A kitten will cheer up the home... but will grow up! Once the decision has been made to choose a companion, this is a commitment for several years – and perhaps even decades! Choosing a kitten is therefore a matter for the brain as much as for the heart.
Preparing yout home
When your kitten arrives make sure your house is quiet, calm and safe. Decide in advance where your kitten will eat and sleep - she needs peace and quiet for both, especially in the early days. An out of the way corner is ideal.
If the atmosphere is noisy or disturbed, your kitten could grow into a nervous and fearful adult. The best approach is to move gently without shouting, and to avoid passing the kitten round for everyone to cuddle. Gain your kitten's trust by keeping her safe.
There are many different types of pet food, but choosing the right one for your kitten is what really matters.
The best and easiest solution is to feed an ultra-digestible food specially designed for kittens (the kibble size, shape and texture in dry foods are also good for her teeth), and to feed little and often. In the wild, kittens and cats tend to snack, eating up to 20 small meals a day. So using a dry food means you can put the daily portion down (using the guidelines on the pack), and let your kitten feed at will - just as long as you are sure no other pet will snaffle it before she does!
We advice you to buy a high quality food such as Royal Canin ®
Learning to play
Kittens love to play (it's pretend hunting), so toys are essential – either home-made, like squashed-up balls of tinfoil, a bunch of feathers tied on to a bit of string, an old ping pong ball, or choose some from your vet or pet shop. Play with your kitten every day – it's good for you both, and keep it up as she matures so she gets plenty of exercise. Keep safe though – check the toys regularly, and make sure she can't get into anything she shouldn't.
Kittens can and do become seriously ill or die from infectious diseases that could have been prevented through vaccination.
Vaccination protects your cat from infectious diseases such as Cat Flu, Feline Leukaemia Virus, Chlamydophila and Feline Infectious Enteritis.
We advise the following vaccination program:
If your kitten is older then 8 weeks at his first vaccination then it needs the second vaccination 3 weeks later.
Your cat needs a yearly booster to keep its immunity up to date.
For taking your cat abroad we can start the rabies vaccination at 12 weeks of age, for more information see our Pet-Passport page.
We advise you to neuter your cat.
Cats who are not neutered:
- are more likely to wander and risking having an accident.
- have up to 3 litters per year.
- can spray indoors to mark their territory.
- are more likely to protect their territory or get involved into fights with other cats.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) are transmitted through fighting.
- can develop certain type of tumours.
It is a small operation and they can go outside the next day.
Female cats - should be spayed from 5 months of age.
To protect the operation wound they should stay in for 1 week.
Thanks to our heated houses fleas are active the whole year around. Fleas transmit tapeworms, cause skin irritation and in severe cases your kitten will become anaemic.
We have strong and effective flea killers available which you can safely use on kittens from the age of 3 days onwards. Please ask us for advice on the best product for you and your kitten.
We advise to start flea treatment from kitten onwards, the whole year around.
The most common worms are roundworms and tapeworms.
At our reception we have a variety of wormers available as tablets, paste or spot on.
We advise worming:
- Kittens. From weaning onwards every 2 weeks till 8 weeks of age, followed by monthly worming till 6 months of age.
- Adult cats: every 3-4 months.
We believe strongly that having your cat microchipped will help to ensure a safe return should your cat ever become lost or stolen. We can microchip your cat from an age of 12 weeks onwards. Your animal will be registered with Petlog, UK's largest pet reunification service. You will be sent a certificate confirming your ownership and address, plus how to amend your details should you move home.
It is wise to insure your kitten. The treatment of a nasty skin infection can cost hundreds of pounds and the treatment by an orthopaedic specialist for a broken leg may cost over a thousand pounds.
Pet insurances vary greatly from company to company.
Some policies only pay claims for 12 months, some limit the amount you can claim per condition. Some will restrict cover for elderly pets or even cancel your policy when your pet gets too old! Policies like these are often inexpensive but don't always provide the level of cover that you expect.