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KITTEN CARE

6 TO 12 WEEKS OF AGE

At this age most kittens are finding their feet and exploring their new home.  They prefer being fed a good quality kitten food 3-4 times daily, or alternatively some kittens prefer to graze on their dry biscuits throughout the day.  We recommend using Adance or Royal Canin Kitten Food as it is a complete diet with all the vitamins and minerals needed for growth.

 
Vaccination

If your kitten will be indoors at all times, an F3 vaccination that covers cat flu and feline enteritis is sufficient. An F3 vaccination is given at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks.

 
Intestinal Worming

All kittens should be wormed with Milpro worm tablets at 6, 8 and 12 weeks of age (only if above 0.5kg bodyweight).  Worms can cause illness and death in young cats, and can be transmitted to people where they can cause serious problems in young children.  

 
Fleas

Fleas are the single biggest cause of over-grooming and itchy skin in cats, and due to our warm climate they are active all year round.  Fleas are everywhere and can quickly infest your home and cat.  We recommend using a monthly flea treatment, such as Bravecto Plus For Cats, which can be used from 9 weeks of age.  Please speak to us about other options for flea control.

 
Paralysis Ticks

Paralysis ticks can be fatal, it is important to protect your cat all year round, by keeping up to date with a quality tick treatment. Please speak to us about options for tick control, so we can recommend the best product for your pet. We have more information regarding Paralysis ticks here.

Microchipping

It is now compulsory for all kittens to be microchipped when between 8 and 12 weeks of age.  The chip, which contains a code unique to your pet, is approximately the size of a grain of rice, and is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades.  We can do this when your kitten is in for their vaccinations.

Registration

All dogs must be registered with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council by the time they are 12 weeks of age.  Click here for more information.

Litter Boxes

Access to clean litter boxes is an integral part of successful toileting triaging. Each household should have two litter boxes for one cat in the household, and an extra for every other cat (Eg. 3 cats need 4 litter boxes).

12 WEEKS TO 6 MONTHS OF AGE

Heartworm

Mosquitoes transmit this deadly disease between dogs.  We strongly recommend the Pro-Heart injection which is a long lasting injection.  The first injection can be given at 6 months of age.  Following this, heartworm injections can be given yearly with the annual vaccination.  Alternatively, monthly chews or spot-on treatments are available to control heartworm.

Fleas, Ticks and Worms

Continuing treatment for fleas, ticks, and worms is important. There are a number of different options, we can help you decide which is the best product for you pet, and help you stay up to date.

Desexing

Both male and female cats can benefit from desexing at this age.  Neutering prevents unwanted litters, reduces reproductive and hormone-related conditions, as well as cancer of the reproductive organs.  In addition, behavioural problems can be controlled such as aggression, roaming, territorial marking, crying to go outside and urine spraying.  Entire cats are much more likely to be seen at the vet for cat fight abscesses, motor vehicle injuries and immune problems from catching feline aids (FIV).

From 6 months old plus

 
Vaccinations

Annual vaccinations will ensure that your cat remains protected against the more common diseases.  A reminder letter will be posted to you when your cat is due.

 

Fleas, Ticks and Worms

Continuing treatment for fleas, ticks, and worms is important. There are a number of different options, we can help you decide which is the best product for you pet, and help you stay up to date.

 

Enhancing Your Cat's Quality of Life

Providing an Enriched Environment can increase activity, decrease mental stagnation, and prevent behavior problems. Cats need mental stimulation. An enriched environment gives cats opportunities to create their own positive experiences.

 

Vertical Space is highly desirable for cats and increases the overall space available to them. Provide cat trees, preferably with hiding spots, cat perches, and shelves.

 

Scratching is Normal Cat Behavior. Provide acceptable scratching materials (e.g., scratching posts). To train your cat to use the post, reward with treats and praise.  Also, put catnip, treats, and toys on or near the post. Scratching posts should be sturdy, and made of materials cats prefer (usually wood, sisal rope, or rough fabric). Locate the scratching post next to a window, sleeping area, or another favorite area. Many cats prefer vertical scratching posts; some prefer horizontal ones.

Interactive Toys and Hunting Games allow cats to stalk and catch; play several times a day with solitary indoor cats.

Keep the Home Environment predictable, but without rigidity or boredom. Make small changes that provide novelty. Studies indicate that cats play best and most often with toys that also use human interaction. Rotated or new toys hold cats’ curiosity and interest for longer periods of time.

 

Cats in the Wild eat 10-20 small meals per day. By making all food available in the bowl, foraging time for indoor cats has been reduced to a few minutes per day, in contrast to the hours needed for natural foraging. This contributes to obesity problems in cats, which can lead to various disorders, as well as early death.

To Make Feeding More Natural For Your Cat:

  • Use food puzzles, interactive food toys, and/or food and treat balls.

  • Make homemade food puzzles from a cardboard box or a plastic beverage bottle with holes cut into it.

  • Hide food in different places, and in or around new household objects so that cats can “hunt” for their food.

 

Social Companionship is important to cats because cats are social animals. Social companionship can take the form of gentle petting and stroking, feeding, grooming, and play. If cat owners are away for a large part of the day, it may be helpful for their cat to have another cat to interact with.

Preventing Startle: To enhance a cat’s coping skills, make regular small changes in the environment to provide novelty. For anticipated changes in the family such as adding a new pet or baby, prepare the environment and introduce the cat gradually to these changes. For example, when moving, first introduce the cat to a small, comfortable space in the new place, which has been stocked with favorite items such as toys or the owner’s clothing. When the cat has adjusted to this environment, gradually increase the new space available to the cat.

 

Cats Can Be Trained and Enjoy the Associated Attention

  • Cats can learn to “sit”, “come”, and perform a variety of other tricks. Start with things your cat already likes to do.

  • Reward cats with treats or positive attention to encourage desired behavior. Redirect undesired behavior.

  • Do not punish; don’t swat, slap, or yell at the cat.

  • Train under calm, fun conditions using positive reinforcement (e.g., treats, toys, massage, praise).

  • You can also train your cat to allow teeth brushing, nail trimming, and grooming.
     

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