Preparing for your New Kitten
Some Helpful Advice to Consider for your New Arrival
When thinking of giving a home to a new kitten there is a lot to be taken into consideration.
- Most kittens should be fully weaned from their mother by 7 weeks and can then be collected.
- Kittens should be fed on kitten food and ideally this should be a complete dried food.
- Your vet can give you advice on the dietary needs of your kitten.
- Fresh water should always be available and contrary to belief; milk/cream should be avoided as it both can cause diarrhoea in some animals.
- Find out more about diet at the Hill's Pet Nutrition website here.
- Kittens can be vaccinated at 9 and 12 weeks.
- There are three viruses which kittens can be vaccinated against – flu, enteritis and leukaemia.
- Most reputable catteries will not accept a cat if it has not been vaccinated for flu and enteritis.
- The leukaemia virus is mainly spread by fighting. It is caused by a virus that attacks cells in the cat’s body leading to varying problems such as immune system defects and cancer.
- It is advisable not to let your kitten out for a week after the second vaccination injection.
- Insuring your kitten is advisable.
- Cats are often more prone to accidents and injuries than dogs due to their “free spirit” nature.
- A road traffic accident resulting in a fractured pelvis – a common injury - can be less stressful financially if the cat is insured.
- Microchipping is also highly advised.
- Again, as cats wander more freely than dogs it is very important that a lost cat is easily identified.
- A stray cat brought into a vets, the local authority etc can be scanned and if a microchip is found, can be reunited with its owner very quickly as opposed to being sent to the local rescue centre.
Worming and Flea Treatment
- Worming should be done monthly until the kitten is 6 months old.
- It is also important to speak to your vet about flea treatment for your kitten.
- Not only do fleas cause skin problems, they are also a source of tapeworm.
- Unless you seriously want to breed from your kitten, kittens should be neutered at 6 months old.
- Male cats will start to spray indoors if not castrated by 6 months and they can also wander further afield to look for a mate.
- Female cats should be spayed to avoid unwanted litters of kittens and the unwanted attentions of the local tomcat!
Although very independent, a well-loved and well cared for cat can make a great companion for many years.