.

Felines are amazing pieces of machinery, so to speak, in that they have the capability of repairing themselves. For instance, despite the fact that they have two kidneys, they only need a part of one of them in order to stay healthy. Eventually, the aging process in cats takes its toll on them, just like it does with us, and therefore they experience those bodily changes that are characteristically associated with getting older.

The bottom line here is that the key elements of exercise, health care, and proper nutrition, combined with the special care they need once they have entered their “golden years,” will affect your cat’s life expectancy positively. The following list, though quite lengthy, are the more common conditions and problems that older cats may eventually face and that you as an owner will have to deal with when they arise:

* Anemia
* Arthritis and stiff joints
* Blood pressure problems
* Bone brittleness and weakness
* Breathing issues resulting from less flexibility of the lung muscles
* Cancer
* Decreased brain cell count
* Decreased control of body temperature
* Decreased functions of the kidneys and liver
* Decreased intestinal and stomach functions which oftentimes lead to impaired digestive processes
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* Decreased sensitivity to all the senses excluding touch
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* Greater occurrence of infection due to increased susceptibility
* Increased bone brittleness
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* Muscle dysfunction and weakness
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* Skin abnormalities such as abnormally brittle or misshaped claws, alopecia, and dullness of the coat

From the time they are kittens, cats need to be provided with four critical elements in order to enter their golden years in the best possible shape – an appropriate amount of regular exercise, good health care, proper nutrition, and a stimulating lifestyle.
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My Life With My Cats

I love cats! I have had cats my entire life beginning when I was a little girl. I have had every sex and color that you could imagine. When I was 15 years old we had a calico cat named C.C. My Mom named her C.C. which stood for crazy cat. She got her name because our poodle Cheri got into a dog fight one time and C.C. jumped on the other dogs back. It was quite a site. When we went back to the states we had C.C. flown back too. Little did we know C.C arrived in the states in the motherly way and had three kittens shortly there after.

When I was about 23 years old I had a few more cats by the names of Cindy and Melissa. Cindy was black and white and Melissa was a grey tabby cat. They were both very sweet cats. One day I was standing out on my front porch and this lady drives by and says "Hey, that is my cat!". I politely told her that Cindy was my cat. I had cindy from the time she was 6 weeks old and I had her spayed. Would you believe it was shortly thereafter that Cindy disappeared. I imagine that lady stole my cat. Some people have their nerve, don't they?

I had another cat that had a cute little French mustache marking. My boyfriend Jimmy named him Mojay which sounded like a French name and may even had been one. I never took french. One day I found him poisoned in the road behind my house. I can't understand how people can do that to an animal. Some people are just heartless and hateful!

I later moved out into the country and had several more cats. If they wanted to be inside they were inside and if they wanted to be outside they were outside.
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The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association released the Feline Life Stage Guidelines, a 12-page document designed to promote important information regarding wellness care for cats. The guidelines have been developed in response to statistics that show that while cats outnumber dogs as pets, they receive significantly less veterinary care. Studies have also shown that many cat owners are unaware of their cats' medical needs, citing an inability to recognize signs of illness or injury.

The guidelines addresses wellness exams, recommending annual visits for healthy cats under 7 years of age, and twice yearly visits for cats 7 or older. They address a lenghty list of items that should be covered in an annual or bi-annual exam, including looking at behavior and environment, medical and surgical history, elimination, nutrition and weight management, dental health, parasite control, diagnostic testing, and vaccinations.

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Having Fun Training Your Cat

You may think the cats are very snobbish, independent and liable untrainable to do some tricks, but think again. With the polite training practice and structure, you will engage them in every fun activity you may like especially during playtime.

Kittens dearest to play as well as adult cats. Nevertheless they want you to interact with them during playtime.

There are four sport they adore to play.
• wrestling with their co-felines or a toy;
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You do not have to agonize if your kittens brawl with one another. It is definitely habitual in their behavior and they are not apt to hurt one another. You can line the fun but see to it that you scuffing protective gloves. Scooping a fish plainly means result a focus on the floor. The will dipper it over their shoulders, circle it up aspect down and snatch it. Similarly, in kill pouncing, they would use an imaginary victim or you can make a toy for this spirited, and they will run and try to latch it. When they do, they ambush on it. Usually, it is their mother cat's tail or your shoe or even another kitten.
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Should Your Cat Go To the Dentist?

Should your cat visit the dentist? Many experts say so. Many cat dentists advertise online, offering services such as cleaning, polishing, check-ups, X-rays and tiny cat braces. How many times has your cat greeted you when you get home from work; you pick her up and she meows in your face. Her breath reeks and her teeth are crooked. You say to her "You need to go to the dentist, cat."

Sedation dentistry has become popular in the cat dentist industry. The cute little kitty gets a whiff of gas to calm her while the cat dental technician cleans and examines her mouth. Be sure to ask your veterinarian about sedation options when you make your kitty's appointment.

If you have more than one cat, ask about multiple cat discounts. Many cat dentists offer reduced rates if you bring all of them into the office at the same time. Bundle them all into your cat carrier, make the short drive to the office, and get it over with in one trip. The hassle level increases by a factor of 2.61, but the satisfaction factor outweighs. Should Your Cat Go to The Dentist for Braces?

Some cat dentists are trained in the application of cat braces. Commonly called cat orthodontists, they can provide diagnostic services to help you decide what specific needs your cats have. At an additional expense you may elect to install invisible braces instead of the metallic silver-colored units that tend to be uncomfortable. Some cats find themselves shunned from polite cat society once they get traditional braces. If you only have two cats in your house, being shunned can be a devastating experience for the newly braced kitty. Something about a mouth full of metal becomes extremely annoying to nearby cats; ask your cat dentist about tips for gradually introducing Little Snowball back into the cat herd after she gets her braces. Benefits of Visiting the Cat Dentist for Braces

Your cat should go to the dentist for braces if she plans to participate in cat shows or cat cotillions. Her first formal cat gathering will be a tremendous culture shock if she's not properly pampered and prepared. Straight clean teeth are a basic requirement for competing in the cutthroat social climbing environment of kitties. Obviously your showy cat needs a healthy lean diet to promote shiny fur and a healthy physique. It's all good until she opens her mouth to meow to the judge; if her teeth aren't straight, she can't possibly get a cat medal or cat trophy.

None of us want our kitties hiding under the sofa all day. Some breeds are genuinely shy, but certainly some individuals become self-conscious of their unsightly teeth and bad breath. We can't feed them (hopefully sugar-free) mints all day; something more permanent has to be done. Preparing for a Trip to the Cat Dentist
Continue Reading About Should Your Cat Go To the Dentist?




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Enter Amazon here to help save the life of a homeless kitten

Even Healthy Cats Act Sick When Their Routine Is Disrupted A cat regularly vomiting hairballs or refusing to eat probably isn't being finicky or otherwise "cat-like," despite what conventional wisdom might say. There is a good chance that the cat is acting sick because of the stress caused by changes in its environment, new research suggests.

Healthy cats were just as likely as chronically ill cats to refuse food, vomit frequently and leave waste outside their litter box in response to changes in their routine, according to the Ohio State University study. Veterinary clinicians refer to these acts as sickness behaviors. The researchers documented sickness behaviors in healthy cats and in cats with feline interstitial cystitis, a chronic illness characterized by recurring discomfort or pain in the bladder and often both an urgent and frequent need to urinate.

When the cats experienced what were called "unusual external events," such as a change in feeding schedule or caretaker, the healthy cats were just as likely to exhibit sickness behaviors as were the chronically ill cats. The two groups had the same number of sickness behaviors in response to unusual events, and both groups were at more than three times the risk of acting sick when their routines were disrupted.

Previous research has indicated that a diagnosis of interstitial cystitis, known as IC, in cats is strongly associated with a number of other health problems. The fact that healthy cats exhibit some of those same problems in the face of stress suggests that veterinary clinicians should consider cats' environmental conditions during assessments for health problems, researchers say.

"For veterinary clinicians, when you have a cat that's not eating, is not using the litter box or has stuff coming up out of its mouth, the quality of the environment is another cause that needs to be addressed in coming up with a diagnosis," said Tony Buffington, professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State and senior author of the study.
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Choosing the Healthiest Cat Food Brand

Choosing be best cat food brand for your pet is more important than ever. Recent pet food recall events have alerted cat owners to the dangers posed by many commercial cat food and kitten food brands.

Healthier Cat Foods Have Higher Quality Ingredients
Although most commercial cat foods meet the criteria for "complete and balanced" as determined by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), these standards do not assure the safety or quality of the ingredients. All products in the recent cat food recall bore the AAFCO certification.

Better foods will cost more initially, but the lack of fillers and increased bioavailability of quality ingredients will save money over time. Your cat will get more nutrition out of less food and suffer fewer food allergies. Ultimately, the cost savings of inexpensive, poor-quality foods is a false economy.

Foods that contain excess fillers like corn, soy and wheat are like junk food for cats. You cat eats more of these foods to obtain the nutrients she needs, and obesity results. Obesity can cause joint problems, heart failure and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

Read Labels on Cat Food Brand Recipes
Look passed the enticing design of the bag and read the ingredient labels. As obligate carnivores, cats must have meat in their diet to survive. The better the source of the meat protein, the better.

When reading the label, look at the order of ingredients. They are listed in order of quantity. The first ingredient should be a named meat or fish like "chicken" or "salmon." Avoid foods that say simply "meat" or "meat by-products."

Use caution when choosing food according to the name of the food rather than the ingredients.
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Homemade Kitten Food

Do you need a cheap, healthy alternative to store bought kitten food to help wean your kittens off their mother's milk and transition them to traditional canned kitten food? More than likely, they have shown little interest in regular canned food, preferring the milk to anything you might put in their bowl. Dry food will also be too hard on their developing teeth. The best option would be to start them on a food that reminds them of what they prefer, but can be mixed with traditional wet food to help transition them over. This recipe is simple to make, and kittens find it delicious.

Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat and mix in one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Be sure to mix thoroughly, and do not boil the gelatin. If the water tastes bad or has a heavy chlorine taste when it comes out of the tap, consider using filtered water instead.

Pour this mixture into a blender along with half of a 12 ounce can of goat's milk. Blend just long enough to combine thoroughly. Do not substitute cow's milk because cats tend to be lactose intolerant. Using cow's milk can lead to discomfort, diarrhea, and worse if fed to kittens.

Add the following ingredients one at a time. After each addition, blend briefly to combine before moving on to the next. You will want to use the lowest setting to avoid overmixing. Add: 3 tbsp full fat yogurt, 3 tbsp real mayonnaise, 3 tsp light corn syrup, and 1 raw egg yolk. Concerning the egg yolk, raw eggs carry a small risk of salmonella poisoning. To eliminate any risk of accidentally passing this on to your kittens, use eggs that have been pasteurized in their shells.

You can serve the completed homemade kitten food the way it is, or you can store it for use later. To store for later usage, cover the mixture tightly in a small container. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to ten days or in your freezer for up to three months.

If you are going to use food that you have prepared in advance, you will want to warm it up before serving, especially if it is coming from the refrigerator or freezer. Cold food causes severe stomach upset in kittens. Warming it up will also make it more aromatic, and thus more appetizing to the kittens.

Cat allergies

How to Litter Train A Kitten

If the mother cat is still in the home and she is already litter trained, then litter training her kittens is a natural process. Her kittens will simply follow what she does. However, ultimately, each cat should have its own litter tray or else it may create a host of other litter tray problems for you!

For most kitten owners, the mother cat is not in the home if the kitten was orphaned or purchased. But this is not a problem. It is easy to litter train a cat when it's still a little kitten. Cats are creatures of habit and it may not be as easy to litter train once they have become used to their favorite toilet spots.

The key to litter training a kitten is to let it get used to the litter tray as soon as possible. You will need to manually place your kitten onto the tray initially, as it is neither used to it nor is it able to climb over the edge to get in.

Most kittens would defecate soon after waking up and after a meal. You could place your kitten in the litter tray during these times and after a few weeks, your kitten would get used to the routine and it would become a habit.

Just be sure to place the litter tray a reasonable distance away from where the kitten is fed and where it sleeps. Cats and kittens are fastidious creatures and do not like to do their toilet near where they eat and sleep.

When a kitten is still very young, it will not be able to "cover up" very well after its toilet, as most adult cats are capable of. But you don't have to worry about this. Once they are about 1 to 2 months old, they will instinctively know how to cover up their poop.

In the wild or in the garden, cats will scoop soil and earth to cover but in the home, if you provide commercial cat litter, they will naturally scoop the litter to cover up the poop. You will notice, even if you only provide a newspaper for their soiling, your kitten will still scoop at the newspaper in an instinctive act to cover up their poop.

Although you can expect to pick up poop after your kitten in the first few weeks, litter training a kitten is relatively easy and can be 100% trouble-free once it gets used to the routine of using the litter tray.

Cat litter box location strategies

New Kitten Care - How to Kitten-proof Your Home

A very important aspect of new kitten care is keeping your kitten safe from danger. There are a lot of potential hazards round the home for little kittens. This article lists the most common ones and suggests ways you can minimize risks to your kitten and keep her safe.

Washing machine and tumble dryer:
If you leave the door open and there are clothes inside, there's a good chance your kitten will climb in and go to sleep. Always check your kitten isn't inside these before you use them.

Fridge and freezer:
As soon as you've used these, shut the door.

Hob and oven:
Shut the oven door as soon as you've finished with it. Cover hot hob plates.

Raw meat:
Keep it out of reach - it can give your kitten food poisoning.

Garbage:
Put all garbage in a sealed bin that your kitten can't access.

Plants:
Many plants are poisonous to cats. If you're not sure whether a certain plant is safe for your kitten if she eats it, put it out of her reach.

Pot pourri:
The oils used to scent this can be poisonous.

Open fires and candles:
Use a guard on the fire. Never leave a kitten in a room alone with lit candles.

Electrical wires:
If your kitten is a wire chewer, you'll need to put wires out of her reach or buy plastic covers for them.

Curtain tie-backs and cords on window blinds:
Kittens can get caught in these. Either remove them completely or tie them up out of reach.

Filled bathtubs and sinks:
Make sure your kitten doesn't have access to the room when the tub or sink is full.

Open toilet:
Try to get into the habit of keeping the lid down when the toilet's not in use.

Medications:
Keep them in a cupboard that your kitten can't get into.

Small objects:
Kittens can swallow small things like paper clips, rubber bands, staples and needles.

String, wool, fishing line and thread:
Kittens can swallow large quantities of these. For this reason, balls of wool or string and pom-poms aren't good toys for cats.

Household chemicals:
Most cleaners etc. are highly poisonous to cats and need to be kept somewhere your kitten can't access.

Tobacco:
Tobacco, nicotine patches and nicotine gum are all poisonous to cats.

Reclining chairs, futons, folding beds, drawers:
If kittens get caught when this type of furniture is moved, they can get crushed. Make sure your kitten isn't asleep somewhere she could get trapped before you use any of these.

Safety is a major factor for new kitten care. It's fairly easy to keep your kitten safe as long as you anticipate potential dangers and take the necessary steps to prevent them. Putting brightly colored post it notes up around your home is a good way to do this. Stick the notes on or near potential dangers - for example the fridge, washing machine, oven, toilet and futon - and anywhere else that could be a hazard.

Cat allergies

Kitten Feeding with a Bottle

Kitten feeding can feel like a difficult process without a mother cat to do it for you. Newborn kittens are so tiny and fragile, and have to operate almost entirely by instinct. It may seem a daunting task at first, but the process of kitten feeding with a bottle is not so much from that of feeding a newborn human. Once they know what to do, they will do it all on their own. All you have to do is show them proper care and follow a few simple guidelines.

Step 1 Make up the bottle of formula. To do this, first sterilize the bottle and nipple in boiling water for several minutes and allow to cool thoroughly before adding the KMR (kitten milk replacement) formula. KMR is specifically formulated for kittens, and cow's milk is not an adequate replacement. To avoid clumping, add just a little bit of water to the powdered mix and stir until thoroughly combined before adding the rest of the hot water. The final temperature of the formula should be about 95 degrees. If the bottle gets cold, just warm it up in a small bowl of very warm water, but always check the temperature before offering it to the kitten.

Step 2 Prepare the kitten. Place a warm, soft towel either on your lap or on the feeding surface, then place the kitten gently on top of it. When feeding newborn kittens, they will need to be lying flat on their stomachs. It is best if you can do this with the kitten gently cuddled against you, because you need to be sure that the kitten is warm before feeding. Cold kittens do not digest their formula well.

Step 3 Feed the kitten. Gently work the nipple against the kitten's mouth. They will get the idea quickly and take it in. If not, very gently stroke the kitten until it gets the idea. You will need to do this six to ten times per day, around the clock, just like a newborn human. Newborn kittens will need a little over one ounce of formula per day, divided between feedings. Be careful to not overfeed them.

Step 4 Clean up and burp the kitten. While the kitten is still on the blanket, gently slip one hand under its belly and hold it while you very lightly pat its upper back. This will stimulate the burp response. Then, using a warm, damp, slightly rough cloth, gently clean its anal and genital area to stimulate urination and defecation.

Step 5 Put the kitten back to bed. It is worn out from its feeding and needs to rest.

Cat allergies

Getting Ready for the Newborn Kittens

Caring for your cat during pregnancy may require a lot of time and effort in your part but it is a very wonderful and rewarding experience. But after the kittens are already born, you will need to do a different task and that is to take care of the newborn kittens. These kittens will need special kind of attention and care and you must make sure that you could provide it to them.

One good way to start is to prepare your home for the arrival of the newborn kittens. Kittens tend to play with, chew, or nibble anything that attracts their interest like plants, cords, and other materials. You should remove the things that could be harmful to the newborn kittens like anything that could poison them or hurt them. Electrical cords must be kept out of reach. Look for anything sharp and pointed and remove them from the area immediately. Deal with anything that could strangle your kitten like ropes, ribbons, and cords to provide a safer place for your kittens.

You might also want to save your curtains and drapes from kitten scratches so it would be advisable to tie them up so your kittens will not be able to reach them. Make sure that the cabinet for your cleaning liquids are out of your kittens’ reach. Most of these cleaning liquids are poisonous and you wouldn't want your kitty to play with them to prevent any kind of accident.

Another good preparation that you should not forget is to shop for things that your kitten will need. You will have to shop for foods that are suitable for newborn kittens. You should opt for foods that could give your kittens the kind of nutrition they need for growth. The food should also be easily digestible by kittens to prevent any troubles with their tummy.

You should also get them the things they need like their own bowls, kitty basket or bed, blanket, litter box, and toys. This is to ensure that your kittens will be comfortable and that they will have a good playing time. You should provide them with warm and comfortable place or area to sleep in. When choosing toys for your little kittens, make sure that they are safe and will not put the safety of your kittens at risk.

Lastly, you must make sure that your kittens are healthy. After birth, you could have a vet take a look at them to check them up for any illness and to give them vaccines that they need. If your vet saw some signs and symptoms that suggest illness, your kitten might be subjected to some tests and examinations. This is to ensure that they will grow healthy and will reduce the risk of getting sick. These things will help prepare you and your home for the arrival of your cat’s newborn kittens. You will not have to get worried about their safety inside your home and you can be sure that you will able to provide them with anything they need for them to grow happy and healthy.

Cat allergies

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