Getting a new kitten can be an amazing experience for everyone involved. They’re adorable, fluffy and are yet to get to the stage where their claws can do some damage. These little bundles of joy can put a smile on even the hardest person.
Looking after your new kitten’s health is at the forefront of any owners mind. The food and care you choose for your new feline could make the difference in how happy and healthy they are in the coming months and years. Petplan has put together some tips and checks for making sure your kitten is well looked after.
- Kittens are tiny, so they need small/shallow bowls to access their food with ease. You should be feeding them 3 times with high-protein foods (cooked egg yolk, boneless fish, and liver) to build strong bones.
- A normal diet is fine for a kitten, however you should consider introducing higher quality kitten food. By slowly introducing this food to your kitten, you can gradually adjust their diet until they will completely eat the higher quality food exclusively. Ask your vet what food to choose for your kitten.
- During their growing age, feeding your kitten snacks is very important.
- If your kitten prefers to have something to eat every now and then, you can leave dry kibble in their bowl so they can graze throughout the day.
- It’s important to feed your kitten a mixture of wet and dry food – some prefer to feed dry food during the day and wet food in the evening.
- The only liquid Kittens need is water – always have enough water for them throughout the day whilst checking on its cleanliness. Do not give them milk as this can cause them to have a stomach ache!
First days at home
- Keeping your kitten in the same room with a litter box for their first couple of days is important. It will give them time to get used to you and their new environment without too much other influences. After they are comfortable you can give them a chance to explore.
- Giving them the chance to explore could lead them to trouble. Keep an eye on them as they go through the house as they can easily become stuck in furniture, find the toilet and fall in or be stepped on due to their curiosity.
- Play with your kitten as much as possible – whether it be with a string, a toy or literally anything you can find. This time you share with them now will lead to a greater bond later in their life.
- Keep visitors to a minimum so you don’t overwhelm your kitten.
- It is vital to get your kitten vaccinated as early as possible and have a complete check-up by a vet.
- You should definitely consider getting your kitten spayed or neutered. This is generally done around 6 months old and leads to a happier and healthier cat as they don’t go into heat, become pregnant, spray urine, or get in to fights. Get your vets advice on when to get the operation.
Regular home check-ups on your kitten can help identify any early signs of sickness or injuries. If anything is out of the ordinary, contact your vet immediately. Here’s what you should check for:
- Body – you should be able to feel but not see their ribs
- Ears – these should be clear of thick, dark wax and have no smell
- Eyes – there should be no redness, discharge or apparent soreness. If they shy away from light, this could be a sign that something is wrong
- Nose – it should be damp and soft to touch and free of discharge or crusting
- Mouth – gums should be pink or black with white teeth. Warning signs are dropping food, extra salivation, clawing at the mouth or bad breath
- Fur – the coat should be thick and shiny with no dandruff, fleas, bald patches or sores
- Nails – should be smooth and clipped regularly if you have an indoor cat
- Digestion – cats will often vomit up hair or grass which is quite normal. However if it is persistent or they are choking when eating these could be signs that something is wrong. Checking their stool is a good sign to see if their digestive system is working properly
- Attitude – shying away from human contact or acting aggressively can be signs of an unwell kitten
Did you recently get a new kitten? At Petplan NZ, we offer kitten insurance policies. Contact our friendly team today to find out more and obtain a FREE quote.