Adult Cats Senior Cats

Kitten Advice & Information for New Owners

Congratulations on becoming a new pet owner! Welcome to relationship of unconditional love and companionship. 

Kitten Vaccinations

  • The major diseases cats are vaccinated against are Panleukopaenia virus, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (herpesvirus) and Feline calicivirus, widely known as "Cat Flu". This vaccination trio is known as the F3. Feline Leukaemia Virus and Feline immunodeficiency virus can also be vaccinated against.

  • All of these diseases can have lasting harmful effects and in some cases, cause death. Treatment is often expensive, difficult and recovery rate can be low. 

Kitten Worming

  • Worms can have a nasty effect on your pet's health especially if left untreated. In kittens in particular, these effects can be fatal. This is why worming programs for prevention and control need to be started when the animal is young. Intestinal worms can be transmitted to humans.

  • The four main types of intestinal worms are Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm and Tapeworm. Commence worming your kitten at 2 weeks of age, then every 2 weeks until 12 weeks. From this point your kitten/cat will only require an all wormer every 3 months ongoing for life.

Kitten Desexing

  • We recommend desexing. Desexing is performed at six months of age.

  • Desexing can reduce roaming behaviours which can result in car accidents, abscesses from fighting, and unwanted kittens. Desexing can also reduce territorial spraying of smelly urine, as well as reduce sex-specific health risks later in life, which can be life threatening.

  • Your cat will be in hospital for one day and will need a quiet few days after surgery. 

  • Please phone to book a suitable day. We will advise you about procedure and the steps you need to take to prepare your cat.


  • Microchips ensure permanent identification for your cat. Microchips are now compulsory with all councils for pet registration.

  • It's important that you update your microchip details if you change contact numbers, address or ownership.

  • If your cat is picked up by the council or animal shelter they will scan for a microchip and contact you.

Council registration

  • It is compulsory for your kitten to be registered. 

  • Registration is much cheaper for desexed pets.



  • Flea infestations can cause your pet to continually scratch, bite and in some cases have a severe allergic reaction. 

  • Fleas can also pass on serious infections that rarely can also affect humans. 

  • Fleas feed on blood. A severe flea infestation on your kitten can cause anaemia. 

  • For successful flea control, action must be taken to eliminate both the adult fleas on your pet and fleas in the environment i.e. eggs, larvae and pupae. Controlling the environment is important, because the fleas on your cat are just the tip of the iceberg.

  • It is vital that you remember to administer treatments at the correct intervals and all year round.

  • If you are experiencing any flea issues, do not hesitate contacting the clinic to discuss.


It is important that you choose your kitten's diet. A fussy eater can be created by trying to cater to their likes and dislikes

  • Your kitten has very specific needs to develop to their full potential. Because kittens are growing and developing throughout the first year of life, it's important to feed them specific kitten food. Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores meaning that they require animal-sourced nutrients to survive. The easiest and safest diet is a high-quality commercial kitten food. 

  • Kittens require twice daily feeding. Allow them time to eat in a 15 to 20 minute sitting. 

  • Always provide a plentiful supply of fresh water. 

Dental Care

  • Most cats have 26 temporary teeth by the age of eight weeks. These are then replaced by 30 permanent teeth by the age of seven months. 

  • Form a habit of regularly checking your kitten's teeth and gums. Your kitten will get accustomed to mouth examinations. This will make it easier and less stressful for a vet, yourself and your kitten when problems arise needing investigation. 

  • There are several ways you can help keep your cats teeth and gums clean and healthy:

  • Brushing teeth at least once daily is the best and most effective method of plaque control. 

  • There are several “pet toothbrushes” on the market, however we usually find that a soft bristled human toothbrush (child’s tooth brush for cats) is very effective. There are specially formulated pet toothpastes that are meat or poultry flavoured to help encourage your cat to accept brushing more readily.  Please remember that you should never use human toothpaste as this can make your cat sick. 
  • Plaque Controlling Chews. Chews can be used in addition to prescription diets and tooth brushing.

  • There are various chews available on the market. Greenies have been specially designed to help clean the entire tooth up to the gums, to reduce the build-up of plaque and tartar and to help freshen cat's breath. 

  • Adult cats can be fed Royal Canin Dental, this is a dry food diet designed to keep teeth clean.

  • A dental check is performed annually, when vaccinations are updated, as part of the annual health examination. Regularly examine your cat's teeth to accustom him/her to oral examinations. 

  • Severe dental and gum disease is one of the major causes of ill health and pain in our patients.

  • It is important to maintain your cat's adult teeth to prevent periodontal disease and related problems such as build-up of tarter and calculus on teeth, bad breath, gingivitis, loose broken teeth or difficult eating and chewing 

  • Prevention is far preferable than the discomfort, distress and expense of treating existing dental disease. 


  • Provide your kitten with a scratching post. Cat's scratch for exercise. They also scratch to mark their territory. A scratching post should be tall enough to let your cat stretch out along his/her full length. Some cats prefer horizontal scratching mats - provide these so your cat does not scratch your carpet!

  • This will be especially important if your kitten is to be kept totally indoors. Cats to be kept indoors will require extra stimuli. Boxes can be supplied for entertainment. Boxes inside boxes form caves for investigation. 

  • Cats like to climb, so provide high level walkways with viewpoints to outside. Outdoor enclosures can be built to allow safe excursions outside. Consider a companion cat for those cats kept totally indoors - however make sure there is ample room with separate areas to allow for individual privacy if desired.


  • A kitten’s critical socialisation period is between 2 and 9 weeks of age. The socialisation period is when it is ideal to provide friendly interactions of other kittens and children around in a happy environment.  When the kitten is older, he/she will adapt easier if a new pet is introduced into the family. 

** Between 2 & 9 weeks of age is an ideal time to introduce a variety of experiences in a non-threatening, positive way. **

  • By offering playtime, contact with people and plenty of handling, kittens will gain confidence through learning interaction, communication and reading body language.

When born, kittens’ sight and hearing are not fully developed.  During this socialisation stage, both continue to improve.  

Handling a kitten during this stage will increase the chance of a well-socialised adult cat.  It is recommended to handle a kitten for at least 15minutes several times a day.  This will allow an adult cat to be used to being picked up by various people and will make handling more pleasant for everyone involved.

Cats do like to interact with each other, but if no other cats are in the household, humans become the interaction.

Some examples of cat socialisation include rubbing scent glands that are around the face onto objects (including people’s legs and furniture) and scratching objects (including door frames, lounges and trees).

General Handling

Areas to handle and touch on a cat are:

  • Legs, including the paws

  • Tail, including the base of the tail

  • Face, including the mouth, lips and ears

It is a good idea to get everyone into the routine of daily grooming and holding your kitten from day one.

Like everything, grooming and handling should be done in a calm, relaxed manner. By making it a positive experience, your kitten will enjoy being patted and held.

Tips on handling

  • Start with short time periods, aiming for 15 minutes at a time, several times a day 

  • Start when your kitten is in a quiet mood, NOT when they are ready to play

  • As each day goes by, increase the length of time

  • Start at the head, working your way back to the tail  

  • Touch the mouth and lips, around the eyes and around the ears

  • Pat along the back and tail

  • If they lay down, rub the belly

  • Use gentle, slow strokes

  • Try not to be too rough while handling as your cat may not enjoy being handled and may not become friendly

  • Watch their signals - if their ears point backwards or they look restless STOP.

Toys for cats

  • Climbing posts for climbing up – a favourite pastime for cats

  • Ping-pong balls to kick around and chase

  • Tunnels to run through

  • Grass in a litter tray with toy moths on a stick – Acts as an indoor garden for cats to explore

  • Catnip toys on the end of a pole – Interactive toys between owner and pet.  Encourages cat to chase after when moved

  • Cubby houses in various spots. Maybe one on a shelf as cats like to observe from up high, and they like to hide

  • Scratching posts for scratching their claws on instead of furniture

  • Kitty Kong’s

  • Hiding food around the house to allow for the natural instinct of hunting for their food

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