Kitten care

Kittens require a course of three vaccinations, to be given by your veterinarian, the first at 8-9 weeks of age, and the last at 14-16 weeks of age, followed by yearly boosters. The vaccine helps prevent feline enteritis, snuffles (cat flu) and in some vaccines also Chlamydia. A vaccine against cat AIDS (FIV) is available in most vet clinics too. The prevalence in New Zealand is approximately 14% and especially when there are lots of (stray) cats in your area, it may be wise to have your kitten vaccinated against FIV, as the disease can be transmitted when your kitten gets bitten or scratched by an FIV-positive cat. The first one of three vaccinations can be given at 9 weeks of age.

Another thing to consider when you adopt a kitten is proper worm treatment. Kittens need to be dewormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks of age. After this, worm each month until your kitten is 6 months old and then three-monthly. There are several good worm products available in the vet clinics, ask your vet or staff for advice. In our boarding cattery we currently use Milbemax all wormer and if your cat needs worming while in our care, we only charge $10.

Make sure you treat your kitten/cat with a proper flea product regularly (again, ask your vet clinic) all year round! In our boarding cattery we currently use Advantage flea treatment and again, if your cat needs defleaing while in our care, we only charge $10.

Kittens should be desexed between 4 and 6 months of age. Please be a responsible owner, and make absolutely sure you want to make the commitment to look after your new cat friend for about 15 years! Apart from the things discussed earlier, make sure your kitten gets lots of tender loving care, toys, good quality cat food (kittens need special kitten food until at least 12 months of age), and attention. And you’ll see you get lots of affection in return!