Home preparation – Kittens
You will need to set up a new environment at home that enables your kitten to feel safe and secure.
Start your kitten off on the right track and get him to sleep away from you at night. Create a “kitten domain” where your kitten can go to eat, drink, sleep and go to the toilet comfortably. This is an area you want your kitten to feel safe so ensure there are no loud noises (such as the washing machine) that may frighten your kitten. Click here to read about the ideal kitten bed.
A good quality diet is essential for a healthy kitten. Premium quality diets ensure your kitten receives everything necessary for a growing body. Find out what your kitten is used to being fed and slowly introduce a new diet over 5-7 days to prevent tummy upsets.
Your kitten will need to be fed a specifically prepared kitten food until the age of one year. After this, you should start feeding a food formulated for adult cats
Food and Water Bowls
Choose bowls that are easy to keep clean and sturdy enough to prevent your kitten from tipping them over. Stainless steel, porcelain and ceramic bowls are available best for cats as plastic can encourage the development of feline acne. Have an extra one available in case your kitten does manage to knock it over or for hot days.
Setting up the ideal cat bathroom is not always easy. The golden rule is a litter tray for every cat in the household plus an additional tray. If you have two cats, you will need to provide three trays.
Place the litter tray in a safe a quiet area away from threats such as the dog and try to keep it in the “kitten’s domain”. Quiet corners or cupboards are perfect. Cats are desert animals and prefer sandy, soil like litter. Ensure you remove faeces daily and completely clean the tray out at least once a week. This should be done with warm water only as some bleach cleaners will discourage your kitten from using the tray.
It is a good idea to get your kitten checked over by a vet at this age. It is never too early to visit the vet. Your vet will ensure there are no problems with your kitten such as a hernia that may need to be surgically repaired. Heart murmurs can be detected at this age and your vet will ensure your kitten is a healthy weight.
Kittens need to commence vaccinations at 6-8 weeks of age. Your kitten should be given a F3 vaccination that prevents against Feline Rhinotracheitis, Feline Calicivirus and Feline Enteritis.
Will Your Kitten Ever Venture Outside?
If you answered “yes” to this question then your kitten is at risk of contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), a disease that destroys your cats immune system resulting in disease and premature death. There is no treatment or cure for an infected cat.
FIV is spread via cat bites. Any cat that goes outdoors can be exposed to infection. Whilst similar to Aids in humans, FIV cannot infect people.
Your kitten will initially need 3 vaccinations every 2 -4 weeks then yearly boosters. Ask your vet for more information.
Remember! Cats that live indoors live longer, healthier lives. They are less likely to get into fights, get run over or kill wildlife. Consider building a cat enclosure now.
Fleas are a significant cause of skin disease in cats. Their bite can cause intense itching and skin damage. Controlling fleas is vital if you want a healthy shiny coat and an itchy free cat.
The key to keeping fleas under control is to use the best flea control product and use it regularly. Most products involve a monthly spot on treatment. Flea collars and flea shampoos are not recommended as the chemicals are not very effective and can be harmful to you and your pet.
Good flea products actually break the life cycle of the flea. Start preventing against fleas now. Ask your vet about the best prevention for your kitten.
Are there ticks living in your area or do you plan to take your pet on holiday where there may be ticks? The paralysis tick is common along the east coast of Australia especially New South Wales and Queensland.
Once the tick attaches at a suitable site it begins to engorge with blood and will inject a potent toxin that causes muscle paralysis. It can potentially cause death if the muscles that help your pet breathe are paralysed. Talk to your veterinarian about the best prevention for your pet.
Intestinal worms can make a young kitten very sick and these can be transferred from the mother via her milk. Kittens need intestinal worming every 2 weeks up until they are 12 weeks old then monthly until 6 months. Choose a good quality intestinal all wormer approved by a veterinarian.
There are many different health insurance policies available for your pet ranging from policies that cover general health check-ups to policies that cover more serious conditions. Pet insurance will help with unexpected costs and will help you provide your pet with the best care when needed. Now is the time to consider pet insurance.