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Kitten and Cat care

Caring for cats

feeding your kitten

Many of us here at Young Veterinary Partnership are cat owners and we love meeting new feline friends. Cats on average live until they are around 15 years old and may be more independent than dogs but still require lots of attention, feeding twice daily and long haired cats will require regular grooming.

 

  • At what age should my new kitten leave its mum?

Kittens should leave their mum at around 8 - 10 weeks old, if they leave before this age they may not be weaned properly (eating solid food) and can become unwell. When collecting your new kitten be sure to check what food your kitten has been eating and try to keep your kitten on the same food particularly during it's 'settling in' period in your home. 

 

  • Do I need to vaccinate my cat / kitten?

Included in your kitten pack will be his or hers full health check-up and a set of 2 vaccinations (2-4 weeks apart), these vaccinations are normally given at around 9 and 12 weeks. The vaccinations protect them against feline herpes virus, calicivirus (both causes of cat flu) feline enteritis (a potentially fatal form of diarrhoea) and feline leukaemia virus. We recommend that both indoor and outdoor cats are vaccinated.

 

  •  Do I need to treat my cat / kitten for fleas?

Fleas can be a year round problem for both indoor and outdoor cats. We humans can carry fleas and deposit them within the home environment. Included in your kitten pack you will receive a 1 month spot on treatment to help prevent fleas, this is a quick and painless procedure.

 

  • Do I need to worm my cat / kitten?

Even healthy looking kittens can carry worms. Worms can cause suffering, illness and can spread between other animals and even humans. To prevent you kitten getting worms you will receive a 1 month spot on treatment included in your kitten pack.

 

  • What about older cats?

Cats over 10 years old are recommended to have yearly blood tests to screen for any medical problems such as kidney failure, diabetes, liver and thyroid problems. If you join our Pet Health Care Club we can help spread the costs of these procedures across monthly instalments. High blood pressure can also be a common problem in older cats, which we can check with a yearly blood pressure check.

 

 See the links below for further information :

 

 

training litter training

How to train your  kitten to play without biting

 

  • Kittens and adult cats are much less likely to bite and scratch us if they have been socialised and handled well when young.

 

  • Kittens have two very important periods of socialisation when they learn normal behaviour, towards other cats and people. The first period is 2-7 weeks of age when handling by various people in a positive manner will increase the likelyhood of them having a friendly approach in future interactions with people.

 

  • Kittens continue to learn by social play  from the age of 7 weeks, and this peaks at around 9-14 weeks of age,  and so when most people first take home their new kitten around 8 weeks of age, they are still in this important socialization period.

 

  • You should not play with your kitten using your hands or feet, and you should not use rough play, whatever the age of the kitten. Instead we recommend the use of a “fishing rod” toy or something similar that induces chasing behaviour e.g. a ping-pong ball. If  your kitten displays pouncing, chasing or biting of human fingers and toes, then they should be ignored.  Kittens like attention so will realise they have done something wrong if you ignore them.  If you are holding your kitten when they bite  or scratch you, then put them down immediately and ignore them.  A few moments later a toy can be provided.  Once your kitten has finished playing and is tired out, you can then stroke and make a fuss of them.

 

Feeding your cat

 

  • Cats can be picky eaters, particularly as they get older. No one food will suit  all cats as they are highly individual. Cats can be fed wet cat meat or  complete dry cat food. Dry cat food may be more practical for many owners and is better for their teeth.  We stock and recommend Hills science diets as a good complete dry food, which can be purchased from the surgery, or via our online shop. A bit of boiled fish or chicken can be added occasionally if variety is needed. Most cats will be fed twice daily.  If your cat has a digestive upset, you should feed boiled fish or chicken for a few days, before gradually re-introducing their normal diet. If the upset persists for more than a couple of days you should contact your vet.

 

  • Kittens should be fed specific kitten food which contains higher protein content and other minerals required for growth. Most cats are fully grown by around 10 months of age (larger breeds such as Maine Coon will take longer to reached adulthood).

 

  • Older cats (over 10 years old) may be fed senior cat diets, as they are generally less active at this age.

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Many thanks again,

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