Here are a few tips to help new owners get their kittens off to the best possible start in life.

All cats should be vaccinated, to protect them against Cat ‘flu, Feline Infectious Enteritis and Feline Leukaemia. Kittens need a course of two injections, ideally at nine and 12 weeks of age. Kittens are protected and can start going out a week after the second injection, though most owners will prefer to wait until they are a little older.

Feline Leukaemia is very widespread and is the biggest cause of death in cats after car accidents. There is also a possibility that stray kittens or those from unvaccinated mothers may already have the disease. A blood test is available if there’s concern that your kitten may be at risk. Please ask your vet if you are concerned.

Your kitten needs three or four meals daily at first. This should be a diet especially formulated for kittens. There are numerous foods available. At Moreton Hall Veterinary Centre, we recommend feeding your kitten a complete, balanced diet.
Nearly all kittens have worms. Your kitten needs treating against roundworms every 2-3 weeks, until the age of four months. From then on, kittens should be wormed every 3-6 months. However, cats that hunt may require worming as often as once a month.
A number of kittens have fleas and even if not they will soon pick them up when they start to go out. It is advisable to treat your kitten regularly to prevent infestation. Your vet will be able to advise regarding the most suitable flea treatments available.
It’s definitely a good idea to insure your new pet. This gives you peace of mind to know that in the unfortunate case of accident or illness, your cat will receive the best veterinary care available without the worry of cost. The cheapest policies are not necessarily the best and beware of some policies that will sometimes only cover one-year per condition. Insure with a reputable company, read the small print and cover your pet for life to ensure you have cover for lifelong problems e.g. epilepsy, diabetes and so on.
Kittens should ideally be neutered at six months of age. Left any older there is a great risk that queens will become pregnant and toms will stray and fight. The procedures are routine and kittens can usually go home the same day.
Cats should be ‘microchipped’. This small device enables a quick reunion if your cat is found missing and taken to a vet or rescue centre. This can be done from 12 weeks old. Please ask your vet for further details.
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