Posts Tagged ‘kitten’

Looking after your new kitten

Why is it important?

To grow and develop properly kittens need the right nutrition, socialisation, and preventative care. Follow our guidelines on how to look after your new kitten and give them the best start to life possible.


In kittens, vaccinations are vital to prevent many severe diseases. They will usually need 2 vaccinations 3 weeks apart with the first one being at 8-9 weeks of age. If you get your kitten from a rescue centre it is likely that they are already fully vaccinated and should come with their vaccination record so your vet will be able to tell you if everything is up to date.


We would recommend getting all cats microchipped as they often tend to wander and get lost. When you pick up your kitten if they are already microchipped you will need to change the details to be in your name. If they haven’t been microchipped already, you can do this alongside the vaccinations, or when they are being neutered.


Kittens grow fast so they need lots of energy and minerals to reach their full potential. A balanced or “complete” kitten diet has everything your kitten will need. As a result, they should be on that until they are one year old to ensure they have done all their growing before going onto adult food. Read more advice on caring for your kitten through each development stage via Royal Canin.

Flea treatment

In young kittens a flea infestation is not just an annoying itch, it can be life threatening. The fleas suck their blood and kittens can quickly become anaemic. Both to prevent and treat this you can use a flea product from your vets, this will ensure it is safe and effective as many products cannot safely be used in young kittens. Shop bought flea products often are not meant for such small kittens, so it is usually best to go to your vet for advice.

Worm treatment

High worm burdens in kittens cause them to lose weight and get a ‘pot belly’. It is important you stay on top of worming treatment, especially in the first year of life because the immune system is not fully developed, and the kitten is more susceptible to worm infestations. Getting a product from your vet will ensure that the product is safe and effective.


With the stray cat population ever increasing in the UK we would strongly recommend neutering your cat, boy or girl. In most cases, you can book in neutering for your kitten any time from 4 months of age. The benefits are not only that there are no accidental kittens but also that they are less likely to fight and pick up feline aids (FIV). Also, this may calm any behavioural spraying or other territorial behaviour.


Litterbox training

Kittens learn very quickly and can be quickly litterbox trained in most cases. It is important that the litter tray is kept as clean as possible otherwise the kitten may refuse to use it. Also keep the litter consistent, otherwise this can lead to confusion and them stopping using the litter tray. Positive reinforcement is needed, so treat your kitten when they use it successfully. Cats are private creatures so having the litter tray slightly out the way, away from their food and water bowls, and possibly hidden or sheltered, will often make it more comfortable for them to use it.


When they are young, kittens explore the world with curiosity and not fear. This ‘socialisation window’ is when they learn what to be afraid of and what is safe. Generally, this is before 12 weeks of age. It is important that you expose your kitten to as much as possible in this time with positive experiences. In the same vein also reduce bad experiences, so if there is a dog that is not cat friendly do not try to introduce them.


You want your kitten’s home environment to feel safe and secure. Cats unlike dogs need alone time so plenty of hidey holes in cardboard boxes and beds in several places around the house is a must. When they feel scared, cats and kittens will try and take refuge higher up, if there is a place for you to put a cat bed on a higher surface then most kitten will appreciate that. Take care with children and make sure they give the kitten plenty of breaks. A scratching post is a must if you don’t want them to scratch your furniture! This is a natural behaviour so you must allow them a place where they can display that behaviour.


Of course, we never expect anything to go wrong with our kittens but unfortunately accidents happen, and they do sometimes get sick. Please consider if you want to get your kitten insured if anything were to happen, many vets will give you 4 weeks free cover whilst you make up your mind in case anything goes wrong in the meantime.

What do I do if I want to know more?

To find out more, use this link to find details of your local branch, then just contact your local Goddard vet. Don’t forget, you can save money with your new kitten by signing up to our ProActive Pets preventative health plan.

My cat is missing, what should I do?

Cats are creatures who enjoy being outdoors. They are frequently found hidden away or underneath objects – bearing this in mind, it is not surprising that so many cats go missing! Do not panic, here are the best ways to cope and maximise your chances of getting your cat back home safely.

Firstly, make sure that cat is actually missing and isn’t hiding or sleeping somewhere unusual in your property. Place your cat’s favourite treats in the house and monitor the water and feed levels – if they are decreasing and there are no other animals in the house, the chances are, your cat is not lost! Your cat may just be making appearances at different times in the day. If you decide your cat is missing, it is best to react quickly. The longer they are gone, the further they can travel and there’s more potential for dangerous situations to present themselves.

When looking for your cat, ensure you say their name in a soothing yet loud, clear voice. Only call when you are in a place you will return to. You do not want the cat to follow your voice when you are walking around and reach your calling point when you have already left. It may therefore be best to only call when you are very close to, or heading back towards, home.

The best ways to find your cat is to alert other people, 15 pairs of eyes are always going to be better than one pair! Ask your neighbours and people in your village/local area to have a look, especially in any open outdoor spaces, for example garages, greenhouses and garden sheds. You can make people aware of your missing cat by posting on social media and best of all, by making posters. Try to find local groups on Facebook, talk to us, and try to contact your village hall/church/community centre to see if they can do an announcement or put up a poster in their facilities. You could ask for it to be posted in the local newspaper too. You should check social media for groups or pages which are specific to your area or to found pets – people will often advertise if they think they have found a lost cat!

Stick up posters in your local area, which clearly display your cat’s image to help people know what to look for. You should note any specific features the cat has and the their temperament. Additionally, you must provide a contact number. Ideally, these posters should be put in a waterproof case (a plastic wallet or lamination) to protect it from the weather. This will maximise the amount of time they are legible and therefore useful.

Ensure your house is cat friendly so that if the cat tries to return on their own, they can gain access – a cat flap is ideal. You should leave your cat’s favourite toy or favourite treats near your door, your cat may be returning to another house where they’re receiving more fuss and attention! You could leave blankets in a box or their bed outside the door which may invite the cat in, however if you do, be sure to check the box regularly as you may trap animals which will need releasing. Blankets will need replacing regularly too especially in harsh weather conditions.

You should have your cat microchipped. If they are chipped – contact the microchip company and alert them that your cat is missing. This means that anyone who finds that cat can have it scanned and your cat will be returned to you as they find your contact details. Microchips are better than collars as collars can fall off especially if the cat has been climbing through bushes or any other obstacle course they can find… Although we would recommend using both if possible! Ensure your contact details are up to date and if you rescue or rehome a cat, ensure the details are changed to your own.

Notices and posters can also be put up in any local vets or rescue centres. Ensure the local vets and rescue centres are aware of your missing cat because they can contact you if someone informs them or brings them in or if the public provide them with any information regarding the situation.

Last of all, stay positive! Do not lose hope. Animals like exploring and your cat may just be on a little adventure!