New Kitten Advice

Click the topics below for your comprehensive guide to adding a new kitten to your family!
Socialisation

Socialisation

The critical socialisation period for kittens happens much earlier than with puppies. Kittens socialise at 4 to 9 weeks of age while puppies socialise around 8 to 12 weeks of age.

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Vaccinations

Vaccinations

Vaccinations for your kitten are essential. The vaccination protocol will depend on whether you plan on them being an inside cat only or an indoor and outdoor cat.

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Parasite Control

Parasite Control

Intestinal worms are common in both kittens and adult cats, so regular worming is required especially as these parasites can be transmitted to humans.

Flea and Heartworm treatments also need to be considered.

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Desexing

Desexing

We recommend all pets not required for breeding are desexed before they develop mating behaviours.

Desexing your kitten will help prevent adverse behaviour and protect against certain illnesses.

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Feeding

Feeding

Kittens grow so fast during their first 12 months that correct nutrition is vitally important for their rapidly developing bodies.

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Item Checklist

Item Checklist

Kittens are easy to care for but you do need some essential items which your new little kitten will need and also some other items that make owning a kitten so much easier.

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Socialising your kitten

 

 Because the socialisation period for kittens happens so early at around 4 to 9 weeks you really need to put in some time with them to lay the foundations of good behaviour straight away. Here are some of things you should be doing.

 

Handling and cuddling

Now is the time to get your kitten used to people, other pets and being picked up and cuddled. It is during this time that your kitten will get used to interacting with people and if you want your kitten to be a lap snugger, now is the time to get it used to this. Make sure you touch and rub them all over, touch their paws, simulate giving them a tablet and play with them to get them used to being handled when they are older.

Kittens have a tendency to latch onto you with their claws. They need to learn how to retract their claws and you can teach them by simply holding them onto your body. If they dig their claws in just hold them away from your body for a short time and then bring them back onto your body. If you do this several times a day they soon learn not to dig their claws into you or your clothes.

 

Getting them used to a cat carrier

Ever noticed that when you pull the cat carrier out the cat seems to disappear! The cat carrier usually only comes out when a visit to the vet is required which with the added car trip can be stressful for your cat. No wonder you can't find your cat and even when captured after a chase around the house, placement into the carrier can require all sorts of contortions.

Getting your kitten used to the cat carrier during this critical period is the key. You can do this by playing with the kitten around and inside the carrier by throwing toys inside and around the carrier. You can even try feeding the kitten inside the carrier or place it's favourite sleeping blanket inside the carrier.

 

Driving them around

Although cats don't usually go on road trips, getting your kitten used to the driving experience will make for far more pleasant trips to the vet and it will be much less stressful for your kitten. Once used to the cat carrier try some short trips around the block and once that is going well progress onto some longer trips.


 

 

 

Vaccinating your kitten

 

The vaccination protocol for your kitten will vary depending on whether you plan to keep them as an inside cat, or an indoor and outdoor cat. If your cat will be going outside it can be at risk of contracting Feline AIDS, an immunodeficiency disorder caused by infection with the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). This infection is mostly spread when your cat is bitten by an infected unvaccinated cat. 

Vaccination protocols are;

 

Indoor cats

  • 6-8 weeks Feline Parvovirus, Herpesvirus & Calicivirus
  • 10-12 weeks Feline Parvovirus, Herpesvirus & Calicivirus
  • 14-16 weeks Feline Parvovirus, Herpesvirus & Calicivirus
  • ADULTS: Annual boosters for life.

 

Outdoor cats

  • 6-8 weeks Feline Parvovirus, Herpesvirus & Calicivirus
  • 10-12 weeks Feline Parvovirus, Herpesvirus & Calicivirus & Feline AIDS
  • 2 weeks after 2nd Vaccination Feline AIDS booster
  • 14-16 weeksFeline Parvovirus, Herpesvirus & Calicivirus & Feline AIDS
  • ADULTS: Annual boosters for life.

 

Parasite Control

 

Worming

Intestinal worms are common in both kittens and cats, so worming should be be a regular part of health care for your new kitten. Many worms are not visible to the naked eye and worms can be transmitted to humans, so worming tablets should given regardless of whether worms are seen in the faeces.

Worms such as roundworm can be transmitted from cats to humans and they are a significant hazard to human health and can cause loss of eyesight in children. Ask us about an all wormer suitable for your new kitten.

Flea Control

No-one wants a flea infestation and a new kitten may be the source of fleas or flea eggs that will then lead to a flea problem on your property. Fleas are almost impossible to see on a pet. It is recommended to use a regular topical flea treatment to control and ultimately break the flea life cycle. This will ensure that your property remains flea free. Remember that all pets in the household need to be treated and simple effective monthly treatments are now available.

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm is a potentially fatal disease that is transmitted between cats by mosquitoes. Treatment for the disease is very expensive and not always successful. Prevention is a much better course of action and is not expensive. Monthly topical applications just behind the neck provide protection and most products also protect against fleas as well.


 

 

Desexing your kitten

 

We recommend that all pets other than those intended for breeding are desexed as adolescents and before they develop mating behaviours. Desexed kittens are far less likely to roam and fight or develop undesirable behaviours such as spraying. Geraldton has a large population of feral cats that harbour diseases which can be transmitted by fighting. Desexing also greatly reduces the incidence of illnesses such as mammary tumours. There is no medical or social advantage in letting a cat have kittens before being desexed.

The best age for desexing your new kitten is between 6 to 12 months of age, ideally before first heat.


 

Feeding your kitten

 

Kittens grow so fast in the first 12 months so you need to give them the very best nutritional start to ensure healthy development. Our nurses can give you specific advice on feeding your new kitten and we also supply age based quality foods that ensure all your kitten's nutritional needs are met. A good diet is the foundation to a long and healthy life for your pet.


 

Checklist for your kitten

 

Here is a quick list of essential items you will need for your new kitten.

 

Cat carrier. You will need a cat carrier to transport your kitten to the vet and help keep it safe. We recommend a top opening carrier as it is easier to remove the kitten in the consult room and is less threataning for the kitten than trying to extract it from a front opening door. We stock cat carriers at the clinic for purchase.
Towel or rug. Cats love to have their own towel or rug which gives them a sense of security and comfort, especially when a trip to the vet is in order. The towel can be used to drape over the cat carrier to create a safe dark nook while the rug gives them a familiar, safe and secure environment.
Two bowls. One bowl for feeding and a slightly bigger one for water that cannot be tipped over. Often cats don't like to have their water bowl right next to their feed bowl. Also if you have more than one cat with different nutrional requirements, ask us about an microchip activated cat feeder.
Kitty litter trays. Kittens are easy to house train! When they wake up, just put them in the litter tray. Same after meals. They will soon learn to use the litter tray as cats are fastidiously clean creatures. We recommend two litter trays as kittens often prefer to use one for number one's and the other for number two's. Even if you kitten will be an inside/outside cat, litter trays are still required. Remember to have them somewhere private like the laundry.
Stain neutraliser/Urine off. Lets face it, your kitten is going to have the odd accident. It is important to remove the stain and the odour so the kitten does not think this is in fact the litter tray spot! These products can be used on all surfaces. Don't use a product that contains ammonia as it just smells like cat pee to cats.
Collar, tags and micro-chips. Get your kitten a collar and tag with name address and phone number, just in case it gets lost on a little adventure or should that be miss-adventure. We have all sorts of stylish cat collars and tags at the clinic, come in and have a look. Also you will need to get your kitten micro-chipped which is the ultimate way to safeguard the return of a lost kitten. Just remember to update your address and contact details if they change over the years.
Cat Brush. If your kitten has a long coat, regular brushing will be required. Most cats love getting brushed and it can be a real bonding experience between kitten and owner. Get in the habit of brushing your cat daily, we guarantee your kitten will love it.

  

Faq

  • I was using another Vet. Can I change to Sanford Vet Clinic?

    Yes you can. Call us for an appointment and let us know you are wanting to change to Sanford Vet. We will organise to have your pets medical records transferred to us. It's that easy.
  • Do I have to pay on the day?

    Yes, all consults and procedures have to be finalised on the day or when picking up your pet.
  • Do you have payment plans?

    Yes, for more complex procedures or surgery we can organise finance through VetPay. Ask our nurses for more details.
  • What are your opening hours?

    We are open 7 days a week for your convenience.

    Mon - Fri 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

    Sat 8:00 am to 12 noon

    Sun 9:00 am to 12 noon

  • Do you have Puppy Pre-School?

    Yes we do, it's highly recommended. Puppy Pre-School is run on Thursday evenings. Classes start at 6.30pm with another at 7.30pm but bookings are essential. Call us to book your puppy in today!
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Opening Hours

  • Mon08:00 AM - 06:00 PM
  • Tue08:00 AM - 06:00 PM
  • Wed08:00 AM - 06:00 PM
  • Thur08:00 AM - 06:00 PM
  • Fri08:00 AM - 06:00 PM
  • Sat08:00 AM - 12.00 NOON
  • Sun09:00 AM - 12:00 NOON

Providing Veterinary services to Geraldton, Beachlands, Beresford, Bluff Point, Cape Burney, Deepdale, Drummond Cove, Glenfield, Karloo, Mahomets Flats, Meru, Moresby, Mount Tarcoola, Narngulu, Rangeway, Rudds Gully, Spalding, Strathalbyn, Sunset Beach, Tarcoola Beach, Utakarra, Waggrakaine, Wandina, Webberton, West End, Wonthella, Woorree.

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