Watch out for those curtains!
So you're thinking of getting a new kitten? or maybe you already just have?
While it's exciting bringing a new kitten home, remember the environment is new and your kitten may be very apprehensive or scared. Act calmly, not too rowdy, and provide a warm, soft and cosy area for your kitten to feel secure. Kittens are very curious creatures so let them explore everything in their own time.
Start with the right Diet
They are 'obligate carnivores' and require more protein and other nutrients than dogs. Feed the kitten their current diet for the first 2 weeks before aiming to integrate a premium quality kitten food (like Hills Science Plan, Royal Canin or James Wellbeloved). Wet food is fine but it is important to always feed some dry food too, as it's much better for your kitten's teeth! Feed your kitten 3-4 times per day until 12 weeks of age, then 2-3 times daily until they're 5 - 6 months old. Check the premium food package recommendations as your kitten grows to ensure you adjust it accordingly. Premium kitten food is recommended as it is full of the right nutrients in the right proportions, unlike many of the lower quality supermarket foods.
Make sure you give your cat the correct portion of food each day and avoid topping up the bowl every time they meow or ask for more, as this can easily make you cat overweight. Table scraps and homemade diets can rarely achieve the right balance of nutrients that premium foods can. Usually your kitten can stay on growth or kitten diets until 12 months of age before switching to an adult cat food. After a kitten is weaned from their mother, there is no need to give milk. Fresh water is far better and helps with digestion.
Medication & Vacinations
Kittens are at risk of a number of serious diseases, including feline enteritis, feline respiratory diseases and feline immunodeficiency virus - AIDS. These diseases are debilitating and can be fatal so vaccinating against them is vital. Your vet will tell you and guide you on the right vaccination regime for your kitten. The first vaccination is generally given at 6 - 8 weeks of age, then at 12 -14 weeks for the second vaccination, some vets recommend a third, others don’t so consult your vet or local pet shop for current treatments. Boosters are then recommended yearly from your vet. Feline AIDS (FIV) is a serious problem among the cat population. It is highly recommended you vaccinate against this deadly disease. It is transmitted via biting and scratching and in some areas, up to 27% of outdoor cats are carrying this disease. Feline AIDS is extremely serious and can be prevented by vaccinations. Ask your vet or local pet shop for more information the next time you visit.
Your kitten should be treated for intestinal worms every two weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every four weeks until six months of age. After six months, worming should continue every three months for life. The most common intestinal worms include roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm. All wormers' like Beaphar or Johnsons are a good way to protect your kitten from all types of intestinal worms. Remember, worms can transfer from cat to humans, so be diligent especially if you have children around the home.
Protect them against Fleas
Fleas carry tapeworm and can cause severe scratching and allergic reactions, known as flea allergy dermatitis , this can look abit like dandruff. Treat your kitten and home with a good quality flea control product like the Bob Martin 'Flea Clear' range or for you home, use Johnsons 4fleas Household Spray. You can start from 6 - 8 weeks of age and continue for life. make sure that you read all packaging before treating or call us for free advice!!
Heartworm - is it required?
Cats are about 2,000 times more resistant to heartworm than dogs, meaning the general consensus is that it's less vital to protect against it in cats. However, heartworm disease has been associated with sudden death in cats, so prevention is available.
A microchip is a permanent identification implanted under the skin, allowing a quick and easy return if your kitten ever gets lost. Your kitten can be microchipped at any age but the earlier the better. Microchipping is quick and easy, causing little discomfort. It's essential to inform the microchip registry if you move, or your contact number changes. As well as microchipping, it's a good idea to purchase an I.D tag for your kitten's collar, engraved with the info you wish or ask you local pet shop on what wood be best. This will also increase their chance of finding their way home if they do get lost!
and yes, Toilet Training
Toilet training should start as early as possible and kittens usually learn to use a litter tray very quickly. Place the tray in a secluded, yet easily accessible place away from the kitten's bed and feeding areas. You should place your kitten in the tray every morning, night and after meals, until they get the hang of it. If you are having trouble training your kitten, try a different type of litter like Catsan or Oko Plus, ensure the tray is in a quiet, secluded place and ensure you're cleaning it regularly as some cats won't use it again until it has been cleaned and freshened up.
Need more advice? Contact the We Are Pets team on 01753 886166 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Look out for are next blog coming very soon on small animals ie hamsters gerbils rabbits and more!