Adding a kitten to your family can be an exciting and rewarding experience. That is why we've put together these basic care tips to help make the transition period as easy as possible.
The way you approach daily routines and problems with your kitten can influence how it will react to situations later in life. So ensure you have a plan set up so you can efficiently manage anything that arises.
The following is an overview of the topics that you will need to consider. Our staff are always happy to help should you need any further advice or information.
Vaccinations - a course of three vaccinations is required to fully protect your new kitten. These are due between 6-8 weeks, 10-12 weeks and 14-16 weeks of age. Until your kitten has finished its course you should not allow him/her to venture outside. Annual vaccinations are due for the rest of their life.
Intestinal Worms - Worming is essential throughout the life of all cats. Ensure you keep track of your kittens weight as they grow. The correct course of worming needs to be given every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, monthly until 6 months, and then every 3 months for the rest of their life.
Heartworm - Heartworm is completely separate to intestinal worms as the infection is via mosquitoes. The worms infest in the heart and lungs and cause heart failure. You need to start prevention before your kitten is 12 weeks old.
Fleas - Fleas are one of the most common complaints for kittens. This is because they affect both our kitten and us! To help there are a number of easy to administer products available. If fleas become a problem at home you will generally see the adult fleas or find flea dirt (small black flecks).
Inside vs Ouside Cats - We recommend your kitten be kept as an inside cat. Inside cats have far fewer health problems than outside cats such as basic problems like scratches and ulcers from fighting. Obesity can also be a problem so ensure you keep your inside cat active. (Check with your local council regarding rules and regulations with cats being outdoors).
There are various reasons why you should provide a cat scratching pole througout your kittens life.
- To sharpen their claws
- To stretch and exercise
- To mark their territory with their paws and chin
- And for mental stimulation
If you do not provide a scratching pole or mat for your kitten they will have no alternative but to use what is available. This may be your couch, carpets, mats, curtains or mattresses. Consider how much time, effort and money you could save by just starting with the correct tools for your kitten.
Collar and Name Tag
All cats inside and out need to have a correctly fitted collar with identification tags and any council tags. It is important to ensure you have puchased a cat collar and not a dog collar as cat collars must be elastic in case they ever get caught on something.
Ensure you start a grooming routine early with your kitten (especially long hair breeds) to ensure it is an easy practice later in life. This includes brushing and toe nail clipping (especially for indoor cats). Regular grooming will also help reduce hairballs in all coat types.
When purchasing a kitten 8 weeks or older they should be fully litter trained. However when bringing a new kitten into your home you need to teach them where you want them to go. A quick and easy way to do this is take your kitten hourly to their tray, place them inside and allow them to find their way around from this spot. Hopefully after only a couple of hours they will find their way back on their own. Cleaning the tray regularly will keep both you and your kitten happy, as they do not like to use a dirty tray.
Cats have natural hunting and stalking instincts that are brought into every day play and exercise. It is important to provide your cat with toys that can satisfy these behaviours and promote a healthy amount of exercise. You can even train your kitten to walk on a harness! This does require a fair bit of patience and persistence as wearing a harness can be very daunting for most kittens. A handy tip to help get your kitten used to the harness and lead is put it on inside the house first. We recommend you have some tasty treats on hand and always remember to start slowly and calmly. Once you have it down pat it will be a safe way to provide your cat with outside time.
Feeding a balanced, high quality food is essential for your growing kitten. It is always best to continue the previously fed diet during the initial transition and relocation to reduce the chance of an upset stomach. Monitor your kitten's weight and body condition and consult your vet if needed. Remember, as your kitten grows so does the amount of food they need.
DO NOT feed your new kitten table scaps or human treats otherwise they may hold out for human food and not eat their own. The staff at Pet City Mt Gravatt are trained to recommend the appropriate food for your new addition based on the breed, age and health requirements.
Socialisation and Training
Not only dogs need to be socialised and trained. Anything you want to do with your kitten later in life you need to introduce at a young age. These sort of things include; washing, grooming, car travel, and meeting new people. Just remember as a kitten, this is best done in small doses at a time.
Want more information? Don't hesitate to contact our friendly team - email email@example.com or Phone 07 3349 2086