If you have recently adopted a kitten there are a few important things to consider.
Visiting the vet
It is important that you take your kitten to the vet for a health check as soon as possible. At Lynbrook Vet we offer FREE NEW KITTEN CHECKS for kittens up to 16 weeks of age. Your vet can advise you on the following:
- All kittens need vaccinations with at minimum two F3 vaccinations given one month apart. These protect against viruses that can cause severe illness in kittens such as herpesvirus, calicivirus and panleukopenia. After their kitten course, the F3 vaccine is given annually.
- If you plan to let your kitten roam outdoors at any time in their life, then we would also recommend a FIV vaccination. This vaccine protects your kitten against feline immunodeficiency virus (also referred to as feline aids). The FIV vaccine is given as 3 initial vaccines, 2 weeks apart and thereafter are given annually.
- Worming, flea and heartworm protection
- All kittens should be protected against intestinal worms, fleas and heartworm. This is usually easily done via a combination of spot-on and tablet products.
- We can help you set up a regular schedule and send you reminders each month when your kitten’s treatment is due. We can even administer these treatments for you!
- If your kitten is not already microchipped, we can microchip them for you. Microchips are so important and ensures that if your kitten ever becomes lost, they can find their way back to you!
- Desexing is recommended for all non-breeding cats to avoid unwanted pregnancies, reduce the risk of behavioural issues (such as urine spraying, fighting with other cats and wandering off the property) as well as reduces the risk of diseases like mammary cancer, uterine infections and testicular cancers.
- For more information about the benefits of desexing please see our blog: https://lynbrookvet.com.au/desexing-your-dog-or-cat-when-is-the-ideal-time/
- Insurance is critical to ensure that when your kitten becomes unwell or injured, they can receive the timely, best care that they need without having to compromise on expenses.
- At Lynbrook Vet we can set you up with 4 weeks of obligation free insurance (that’s a value of up to $3000 if required!). For more information about why we recommend getting insurance please see our blog: https://lynbrookvet.com.au/pet-insurance/
Setting up your home environment
It is recommended that cats be kept indoors or within an enclosed cat run. Cats that free roam outdoors may easily become injured by getting hit by cars, falling from heights, getting into fights with other cats or possums or being attacked by dogs.
- They should have a comfy bed in a draft free area as well as places they can retreat to away from noise and handling to prevent stress (such as a tall scratchy post).
- You need at least 2 litter trays in the house per cat.
- Waste should be removed from litter trays after each use and the tray cleaned when required.
- Make sure you have food and water bowls. Cats generally prefer these to be separated as to not contaminate their water with food.
- Water bowls should be refreshed at least once daily.
- It is also recommended to have some toys to keep your cat occupied. These need not be complicated (lets be honest, most cats tend to prefer the boxes their toys come in more so than the toys themselves!) but it is important that the toys you select are large enough so that your cat cannot ingest them. You should regularly inspect your cat’s toys and replace them if they’ve become damaged.
- A scratching post or pad for your cat to scratch is also recommended. This should be tall or long enough that your cat can stretch out their length along it!
- If your cat wears a collar, please ensure it is a breakaway type that will snap if it becomes caught on anything. Buckle collars on agile cats are dangerous! It is also important to ensure their collar is fitted correctly so it is not too tight or loose.
For more tips on having a happy indoor cat, check out our blog: https://lynbrookvet.com.au/tips-to-have-a-happy-indoor-cat/
It is important to feed your kitten a quality diet from day one. This can be just dry food or a mixture of wet and dry food. Just wet food is not recommended as this will lead to earlier dental disease.
Commercial diets like Hills Vet Essentials, Delicate Care and Royal Canin Kitten are good options as they are fully balanced and come with easy to follow feeding guides.
Kittens should always also have access to fresh water in a clean bowl. There is no need to give kittens milk or formula once they are past weaning age (e.g. 6-8 weeks).
Just like with us, it is important to start taking care of teeth as soon as they appear. Brushing teeth daily is the recommended gold standard to keeping your kitten’s teeth as healthy as possible through their lives.
Starting teeth brushing when your kitten is young makes them more likely to tolerate this as they get older. Kits containing soft plastic finger brushes and pet safe toothpaste are available in clinic.
For short haired kittens a brush 2-3 times weekly is ideal. Long haired cats should be brushed daily. For kittens, a rubber or soft bristle brush is suitable and you should begin brushing in the direction of hair growth. This can be a good bonding time for you and your new kitten. As your kitten grows and their coat changes, you may like to upgrade to a brush such as the Furminator which is a great tool to help with coat shedding and removing dead hair.
Congratulations on your new kitten! At Lynbrook Vet we love meeting the newest furry members of your family and cannot wait to meet your new furbaby!
Give us a call on 8373 0301 to book your free new kitten check today!