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What to consider when you get a new Kitten!

When getting a new kitten there are several things that you may want to consider. It can be a very busy and overwhelming time, this article is to help break down some main actions to help you and your kitten on your venture together.

Preparing your Home

When getting a new kitten it is important you prepare your home correctly and have everything ready for their arrival. You need to make the environment as welcoming and as calm as possible. One of the ways you can do this is by creating a quiet safe area, this can be done by buying a cat carrier, placing a bed inside it and leaving the door open or off so they are able to climb in and out to create a safe environment. This will then mean your kitten has somewhere to escape to if it’s all getting a bit too much for them. You may also want to buy scratching posts and toys, these can entertain your kitten while you are busy, the scratching posts also prevent them from scratching your furniture! You also need to consider if your kitten is going to be an inside cat or outdoors cat.

 Do your market research!

It is best to do some research on the breed you are considering before you buy them. This is so you can familiarise yourself with what to expect. For example, natural behaviour, recommended foods, and any congenital defects the breed may have. This will enable you to make a thorough decision before purchasing your new kitten, also what sites/places are best to buy/adopt from.

Have you found your local vet practice?

When getting a new kitten it is important you establish a vet practice you may want to use and also your nearest emergency out of hours practice. You may have more than one veterinary practice in the area so you might like to check out their websites, see what they can offer and also check on review sites and see what their customers are saying about their service. This can help you decide where you may feel comfortable taking your pets. You can also go into practices and ask any questions at the reception desk. It is also important where your nearest emergency 24hour vet is as not all practices are open all the time. Some practices have a specific out of hour’s vets they use, so this is something else you will need to consider. It is important to know in case you ever do need to use them. We work very closely with our accredited practices, to find one in your local area visit our website and use the ‘Find Your Nearest Vet’ function. All you have to do is input your postal code, it’s as simple as that.

Have you got your kitten microchipped?

Getting your kitten microchipped is easy and provides further peace of mind. If they stray you will have more of a chance of finding them, most vets will hold within their practice a microchip reader. If they were to be lost and handed into a vet they can scan the chip number and reunite you. If you are worried about it being painful or hurting your kitten, you don’t have to worry, it will not hurt! It can be done in consult and is done via a needle, like a standard vaccination. Another thing to consider is an identification tag or collar. These ID tags attach onto the collar and hold important information, for example your telephone number. So if your kitten was to stray and someone was to find them then your number will be there for them to call. Tags like these come in all shapes, sizes and forms and can be found in most pet shops.

Flea & Worming

Have you thought about flea and worm treatment? This is something you can discuss with the vets and they will suggest what you can use and what product may benefit your kitten. If you are buying your kitten from a breeder they sometimes start the flea and worming process so you may want to check with them if they have, and what products they have been using. There are many products on the market that can be used. Kittens may benefit from different products depending on whether they are an indoor or outdoor cat. Always consult a vet before using any product to make sure it is safe for your pet.

Vaccinations

The first set of vaccinations for your kitten will help their long term health. Kittens are much more prone to developing illness so getting them vaccinated can help reduce this risk. The first vaccination can be done from the age of 8 weeks old and then if you consult your vet they can inform you of when the next one should be given. Once they have had their initial course you should then consult your vet of when the booster vaccinations can be given as this will vary depending on the vaccine the practice are using.

Neutering

Neutering is where your cat is made sterile by either being spayed or castrated depending on the gender. Not all owners opt to do this but if you were looking to get them neutered, the general age the vets advise is from 6 months onwards. This can however depend on the breed and size of the cat, if there is a risk they may not be able to handle the anaesthetic the vet may want to do it a little later on. If you are looking to get this procedure done always consult your vet first to get their professional opinion and see what they advise.

Food & Diet

When you get a new kitten, it is important to establish what food they should be eating and how often, this can be discussed in your kitten check at the vets. If the kitten requires a prescription or specialist diet and it has not been recommended by a vet, always check with them first.

Litter Training

It is important when you have a new kitten to correctly train them to use a litter tray. You need to have a good kitten to litter tray ratio, for example if you have four cats you should have two litter trays. It is also important this is in a completely separate area from the food and water area as cats are very hygienic and like this to be separate. You should do research and find out what style of litter your cat may prefer and what style of tray. Whether it is covered or left open.

Grooming

Cats will tend to groom themselves but it doesn’t harm giving them a brush if they are cuddly and like being close to you. This would interpret the mother grooming the kitten and stimulate a good bond between you and them.

Insurance

There are many stories that vets can tell you of new owners who take their beloved kittens to the vet for their vaccinations, talk about insurance  with their vet and put it on their to-do list…then a few weeks later, their kitten has had an accident. If you think ahead and get your kitten insured from day one it can provide real peace of mind!

If you would like a quote for insurance please call our free phone number 0800 050 2022.

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