Pet Care Tasmania
Pet Care Tasmania

Kitten Care

*Please click on each heading to read more:

The cat is a fantastic pet that brings enjoyment and companionship to families and individuals worldwide. For the love and care you provide they will give you unconditional love and affection in return. Don’t take on this role as a kitten carer without thinking of all your responsibilities for providing shelter and warmth, a safe environment as well as feeding and preventative health considerations. Is it going to be an inside cat or an outside cat, or both? Do you have other cats or a dog? This could be a 20 year commitment.
A young kitten, at less than 3 months of age, has a good opportunity for being moulded into the family routines in your house. Its developing personality, dietary preferences and general health can also be influenced at this stage by your care and attention. The following notes are provided to help you along the way of being a kitten owner. Don’t hesitate to visit our staff if you have a question.

The diseases of main concern are feline enteritis, cat flu or feline respiratory disease and feline immunodeficiency virus (Feline AIDS). The latter is a concern for outside cats that are at risk of fighting with other cats, particularly battles with stray cats. There is no doubt that Feline Aids is having an increasing incidence in our community as we regularly find FIV +ve cats. Initial vaccinations are recommended at 6 to 8 weeks of age at which time it is an important opportunity to assess the kitten’s health and discuss any issues such as toileting or feeding.

Routine worming in Tasmania does not require heartworm treatment, as this disease has not been reported here. Our clinic recommends worming each 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, with a liquid or paste product. At 12 weeks of age until 6 months medications can be given once monthly and it is a good time to be introducing allwormer tablet administration if your kitten is agreeable to this. Subsequent worming should be done at 3 month intervals and remember to do this according to body weight. Our staff can recommend a product for your cat’s needs, show you how to administer it and organize to send you a reminder when next treatments are due.

If you are seeing fleas then these should be treated. Be wary of some products that are not safe for young kittens. At our clinic we can show you a range of safe, flea effective treatments.

Be sure to encourage a variety of foods. Commercial moist and dried diets are usually excellent but in general better quality feeds are more expensive. Home prepared foods can sometimes be lacking in certain key ingredients and provide others in excess. However, they make an excellent supplement to commercial food. Be aware of overfeeding meat or fish. Introduce raw bones early for chewing such as chicken wings. These are best served warmed rather than straight from the fridge. Come and see our nurses for some advice as they are trained in nutrition to help you choose a quality food.

At present it is not a legal requirement for you to have your cat microchipped in Tasmania. However, it is likely that it will be in the near future. It still is a very good idea to have this identification with your cat as it is common for any veterinary clinic to be confronted with someone’s cherished pet to be presented as a stray with no means of finding the owner.

Desexed males are much less likely to be territorial and consequently much less likely to receive catfight wounds and diseases such as FIV. They are also less likely to spray urine in undesirable locations and will of course be infertile. Early desexing of the female cat will prevent the occurrence of accidental, undesirable litters. She will be less susceptible to some cancers and infections of the reproductive tract and will not have calling behavior. Desexing of both males and females is best done at 5 to 6 months of age.

Annual health examinations are an important part of maintaining a healthy and happy companion. This is an important part of preventative medicine where a vet may detect a problem and apply early treatment.
The annual exam in a cat is somewhat equivalent to a human health exam each 6 to 7 years by a GP.

6 Weeks * *   *  
8 Weeks   *     *
10 Weeks   *      
12 Weeks * *     *
16 Weeks * *   * *
5 Mths   *     *
6 Mths   * * * *
15 Mths *        
Then Monthly         *
Each 3 Mths   *     *
Yearly *       *