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St Anne's Veterinary Group Blog
0-6 months (0-10 years in human years)
This part of the life stages is vital for interaction to humans and other animals, so they can learn how to behave and be a sociable cat. At the beginning of this stage is when the vaccination course starts along with the first treatment of worming and flea treatment. Once your kitten has been weaned off their mother’s milk their immune system will start to decline so starting the vaccination course helps to boost their immune system. It’s a great time to interact with them for playtime at this stage. At this age it is a great idea to check their feet, running your hands across their body, down their legs and touching their feet. Also open their mouths and place a finger on their tongue, check their teeth and touch them so they get used to it. Also touch their ears and eyes and get them used to that. It will make it a lot easier in the future to cut your cats nails, give them tablets, apply ear drops and eye drops should the need arise. Brushing their teeth will also be a lot easier if they’re used to being touched and looked at in that area. The hard work would have been done in this life stage. Get them used to being groomed at this age too, with a brush, comb or zoom groom etc, especially with a long haired cat. It will save you a lot of trouble in the future, take it from me!
Neutering is also usually done at this stage, to prevent unwanted litters, minimise mammary tumours and prevent straying. We highly recommend getting them microchipped even if they are an indoor cat. Kittens have deciduous teeth, like milk teeth in humans, they will lose these teeth from as young as 4 months but they can take longer. Then they will have adult teeth, these you should try and care for from day one. There are many things you can do, call us to make a FREE nurse appointment on Eastbourne 640011.
Introducing a new kitten to the family:
Introducing your new kitten to the animal members of your family can be fun! Give your kitten a room with a litter tray and food bowls and slowly introduce your new kitten to the other animals. Make sure if it’s cats that they are able to get away from the kitten to places that the kitten can’t reach, so giving them a safe and hide able. Feed them in the same room but at either end and over time bring their bowls closer and closer. Swap their bedding over so they get used to each other’s smell and allow them to play behind the door so one cat is one side with toys and the kitten the other side of the door with the other end of the toy, this helps them slowly interact with each other. It may take time but stick to it, the use of Feliway (a feline pheromone) may help the older cat to fell less stressed. Make sure for the older cat that nothing has changed for them. Still provide each with their own resources e.g. bowls, beds etc. in separate areas and their own resting places so they can feel safe, if necessary and feel that they can get away from one another.
Introducing your new kitten to human family members shouldn’t be difficult. Remember not to overcrowd them, let one child at a time say hello rather than be bombarded with lots of hands noisily coming towards them. Kittens will need plenty of sleep, they’re growing and learning new things all the time, along with the stress of coming away from his or her mum and siblings will make them very tired. They should be left to sleep and not disturbed, only play with the kitten when it is awake and prepared to play. Being small and delicate they should be treated very gently!
Nicola Aston-Ranger RVN MBVNA
Author: Menna Field RVN MBVNABlog topics