Kitten Adoption Education is Crucial for Long-Term Pet Health
Spring has sprung! Along with the blooming flowers and pollen count increase, we are seeing some of the cutest patients ever! Why? Because it's kitten season!
Kitten adoption is booming. Education is crucial for our clients, who need to learn about how to best care for their new family member and lay the groundwork for a positive pet-parent relationship as their kitten becomes a cat. Here are some ways for us to provide kitten adoption education to new pet parents, and form a strong client-practice bond along the way.
Social Media is Your Friend
Clients often come into the practice after they've already gotten a kitten, not before. One way to promote kitten education before those new clients walk in the door is to share advice via social media. Whether you choose to post on Facebook or Instagram, or to send out an email newsletter, find a way to give potential owners the 411 on what they'll need to know. What tests are recommended before adoption? What vaccinations are necessary? At what age should a kitten be spayed or neutered? These are common questions, and if we can provide that information before clients adopt, we can ensure they know what owning a kitten — and caring for a future full-grown cat — entails.
Time for the First Exam
When I hear someone say they have a new kitten, there are several things I want to know before I go on my kitten adoption education spiel. First and foremost, where did the cat come from? Whether they adopted through the Humane Society, got it from a friend of a friend's litter, saw it advertised on Craigslist, or even took in a stray, where the cat came from makes a difference. The answer will guide us on how to give strong recommendations and let us know what to look for in the exam room. For instance, a kitten from the Humane Society may have already been vaccinated, dewormed, and spayed/neutered. Perhaps at some point, it caught an upper-respiratory infection. Kittens adopted from unknown circumstances need to be checked carefully to ensure they grow into healthy cats. Do they have ear mites? Were they weaned properly? These points of reference can ensure we are doing our job and providing a kitten adoption education that suits the kitten's circumstances.
What Comes Next?
Communication with the client doesn't stop after the first exam. Kittens eventually become cats, and when the tiny puffball the client adored is now clawing up their furniture or peeing in the laundry basket, how can we make it better? The most crucial lesson we can teach owners is that each cat has its own set of issues. Cats are sensitive creatures, and when conflict arises, instead of projecting misplaced anger and frustration, the owners need to reach out to their veterinary team. Whether it's an underlying medical issue or a behavioral one, early intervention provides the best potential outcome for the cat and the client.
By providing education and sharing our knowledge and advice, we can ensure that both cats and their owners have many happy years together. Healthy kittens become healthy cats, and educated owners become dedicated clients. We can help a kitten adoption become a life-long partnership with our clients — and also watch a cute kitten grow into an amazing pet.