Part 1: The Cute Kitten – Caring for Your Young Kitten
A “kitten” is under 6 months (or 10 in human years). A “junior cat” is 7m-2yrs (or 12-24 human years)
This is a fun and exciting time but the things you need to remember to ensure your kitten has the best possible stress free life are:
- Parasite control
- Neutering & Micro-chipping. At Kitten to Cat we recommend these be done at the same time. Micro-chipping, whilst very important if your adventurous kitty every strays too far from home, involves an intrusive body piercing as the chip is implanted under the skin so we always like to do this while your kitty is already under anaesthetic for neutering.
- Grooming and claw clipping. At Kitten to Cat we recommend starting from a young age to get your kitty used to having her claws clipped so this is not a problem later in life.
Common medical problems we see at this stage:
- Congenital Defects
- Infectious Diseases (although routine vaccinations cover most of the common nasties)
- Parasitic infections
Behavioural issues to be aware of at this stage:
- Scent marking and scratching. These are natural instincts. We should not try to prevent them from doing this as this can lead to stress related problems, but rather guide them to do it somewhere other than your new leather sofa. A large suitable scratching post next to where she sleeps should do the trick.
- Neutering is very important as it reduces the urge to scratch and scent.
- Aggression. Do not play games with your hand and feet. Avoid hand glove toys as this encourages your kitty to attack your hands. Use toys that are as natural as possible.
Our next blog post “Feisty Feline” will deal with adult cats aged 3-6 years.