Congratulations on the new family member! Getting a new kitten is exciting and a new learning adventure. Since there is a lot of information to learn, we have written down some points you may wish to remember.

Feliway

Feliway is a fantastic product, available as a spray, or a diffuser that you plug into a wall socket (like a plug-in air freshener). It is a synthetic pheromone that mimics the feline facial pheromone. This disperses into the environment or can be sprayed directly onto their bed, blanket, or cage to help your kitten feel relaxed and happy. We recommend Feliway to help your kitten settle in to their new environment. It is also perfect for helping other cats in the household adjust to the newcomer.

Kitten vaccinations

Vaccines contain safe viruses that have been altered so that they don’t cause disease. When given a vaccine, your cat’s immune system produces a protective immune response. If later exposed to that disease, your cat quickly mounts a response to destroy the disease-causing virus.

We use the Tricat vaccine, which protects against panleucopaenia virus, herpesvirus, and calicivirus. Your kitten can have this vaccine from eight weeks of age, followed by a booster vaccine four weeks later (when your kitten is 12 weeks old). We give Tricat again at one year of age, then every three years thereafter. In between years, we give the Ducat vaccine against herpesvirus and calicivirus, to reduce clinical signs of cat flu.

FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) is an optional vaccine. Feline AIDS is caused by infection with FIV (this is not the same virus that humans can get). We give this vaccine on your kitten’s first visit, with another two boosters given two to three weeks apart.

Parasite control

Flea treatment

In young kittens, lots of fleas can suck a large amount of blood and cause serious anaemia (not enough red blood cells). Fleas are the most widespread external pet parasite in the world. We stock many flea treatments, some you can use safely from two days of age. Ask our vets or our trained nursing staff for a recommendation.

Worm treatment

Worms can present a serious problem to your kitten’s health and can stunt growth if left untreated. We recommend worming with a broad-spectrum wormer at two, four, eight and 12 weeks of age, then three-monthly for the rest of the cat’s life.

Remember that children can pick up worms and other parasite problems from their pets. Encourage children to wash their hands after playing with any animals around the home.

kitten-eating

Feeding kittens

Kittens need different food to adult cats, because their stomachs are small and their nutritional needs are different. Your kitten will need small meals several times a day, and will have a big appetite! Feed your kitten a specially designed kitten food, which will contain the extra vitamins and minerals they need. If you use good quality kitten food, you should not need any supplements.

Usually by four to five months of age, you can reduce meals to twice a day. At 12 months of age, you can start feeding adult cat food.

De-sexing your kitten

We perform ovariohysterectomy (spay) and castration (neuter) procedures around five to six months of age. It reduces the risk of infection and cancers of the reproductive tract. Spaying female queens will mean not dealing with unwanted pregnancies and kittens. Neutering the males will help reduce roaming and getting into fights.

The operation is performed under general anaesthetic by experienced surgeons. Each patient is monitored closely throughout by our qualified veterinary nurses, from premedication to surgery and through to their discharge home. We use advanced monitoring equipment in our dedicated sterile surgery suite. After surgery, our patients are returned to their cozy, warm kennels. They also have a post-operative pain management regime designed to suit their requirements.

Pet insurance

Pet health can be unpredictable. Pet insurance is available through our clinic, and we highly recommend it so you can easily pay for any unexpected health issues whenever they pop up. See our receptionist for information.

Microchipping

A microchip is a device which is implanted under the skin and is about the size of a grain of rice. The chip contains an identification number unique to every animal which is read by a scanner (kind of like a barcode reader) available at any vet clinic, pound and SPCA.

Microchipping is a quick and easy procedure, performed in a consultation without the use of anaesthetic. Cats are not legally required to be micro-chipped, however we strongly advise it. As part of your microchip fee, your kitten will be registered with New Zealand Companion Animal Registry (NZCAR). This registry is designed with the sole purpose of retrieving lost domestic animals anywhere in New Zealand, 24/7.

Any questions about your kitten? Contact us for a chat!