Caring for a kitten
Greencross Vets are by your side when it comes to caring for your new kitten. To make sure they start off on the right paw, follow our advice.
A new fluffy member of the family can be overwhelming and exciting, for both you and the kitten. Introduce your kitten to the family with as little noise and over-excitement as possible, and let eager visitors know that your new family member needs to settle in before they can be introduced. Ensure your kitten gets plenty of quiet time for naps, especially in the first 24 hours while they’re getting used to their new environment.
How do I housetrain my kitten?
Initially, it is important to keep your kitten confined to a small area with an appropriately sized litter box. As long as this area is free from other loose materials, like clothing or bedding strewn on the floor, your kitten will likely be drawn to the litter box when they need to use the bathroom.
Generally, kittens will need to go to the toilet after they eat, when they wake up, and after play. At those times, place the kitten in their litter box and praise them for their work. A kitten does not need to be confined continuously but should be supervised and frequently brought back to their litter box to prevent accidents.
The diseases that vaccinations protect against are serious and often hard to treat. Vaccinations are vital to your kitten’s health. Complete protection can only be achieved if all vaccines are given, and your kitten is kept away from public areas and other pets until after their 14-week vaccine.
- 6 to 7 weeks old – Feline Enteritis and Cat Flu
- 10 weeks old – Feline Enteritis and Cat Flu + FIV + Leukaemia (if necessary)
- 14 weeks old – Feline Enteritis and Cat Flu + FIV + Leukaemia
Adult cats require annual boosters to maintain immunity.
Kittens should be wormed every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old, then every month after that until they are six months old. From then, worming your pet every three months will maintain effective worm prevention. Worming should be performed regardless of whether worms are seen in stools or not, as many are too small to be seen with the naked eye. A high-quality all-wormer should be used and is available in a variety of forms. Speak to your Greencross Vet for more information about worming.
Heartworm is transferred via a mosquito bite, so all pets are susceptible. Continuous lifelong preventative medication is required. The easiest method for cats is a once monthly spot-on application. The drops are simply applied to the skin at the back of the neck. Cats don’t need to be blood tested prior to starting preventative medication, but check with your Greencross Vet about the best product to use on kittens and when you should start treatment.
Preventing fleas in the first place is the best way to stop infestation before it starts. Speak to your Greencross Vet about the most appropriate flea prevention treatment for your kitten.
Paralysis ticks are found around bushes, scrubland and riverbanks. Tick season is mainly August to January; however, ticks can be present at any time of the year. If you and your pet live in a tick-prone area, you should inspect them daily. Prevention can be difficult, so ask your veterinarian for more information as treatments vary depending on your pet’s level of exposure. No method of tick prevention is 100% effective, so you still need to manually search your pet.
All pets should be desexed between four and six months of age. Desexed pets are healthier and less likely to roam, fight, or cause a nuisance to neighbours. Many behavioural problems can be prevented with desexing, plus unwanted litters are avoided. There is no advantage in allowing females to have a heat or litter before considering desexing. Learn more about desexing your pet
Correct nutrition is important, particularly during your pet’s growth period in the first one to two years of life. Please ask our healthcare team for advice on feeding your kitten, as a balanced diet is essential for a long and healthy life.