Kittens are a source of fun and affection, and grow up to be great companions. When you bring your kitten to us for their first check-up, we will answer all your questions about the best way to take care of the newest member of your family. Our staff are trained to help you with these life decisions. We will also supply you with a free kitten pack. In the meanwhile, here are some suggestions to start off on the “right paw”.
Your kitten will need two separate bowls; one for food and one for water. If you have more than one kitten, each should have a set of their own. Make sure there is always fresh water available, and ensure that the food bowl is always clean.
Successful toilet training is essential for a well adjusted kitten, so a litter tray, cat litter and a scoop are essential. Most kittens will take to using a litter tray easily. To reduce the chance of problems:
- Put the litter tray somewhere easily accessible, but with a bit of privacy and away from the regular eating place.
- Remove the wet litter and faeces from the tray once or twice daily. Cats don’t like a dirty toilet any more than we do!
- Replace the litter and clean the litter tray with hot water once or twice a week.
- If you have more than one cat, the general rule is one litter tray per cat
Your kitten needs to be wormed every two weeks until 12 weeks of age. Thereafter, every 1- 3 months depending on whether they are inside or out.
All cats not meant for breeding purposes should be neutered at 6 months of age. Neutered pets have less health problems, in comparison with their entire counterparts, and research has shown that they live longer. In addition, cats which have not been neutered are not as pleasant to live with. Entire male cats often spray urine inside the house, and entire female cats are very vocal when they are “in season”. They are also much more likely to roam.
Keeping Your Kitten Safe
Cats do no not need to be outdoors to live happy, healthy lives. There are many good reasons for keeping your kitten as an indoor cat. The most common cause of death in cats is traffic accidents. There are also other risks, including poisons, infections and injuries from fighting, and feline AIDS. Many cats will hunt and kill native wildlife and birds. Keeping your cat inside will prevent many of these accidents from happening. A cat can happily live indoors if you make it fun. Make sure you supply suitable toys to play with. There are many commercial cat toys available these days, but most cats like to play with ping pong balls, scrunched up balls of paper and cardboard boxes. Avoid playing with string, as if swallowed, can cause severe damage to the intestines. You can also make a cat enclosure so that your kitten is able to go outside in a controlled environment. This can be a straightforward DIY project, or commercial cat enclosures are available to buy. If you want to let your kitten outdoors:
- Confine them inside until neutered
- Keep all vaccinations, worm and flea treatments up to date
- Vaccinate for FeLV (leukaemia virus)
- Have your kitten microchipped
- Keep your kitten inside at night and during extreme weather conditions.
Microchipping is a safe and permanent form of identification for your cat. Unlike collars and tags, microchips cannot be lost. The microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice, and implanted between the shoulder blades by injection. All stray animals which present to the pound, animal shelter, or vet clinic are scanned for a microchip. If a microchip has been implanted, your cat can be quickly reunited with you. Kittens should be microchipped before they are allowed to spend any time outside of the house.
A scratching post is a must if you have a cat! Cats love to scratch, since it is used to mark their territory. It also helps to keep their claws in proper condition and stretches their muscles. If a suitable scratching post is not provided for your kitten, there is no doubt that a substitute will be found, which will probably be your furniture. A scratching post should be constructed from carpet or coiled rope, and it should be tall enough so that your kitten can scratch the post at full length. Make sure the post is sturdy enough so it doesn’t tip over. Introduce your kitten to the post, and if not quite sure what to do with it, you can gently put their paws on the post, to mark their scent on it. Your kitten will be more likely to return there to scratch in the future.