Tips to Keep Your Growing Kitten Healthy

As your kitten begins to grow into an adult cat, he/she may need some help to stay healthy and happy. These products can help keep your pet on track as he/she ages, preventing some common medical problems including heartworms and dental disease.

Prevent common diseases as your kitten grows

As your kitten grows up, you'll want to keep him/her protected from an assortment of parasites and bugs. Routine doses of heartworm, flea and tick preventatives will ward off the health problems associated with these pests, including Lyme disease, flea allergy dermatitis and heartworm disease. There are also convenient chewable and combination products available, making it easy to prevent these pests.

Heartworm prevention: Heartworms are transmitted to cats when an infected mosquito bites a cat. Your cat can be infected at any time, so it's best to start your pet on a heartworm preventative right away and keep him/her on it year-round. It is especially important to keep cats on heartworm prevention as heartworm disease in cats cannot be treated and can be fatal. Heartworm preventatives are prescribed by vets, so ask your vet about starting your kitten on a preventative if you haven't already. Many heartworm preventatives also act as de-wormers by getting rid of intestinal parasites.

Dental disease: Your cat's oral health will impact the rest of his/her health, and poor oral hygiene can result in extensive health issues. Tartar can build up on your pet's teeth, leading to periodontal disease, pain, bad breath and even secondary diseases such as heart and kidney disease. The American Veterinary Dental Health Society also states that 70 percent of cats will develop some form of dental disease by age 3. The sooner you start your pet's oral health routine, the better it will be for his/her overall health.

Urinary tract infections: UT health concerns are among the top reasons cat parents visit the veterinarian. Consider adding cranberry supplements to your cat's diet to help maintain urinary tract health, which may reduce the occurrence of UTIs. In addition, at-home UTI test kits can help quickly determine if your cat has an existing UTI.

Flea prevention: A flea problem can quickly spiral into an infestation in your home or yard, so it's best to treat your pet regularly with a flea preventative before it's too late. Fleas can cause health problems in cats, including flea allergy dermatitis, hot spots and tapeworms, so it's best to prevent them. Note: Please see product labeling for kitten age restrictions.

Tick prevention: Many popular flea preventatives also work to control ticks. Cats left unprotected against ticks are at a higher risk of Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. If ticks are a problem in your area, year-round treatment helps to kill any ticks your cat may pick up. If you see a tick on your cat, remove the tick carefully by grabbing it by the head with tweezers. A product such as Resultix can help ease the removal of ticks on your pet. Note: Please see product labeling for kitten age restrictions.

Support your kitten's growth with supplements

Supplements can keep your cat healthy and happy as he/she grows by supporting the brain, skin, joints and digestive system. There are several types of supplements to support these key body systems.

Joint supplements: Joint supplements support your cat's joints and can reduce inflammation and prevent joint damage. This is especially important for large and overweight cats, as there can be excessive wear on their joints. Look for products containing glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM for cartilage support. Start your kitten on joint supplements now as a preventative measure before he/she experiences joint pain and discomfort.

Omega-3 supplements: Omega 3 fatty acid is an essential fatty acid your pet cannot produce and must obtain through diet and supplements. Many commercial diets do not include an optimal amount of Omega 3, making supplements necessary. Omega 3s reduce inflammation in the body, aiding in the health of your cat's skin, brain, heart, kidneys and immune system.

Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics: Pet digestive enzymes and probiotics help balance your pet's digestive tract, regulate bowel movements and strengthen the immune system. They can also keep your cat healthy by warding off bad bacteria that may result in diarrhea or an upset stomach.