From Kitten vaccination schedules, to Kitten toilet training and what to feed your Kitten.
A COMPLETE GUIDE
You’ve picked up your Kitten, taken him home, but now what do you do?
Welcome to the exciting world of bringing up a kitten. Cats makes wonderful pets as they tend to be less demanding than dogs, can adjust to a variety of situations and living conditions, can provide hours of entertainment or a quiet snuggle when needed (usually on their terms though). Every cat will bring with them its own unique personality that will make you laugh and sometimes cry.
Kitten vaccination (cost and schedule)
Vaccinations are a way of preventing diseases and infections, by introducing either small strains or dead virus’s into a pets system, thus preventing the animal developing the full blown disease if exposed to it. The cost of a vaccination is relatively cheap, prices range from around $70, depending on exactly what your cat is being vaccinated against. The main diseases kittens need to be protected against are:
Feline Panleukopenia (feline enteritis/feline distemper)
Feline herpes virus (cat flu)
Feline calicivirus (cat flu)
These are considered the core three (F3), however depending on the circumstances, ‘non-core’ vaccinations may need to be administered.
Kitten vaccination schedule
6 – 8 weeks old 1st immunisation
10 – 12 weeks old 2nd immunisation
16 weeks old 3rd immunisation (not always necessary)
12 months Booster shot
Adult Cat Every 1 – 3 years
10 days after your Kittens 12 week immunisation, they can go outside and socialise with other cats.
What to feed my Kitten?
Essentially cats are carnivores. If we look back at what they would eat in the wild, their diet would consist mainly of raw meats.
First few days
It’s always a good idea to start your first few days at home feeding your kitten exactly the same food type, brand, frequency and quantity there were being fed by their breeder. This will ensure you kitten is settled and will reduce the stress of a new environment. If you wish to change the type or brand of food your kitten was previously eating, do it slowly (over 7 to 10 days). For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that to your kitten for several days. Then make it 50-50 for several days, then 75% new food to 25% old food for several days. Finally you can start feeding 100% new food. If at any time your kitten starts vomiting, has loose stools or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching him over.
Type of food
We recommend a high quality balanced diet that is specifically designed for kittens. We recommend a tailor made premium dry or wet food for kittens, as this will provide the greatest nutrients and start to your kitten’s life. As your kitten gets older (20 weeks), you can offer them some natural food such as RAW human grade lamb or chicken. Cats love playing with chicken wings or necks and it’s also great for their teeth, but ensure they are supervised when eating bones and never feed them cooked bones. As a treat, cats can also be fed fish occasionally and always ensure your kitten had access to clean, fresh water.
How often should I feed my kitten?
Between 6 and 12 weeks of age, it is recommended that kittens be fed four times per day. From 12 weeks to six months of age, we advise that your kitten be fed three times per day. By six months of age, feeding can be reduced to twice daily.
When to change to adult cat food?
It can vary from cat to cat and situation to situation, however it is generally recommended that cat’s diet can be gradually change to adult food from about 12 months of age.
Worms are a common cause of illness in cats and cause loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhoea. The most common type of worms found in Australia are roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm.
Cat Worming Frequency
Cats Age Frequency of Worming
2 weeks to 12 weeks Every 2 weeks (2, 4, 6, 8, 10 & 12 weeks old)
12 weeks to 6 months Monthly (4, 5 & 6 months old)
6 months and older Every 3 months
Many benefits exist when desexing or spaying your cat. Apart from the obvious prevention of un-planned pregnancies, neutering a cat can promote better behaviour and reduce illnesses later in life. Desexing can:
Prevent male cats from wondering and getting into fights
Prevent male cats from spraying urine around the place
Reduce diseases in female cats from mating with multiple male cats
Reduces night prowling
We recommend having your cat desexed at about 5-6 months of age, as this is when they reach sexual maturity. Spaying is a day procedure that will require you’re pet to be put under general anaesthetic and their ovaries and uterus or testicles removed.
For more information please
Luckily, cats are instinctively clean and finicky which makes toilet training your kitty to either use an inside kitty litter tray or to go outside, easier.
House training your Kitten
Kitty litter training
The best way that a kitten learns is by watching another cat. Ideally when you receive your kitten it has already learnt from its mother or alternatively can learn from an older cat. If starting from scratch however, remember these few tips and you should be well on your way to a house trained kitty.
Choose the right litter tray, one that gives your kitty room to move
Avoid scented litters, you may like the smell of it, but your cat doesn’t
Place the litter tray in a quiet are. Cats like privacy, preferably a place with a wall behind it. If your house is large you may need to provide multiple kitty litter locations
Establish routine. You should place your kitty in the litter box
After waking from sleep
Every few hours
Scratch around with your kitties paw in the litter to encourage their natural instincts to take over
Praise your kitty it if relieves itself in the correct spot and ignore it if it doesn’t
Make sure the box is always clean. Cats do not like heavily soiled litter boxes
How to teach your cat to go outside
The above tips can be applied to training your cat to toilet outside. The key points to remember are establishing a routine and positive reinforcement.
Micro chipping your pet is extremely important. If your cat becomes lost, you a far more likely to be reunited with them sooner if they are micro chipped.
A microchip is a very small permanent chip that is implanted under the skin of your pet, usually between the shoulder blades and the back of the neck. Each chip has a unique identification number that is attached to your pet’s records. If your kitten is not micro chipped when you pick them up, you should do this as soon as possible, and remember if you change addresses to inform your vet so they can update your records.
Playing with your Kitten
Cats love to play and their favourite games usually draw on their natural hunting instincts. Playing games with you cat or providing them with toys helps them to express their natural instincts, provides good exercise and is a bit of fun for you too!
Try some of these fun games and toys!
Open card board boxes left around the house provide hours of fun
Some cats enjoy chasing light beams such as torches
Throw light balls, such as ping pong balls or scrunched up paper balls for them to chase
Provide a scratching post for your cat. Cats instinctively scratch everything in order to sharpen their claws; it’s an inherent trait that cannot be helped. By providing a scratching post, you can try to fulfil their urge to scratch and attempt to draw them away from your couch!
Above everything, enjoy your kitten! Love them, nurture them and care for them. Cats can be very rewarding pets to own and will bring you many years of treasured memories.