Kitten vaccinations, enrichment & nutrition – read our Vet’s advice
August 7, 2022
Having a new kitten is very exciting as they attract a lot of attention with their playful antics. However, it must not be forgotten that they require a lot of care too. It is important to have your house prepared with adequate bedding, a cat carrier for vet visits, food and water at the ready, enrichment for your kitten, and to have some knowledge about how to bond with them.
As well as ensuring your kitten is comfortable in your home, you must take them to the vets so they can get vaccinated, microchipped, and checked over for any health problems.
Follow our Head Vet Emily’s advice below to make sure your kitten has a happy and healthy start to their life with you.
Where do I get a kitten from?
We recommend adopting your kitten from a local animal charity and helping to reduce the number of unwanted kittens that need a home. If you are buying from a breeder, before choosing your kitten you should gather some information such as:
- When was it born? (Kittens should stay with their mother until they are 12-14 weeks old to avoid some health and developmental issues, although many are separated at 8 weeks)
- Will I be able to see the kitten with their mother?
- Is there any information about the father?
- What breed is the kitten?
- Is it friendly?
- Is the kitten on solid food?
All these questions will help you understand what your kitten will be socially and physically comfortable with, as well as any important details concerning breed specificity. In addition, make sure the kitten’s environment looks clean and the litter seems healthy. You can ask similar questions to an animal charity however they may not have all the answers.
Should my kitten be vaccinated?
It is crucial to have your kitten vaccinated, microchipped, treated for worms and fleas, and potentially neutered (at 4 months old). When we open, The Hampshire Vet can take care of all these procedures. They are important to ensure disease protection, identification, parasite infestation, and the prevention of unwanted litters.
There is also new government legislation to be released in 2022, stating cats must be microchipped by 20 weeks old. If the owner fails to do so, they risk being fined up to £500.
Should my kitten be neutered?
If you do not want your female kitten to be at risk of becoming pregnant as young as four months old, or your male kitten contributing to the ever-growing population of strays, then yes, your kitten will need to be neutered. Neutering and microchipping are usually done at the same time.
Kittens require a diet high in energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They should have been weaned by the time you purchase them, now requiring soft, wet, digestible food. They will then need to switch to dry food or a mix of wet & dry as they grow.
Water should be always available and cats often like running water to drink from if possible. Ideally, your kitten should have a litter tray on each floor of your home away from their food and water bowls. If you have more than one kitten or cat, each will need their own litter tray to avoid fighting.
For enrichment, cats and kittens often enjoy interactive puzzles, toys, food balls, scratching posts, places to climb and hide, and time to roam outside. It is important that your kitten does not venture outside until they have been vaccinated, microchipped, and neutered.
Having a kitten is a very fun, rewarding experience, but also requires effort and responsibility. It is important that you follow Emily’s guidance above to ensure your kitten has everything they need for a healthy start, and they are comfortable within your home.
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