Kitten

Pet House

Care Info For Your Kitten

Please read the following carefully as it contains important information about the care required for your Kitten. Please also refer to our Legal Page, and for any further information, assistance or advice, please contact one of our stores.

Kittens make wonderful pets, and it is in the first few months that we can really help their development with positive impact.  We are here to support you and your kitten through all the stages of their life. 

Our partner vet is also ready and willing to assist you with your feline friend.


AVOCA DRIVE ANIMAL HOSPITAL

02 4365 1086

11 AVOCA DRIVE, ERINA, 2250

 

The first few days …

During the first few days away from friends and littermates and in its new environment, your kitten may become a little stressed - we want to minimise the stresses wherever possible..  A kitten will require uninterrupted sleep periods of up to 80% of the day.  Insufficient sleep can cause stress.  Just like when you're stressed, it is possible for your kitten to be a little unwell.    

There are some things you can do to help make this transition period less stressful for your kitten.

Start your kitten off in a small environment.  En-Suites make great starting areas as they are easy to clean and not as cold/damp as a laundry. This small environment will encourage them to continue to use their litter tray and it will minimise their exposure to too much too early.

If you have older pets; keep them separate during feeding and sleep periods, and give your older pet(s) more attention than usual.

Introduce your older pet(s) slowly. This can take a minimum of 5 days. Usually leave the kitten in the small environment closed so other pets can sense and smell but not touch. Progress this after a few days to have the door ajar so that tentative, inquisitive touching via paws can be played out. The next phase is to open the door enough for the kitten to emerge and when necessary retreat safely, but the other pets cannot follow the kitten into their safe haven. After several more days of this, they should be ready to meet. In the animal kingdom, dominance is key to a well structured pack. Let them sort themselves out but monitor and if there is likely to be damage done to one or the other, go back a few phases in the integration of them.

Provide your kitten with a companion toy to help with separation anxiety. These can be plush or similar.

Use a snug, flea resistant, washable, insulated, enclosed bed for the kitten.

A heat pad can make them more comfortable for the first few nights and will also help during cold winter nights.  Use caution if you use a  wheat bag.  The core temp of these can become very high.  We recommend beads enclosed in a plastic shell. We do not recommend hot water bottles.

A wind up ticking clock can imitate the noise of littermates/mums heart.  One placed near the bed can be comforting for your kitten.

In transit …

To get from point A to point B, you may decide to use your car and have your kitten as a passenger.  Just like people are not allowed to be a passenger without wearing a seatbelt in Australia, your kitten isn't either.  This is for their safety as well as other car occupants.  The best solution is a crate. These are a handy transport option and some can also be used on aircrafts (when used with steel fasteners).  There are a variety of sizes and features.

Play time ... 

For your kitten to exercise their body and mind, it is important for them to be stimulated.  This is true for all stages of their lives.  It is remarkable how an ageing cat can spring back to life with some attention and stimulation.

To stimulate their mind and exercise their body … and reduce the risk of a boredom we recommend a variety of toys and that these toys be rotated with new ones added as the kitten grows.

The ultimate in toys these days are ones that include motion/light/sound and some even have timers for play whilst you are no around. This produces an entertaining station of game which will keep most cats busy and focussed.

Toys impregnated with Catnip (a plant extract) are extremely tempting to the 80% of kittens and cats who have a particular gene code.

Scratch Posts or Cat Furniture will provide your kitten with an alternative to scratching on your furniture, carpet, etc.  Spraying the scratch post with Catnip may encourage their use.  A scratch post and/or cat furniture is an essential item for cat owners. An ideal one would be one that has a resting platform near a window for the kitten to gaze out at their territory and feel content.

To deter unwanted scratching, use a No Scratch spray or a Repellent.

Treat Balls, Puzzle Balls, and Self-Rewarding toys will occupy your kitten's mind for extended periods of time as well as reward them with treats as they master the toy. Brilliant.

Should your kitten insist on chewing the wrong things, use a bitter spray/gel.  We recommend to spray a sample on the object first to ensure there is no colour effects.

It is essential to reward good behaviour of your kitten.  A selection of treats will help.  We are always looking at our treat range and evolving it, so pop in and see what is the latest...

Feeding time …

We cannot stress enough that cats are not instinctively programmed to drink from still water i.e. a water bowl.  To ensure adequate hydration, we recommend drinking fountains.  This is especially true if you are one of the millions who prefer feeding premium dry food (due to cost, convenience, and formula).  Drinking fountains reduce the risk of urinary tract infection, aid the pH of the urine, reduce shedding, and assist in digestion of food. They are a fantastic investment.

Ceramic bowls are also appropriate for water and are harder to knock over, will keep the water cooler and are easy to clean. There are also a number of cat meal sized ceramic bowls available too.

A stainless steel or melamine bowl is great for food as they are hygienic, cannot be chewed and are dishwasher safe.

With most of our feeding and water products, you can accessorise and have them looking more than just a bowl.  If it is going to be in view for much of the day, you may as well enjoy seeing it too. 

Auto feeders are another solution that require a check every few days. Use caution though and seek advice as some foods are not to be used for continual grazing. Felines are programmed to enjoy small meals very often, but some food tastes that good that if left out, the cat may fill themselves.

Kittens should be on a mixture of wet and dry food for the first 6 months of their life to aid in hydration and growth/function of organs. But, remember, your feline is a CARNIVORE and so all food should be evaluated in terms of nutrition for that kind of animal. Read more on Food in our blog by clicking here.

We only recommend Super Premium Foods that are not subjected to any treatments or bulking agents to try and improve them.  We evaluate all food based on nutrition and animal benefit - and we will happily ignore the marketing hype.  So, if you want to know more about the food you are feeding, or want to feed, ask us!  It is an area we are passionate about.  Giving the best you can afford will, in most cases, lead to a longer, healthier life.

 

Toilet training …

For most cats, using a litter tray is instinctive.  The best litter trays are fully enclosed with filters to absorb smells and they provide privacy and prevent litter being kicked over the sides.  Litter tray liners make for easy cleaning, and litter deodorants assist in the control of odour and therefore are also helpful.

For those who have trouble cleaning or for cats who insist on a clean tray, you can invest in self cleaning litter solutions. Ask us for more information. 

Begin with your kitten confined with access to its litter tray, fresh water, toys and bed.  It should get into the routine of using the litter tray in your house reasonably quickly.

There are different types of litter available:

  • Crystal litters are amongst the best for their odour control and longevity. But, there are difference in the quality of the crystal.  It is made, usually, from silica dioxide sand, oxygen and water.
  • High Performance Clumping is a particular kind of re-engineered product designed to excel at absorbency and odour control. These are usually safe to flush or compost. Weigh up costs of this as longevity will often mean that it will be very cost effective compared to other types, and provide you with a cleaner environment. 
  • Clumping litters come in a variety of types (organic, biodegradable, basic) and these need to weighed up against odour control, absorbency, frequency of change, cleanliness, and what happens to the litter once used.
  • Pellet litters are lower in dust than clumping, unlikely to track through the house, but are not as good as some for odour and longevity.  We highly recommend an ink free litter pellet if you choose pellet because it is safer for the kitten.
  • To help your cleaning efforts, you will need an enzymatic anti-stain, anti-odour, and stain remover.  These are great solutions to remove stains and break down odours.  If the odour is not removed, the kitten will usually revisit the same spot.

You should never touch used litter (especially important for pregnant women), so please use a litter scoop.

Away from home …

Identifying your kitten is essential should it ever get lost.  All felines need to be micro-chipped however, on top of that:

By law, your kitten needs to wear an ID tag if it is in the public domain.  We engrave ours on the spot so you can walk in and walk out with a completed, professional tag in next to no time. 

We have a range of elastic / snap close collars (so they can't get hooked on anything) to suit all styles and budgets.  An extra bell is also a must to preserve our wildlife.

Use a cat harness for the safe walking of indoor cats.

Looking good …

When it comes to general grooming, the following are essential to make your efforts easy and to make your kitten comfy.  Grooming is a great interaction for you and the cat and should not be a chore. 

Shampoo and conditioner.  The routine wash should be done using the correct lotions.  The pH of cats skin and coat is not the same as ours, thus the shampoo and conditioner required to give them the healthy coat and comfy skin is dedicated for these animals.  Try to wash at monthly or even six weekly intervals unless there is cause to do so more often, but brush at more regular intervals to promote natural coat oils.  Use a high quality shampoo void of sulphates and parabens.  A good conditioner can decrease shedding and lead to less mats.  All cats can be trained to be bathed, but there are also Bath Wipes and Dry Cleaning Shampoo available.

A shedding cat must have a De-Shedding Tool - we have a few and these are coat type and size dependent.  They reduce hair balls as well as hair left on furniture and your clothing. The latter can also be helped with lint rollers so that you can leave your home without taking the cats hair with you.

There are also Slicker brush's as well as suitable comb's for your kitten's coat type.  Regular brushing is great for their health and your relationship. A flea comb is also recommended for your cat - cats grooming themselves may ingest fleas, increasing the risks of tapeworm.

We recommend brushing a slightly damp, lubricated coat and this is achieved with a detangler spray.  These sprays also contain conditioners and cologne.

Nail Clippers are essential for a clean, pain free nail clip.  Do not try and use normal scissors.  This can damage the nail and if nail clipping is not done well, it can lead to bleeding.

Grooming Scissors are great for general trimming and tidying.

Electric Clippers give you the tool to be a stylist.  Indeed there are many breeds nowadays that require full clipping at regular intervals.

Health and Medication …

Just as you don't like getting sick, neither does your new pet.  The following may seem pessimistic, but: reality check, our pets can get parasites, and in some cases, pass them onto us.  Prevention is better than cure.

Intestinal Worming.  Unfortunately, your kitten, in nearly all cases, has already been exposed to worms.  A simple worming dose should be given at regular intervals through all stages of life.

Heart Worming.  It is recommended to start heart worm prevention from an early age (i.e. now), because to leave it until after 6 months of age, or if you stopped treatment for a period of time, then it may mean you need to have your kitten undergo an assessment too.

All-In-One Worming.  The reality is that your new pet will most likely be exposed to worms and thus ongoing worming is essential. There are a few good products now available that combine intestinal with heart worming regimes into very easy monthly doses - and due to their convenience, they are often preferred by many customers and staff.  Some even control fleas in the one product too!!

Fleas and Ticks.  You need to be aware of these parasites. There are many products on the market and they all come with varying degrees of control. It is best to consult with us to find out the latest recommendations.

Vaccinations. Your kitten needs to be vaccinated and receive kitten boosters as well as annual cat boosters. You should not allow the kitten near unknown cats or in communal/public areas until at least 10 days after the 2nd kitten vaccination.

De-sexing.  You should arrange to have your kitten de-sexed just prior to 6 months of age. We do not recommend having an undesexed cat. All our kittens and cats leave our care either desexed or as part of our desexing program.

On a last note … 

We recommend socialising your kitten to give it a balanced upbringing.  This means lots of handling by you and others. 

Cooling off …

Any reputable place of purchase will give you a cooling off period. Having a kitten is a big deal and they can live for many, many years. We encourage you to find places of support - like us and our vet, and we hope we can assist you at all stages of your kittens development.

The above information is a guide and we encourage you to contact us if you have any further concerns, questions or comments.

We aim at giving specialist advice backed by quality products and courteous service.

We believe that this will give you the best chance at having the kind of pet you want.

We would be grateful if you keep us informed of your new family members progress and we will do our best to assist you in any way we can.

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