General Cat Care

coopersmom

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So just adopted a 6 month old kitten and was looking for advice and tips on health/nutrition, supplements, things to start early. I’ve started him on toothpaste, thankfully he loves it and licks it off my finger – do you guys also actually brush their teeth or do you think him licking it is enough to prevent buildup? Especially starting him on it this young?

Any advice on supplements, fish oil, etc? Or do you guys just use those for older kitties or cats with health problems/allergies?

Any food recommendations? Wet vs dry food, etc. I was wanting to do the raw diet thing but I’m not seeing any cost-efficient options, I’ll do some more research though. Thanks for any help! Just wanting to expand my knowledge on cat care for this little guy :) Pic of my little cutie below during a photoshoot with his fancy bowtie collar
 

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Maurey

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It’s the mechanical brushing that’s generally more important than the toothpaste. The enzymes in it will do some work, but the action brushing is really important. I’d suggest getting a Curaprox 1006 or something similar — it’s great for kitty teeth.

If you’re feeding a complete commercial diet, no supplementation is strictly necessary.

1mL fish oil a week may be beneficial if the food you feed doesn’t have an animal source of omega (I use Nordic naturals for cats and small dogs). Raw quail eggs are a great source of nutrition, help with hairballs, and, according to some early studies in mice, have some kidney preservation function. My cats enjoy 2 raw quail eggs once a week. With a kitten, I’d offer half a raw or boiled one, no more, as it can cause diarrhoea. Raw goats milk, or kefir can be a nice treat in small amounts a couple times a week, for the natural probiotics.

If you can afford it, feed only moisture-rich foods, no kibble. Some great brands are Rawz, Tiki Cat, and Ziwi Peak. Fancy feast classics and Wellness (NOT the core line, people have found this has triggered urinary blockages in some cats) are okay to have in rotation for lowering food costs (there are other decent budget wet foods, but these two come to mind). Feed fish not at all or no more than once a week. For raw, you may want to look into EZcomplete, TCFeline, Altrunin, or some other meal completers, or perhaps Darwin’s trial pack — it’s cheap for the amount of food and you and your cat can assesshow you feel about raw. Be sure to transition very slowly, no matter what food you introduce. A probiotic may help make transitioning smoother.
 
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Java Lady

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looks like you are doing the right thing I also have a 6 month old kitten I feed him Acana kitten dry buy in Canada only and canned food 2 times aday
this is Oreo at 5 months old
good luck with your new kitty he is sure cute
 

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coopersmom

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looks like you are doing the right thing I also have a 6 month old kitten I feed him Acana kitten dry buy in Canada only and canned food 2 times aday
this is Oreo at 5 months old
good luck with your new kitty he is sure cute
What a cute little face! I'll look into Acana brand food
 

maggie101

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So just adopted a 6 month old kitten and was looking for advice and tips on health/nutrition, supplements, things to start early. I’ve started him on toothpaste, thankfully he loves it and licks it off my finger – do you guys also actually brush their teeth or do you think him licking it is enough to prevent buildup? Especially starting him on it this young?

Any advice on supplements, fish oil, etc? Or do you guys just use those for older kitties or cats with health problems/allergies?

Any food recommendations? Wet vs dry food, etc. I was wanting to do the raw diet thing but I’m not seeing any cost-efficient options, I’ll do some more research though. Thanks for any help! Just wanting to expand my knowledge on cat care for this little guy :) Pic of my little cutie below during a photoshoot with his fancy bowtie collar
Not all cats can take raw or do not like it. One of my cats threw up. Another did not like it. I buy them dr elseys,hound and gatos,farmina,simply nourish,fancy feast classics, and rawz. Catfooddb.com is helpful for checking protein,fat,carbs,and price. Canned food is helpful for the teeth and should be brushed every day. I forget. No fish so be sure to check the ingredients. I feed my cats 3x a day plus a food timer for canned at 6am
 
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coopersmom

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It’s the mechanical brushing that’s generally more important than the toothpaste. The enzymes in it will do some work, but the action brushing is really important. I’d suggest getting a Curaprox 1006 or something similar — it’s great for kitty teeth.

If you’re feeding a complete commercial diet, no supplementation is strictly necessary.

1mL fish oil a week may be beneficial if the food you feed doesn’t have an animal source of omega (I use Nordic naturals for cats and small dogs). Raw quail eggs are a great source of nutrition, help with hairballs, and, according to some early studies in mice, have some kidney preservation function. My cats enjoy 2 raw quail eggs once a week. With a kitten, I’d offer half a raw or boiled one, no more, as it can cause diarrhoea. Raw goats milk, or kefir can be a nice treat in small amounts a couple times a week, for the natural probiotics.

If you can afford it, feed only moisture-rich foods, no kibble. Some great brands are Rawz, Tiki Cat, and Ziwi Peak. Fancy feast classics and Wellness (NOT the core line, people have found this has triggered urinary blockages in some cats) are okay to have in rotation for lowering food costs (there are other decent budget wet foods, but these two come to mind). Feed fish not at all or no more than once a week. For raw, you may want to look into EZcomplete, TCFeline, Altrunin, or some other meal completers, or perhaps Darwin’s trial pack — it’s cheap for the amount of food and you and your cat can assesshow you feel about raw. Be sure to transition very slowly, no matter what food you introduce. A probiotic may help make transitioning smoother.
I'll look into the tooth brush! Thank you :)

Very interesting about the quail eggs and goat's milk - didn't know that!
 

arr

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Just to speak on the tooth brushing, start it now. He’s not too young and the older they get, the harder it may become to introduce things like this. I started my kittens around his age and they do great, they almost seem to look forward to it. I use Virbac poultry flavored enzyme toothpaste and extra small finger brushes. I give them Greenies cat treats after the brushing, not because I think they do anything, but because it helps the cats to look forward to teeth brushing, knowing it is always followed by a treat.
 
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coopersmom

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Just to speak on the tooth brushing, start it now. He’s not too young and the older they get, the harder it may become to introduce things like this. I started my kittens around his age and they do great, they almost seem to look forward to it. I use Virbac poultry flavored enzyme toothpaste and extra small finger brushes. I give them Greenies cat treats after the brushing, not because I think they do anything, but because it helps the cats to look forward to teeth brushing, knowing it is always followed by a treat.
Oh absolutely! Yeah I've been using that exact same brand and flavor of toothpaste and he absolutely LOVES it, so I'm thinking it would be super easy to get him into brushing.

Absolute side note - but does anyone have any cool tricks that they've taught their cat? I'm wanting to teach him so much since he's young and moldable :lol: So far he knows how to high-five and sorta how to give a hug, it's adorable.
 

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Absolute side note - but does anyone have any cool tricks that they've taught their cat? I'm wanting to teach him so much since he's young and moldable :lol: So far he knows how to high-five and sorta how to give a hug, it's adorable.
I’ll just list Jum’s tricks, as Chips is currently playing catch up.

Out of the purely utilitarian commands, I’ve taught leave it, down (I.e. get off the furniture please), up (jump up exactly here), place names in some rooms (e.g. bed, shelf) to get a cat out of the way if I say, shatter something. Both have fairly good recall (come when called), but still reinforcing. Slowly working on stay, but there’s currently little practical reason for it.

Out of more fun stuff, I have paw, high five, wave, beg, play dead, roll over, and spin. Currently teaching them to jump over my legs on command, as well as weave through them. Slowly forming the behaviour to have Jum place her paws up on an indicated surface on command, but it’s slow going.

This doesn’t quite fit in either category, but my cats understand (let’s) go ~verb~. Their favourite is eat, but they also know go cuddle and go to bed lol.

Currently doing a bit of kitty obstacle courses by training them to touch a clicker pointer with their nose when I tap it against a surface. Might expand that to targets (little discs you toss on the floor) if I’m able to track any down.
 
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coopersmom

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I’ll just list Jum’s tricks, as Chips is currently playing catch up.

Out of the purely utilitarian commands, I’ve taught leave it, down (I.e. get off the furniture please), up (jump up exactly here), place names in some rooms (e.g. bed, shelf) to get a cat out of the way if I say, shatter something. Both have fairly good recall (come when called), but still reinforcing. Slowly working on stay, but there’s currently little practical reason for it.

Out of more fun stuff, I have paw, high five, wave, beg, play dead, roll over, and spin. Currently teaching them to jump over my legs on command, as well as weave through them. Slowly forming the behaviour to have Jum place her paws up on an indicated surface on command, but it’s slow going.

This doesn’t quite fit in either category, but my cats understand (let’s) go ~verb~. Their favourite is eat, but they also know go cuddle and go to bed lol.

Currently doing a bit of kitty obstacle courses by training them to touch a clicker pointer with their nose when I tap it against a surface. Might expand that to targets (little discs you toss on the floor) if I’m able to track any down.
I have got to see a video of them! That is amazing!
 

StanAndAlf

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If your looking for some inspiration, or want to share your current feed routine, I encourage you to check out this thread:
What Do You Feed Your Cat?

It's a thread I created for just these sorts of questions :)
 

Cat McCannon

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Raw chicken gizzards are good for cleaning a cat's teeth. In addition to regular cat food (wet & raw) we give her some gizzards, liver & heart, almost daily. We never brush her teeth. At her first annual check-up, vet said her teeth are clean & white and her gums healthy. She didn't need her teeth cleaned.

She's a year and a half old.
 
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coopersmom

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Raw chicken gizzards are good for cleaning a cat's teeth. In addition to regular cat food (wet & raw) we give her some gizzards, liver & heart, almost daily. We never brush her teeth. At her first annual check-up, vet said her teeth are clean & white and her gums healthy. She didn't need her teeth cleaned.

She's a year and a half old.
That's amazing! I'll start doing that, seems easy enough AND natural, which I love. I'm looking into raw food right now - I don't have a blender or a grinder at the moment though and can't afford one (this year has been tight), so I'm looking into no-bone options but from what I've read so far that's not recommended for long-term use? Even with extra taurine and eggshell powder added to their food? I'll have to do more research. What I'd really love is a cost breakdown for raw, how many servings you get out of a batch, pre-mixed vitamins/supplements for raw vs buying everything separate, etc.

At the very least while I'm looking into raw food I'm going to switch him to canned for the extra moisture. My previous baby was dry kibble all his life, I didn't know any better. But after just a little bit of research it's easy to see how bad that is for them.
 

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I found a store nearby that specializes in raw food for cats and dogs. I buy raw cat food that has the complete nutritional value for cats. The “Lizards & Gizzards” (as my wife calls it) is in addition to the cat food.

We feed Belle a variety throughout the day. She’s used to it and it never causes her tummy troubles and keeps her interested in her food. Yesterday, she got Sheba for breakfast, Lizards & Gizzards for lunch and Fresh Pet raw for dinner. Today, I’ll pull some duck entrée patties out of the freezer to thaw for later in the day.

Fresh Pet costs about $5 per pound and the duck entree cost about $20 for a 28 oz bag. The bag before the duck was rabbit which Belle loves. The liver, gizzards and hearts each cost about a buck to a buck and a half per pound at the grocery store. We freeze them for at least three days to kill any bugs that might be bad for kitties before using.

It’s more expensive to feed Belle this way, but seeing how happy and healthy she is, it’s worth it. If it keeps her from getting diabetes, urinary tract problems or fat and reduces her chances of getting cancer or liver disease, it will save us money in vet bills and her a lot of suffering.

Belle is a happy cat and happy is the happy cat!
 

Maurey

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That's amazing! I'll start doing that, seems easy enough AND natural, which I love. I'm looking into raw food right now - I don't have a blender or a grinder at the moment though and can't afford one (this year has been tight), so I'm looking into no-bone options but from what I've read so far that's not recommended for long-term use? Even with extra taurine and eggshell powder added to their food? I'll have to do more research. What I'd really love is a cost breakdown for raw, how many servings you get out of a batch, pre-mixed vitamins/supplements for raw vs buying everything separate, etc.

At the very least while I'm looking into raw food I'm going to switch him to canned for the extra moisture. My previous baby was dry kibble all his life, I didn't know any better. But after just a little bit of research it's easy to see how bad that is for them.
Eggshell calcium isn’t advisable for kittens because it lacks the phosphorous they need for healthy growth. If the food or meal completer supplements or otherwise compensates for the lack of phos to make it appropriate for all life stages, it should be fine.
 
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coopersmom

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I found a store nearby that specializes in raw food for cats and dogs. I buy raw cat food that has the complete nutritional value for cats. The “Lizards & Gizzards” (as my wife calls it) is in addition to the cat food.

We feed Belle a variety throughout the day. She’s used to it and it never causes her tummy troubles and keeps her interested in her food. Yesterday, she got Sheba for breakfast, Lizards & Gizzards for lunch and Fresh Pet raw for dinner. Today, I’ll pull some duck entrée patties out of the freezer to thaw for later in the day.

Fresh Pet costs about $5 per pound and the duck entree cost about $20 for a 28 oz bag. The bag before the duck was rabbit which Belle loves. The liver, gizzards and hearts each cost about a buck to a buck and a half per pound at the grocery store. We freeze them for at least three days to kill any bugs that might be bad for kitties before using.

It’s more expensive to feed Belle this way, but seeing how happy and healthy she is, it’s worth it. If it keeps her from getting diabetes, urinary tract problems or fat and reduces her chances of getting cancer or liver disease, it will save us money in vet bills and her a lot of suffering.

Belle is a happy cat and happy is the happy cat!
Where do you get your liver, gizzards, and hearts from? I've just checked the larger grocery stores so far and haven't found any who sell them, I seem to remember them seeing them though... Haven't had a chance to check the smaller places just yet.
 
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coopersmom

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Eggshell calcium isn’t advisable for kittens because it lacks the phosphorous they need for healthy growth. If the food or meal completer supplements or otherwise compensates for the lack of phos to make it appropriate for all life stages, it should be fine.
Awesome to know! Thanks! All I know so far about raw food for kittens is you feed them based on their expected weight, not how much they weigh now. Other than that I'm unsure about kitten raw food, gotta do some more looking.
 

Cat McCannon

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Where do you get your liver, gizzards, and hearts from? I've just checked the larger grocery stores so far and haven't found any who sell them, I seem to remember them seeing them though... Haven't had a chance to check the smaller places just yet.
Usually, Winco. They aren’t always available which is why we stock up when they are. Last batch, I got at Macy’s.
 
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