Looking after a pet is a big responsibility and there’s lots to remember.
Desexing your cat
Have your cat desexed by your vet at around 4-6 months of age. Desexing can prevent unwanted pregnancies and behaviours like fighting, spraying urine or wandering and reduces chances of catching Feline AIDS.
Microchipping is a great idea so if your cat gets lost, you and your cat can be easily reunited. You should also register your cat on the NZ Companion Animal Register.
Vaccinations against disease are critical throughout your cat’s life. The kitten vaccination schedule starts at 6-8 weeks old and booster vaccines are repeated at 10-12 and 14-16 weeks of age, then annually after that.
Flea and tick control
Fleas and ticks can negatively affect your cat’s health so applying flea and tick control regularly is important all year. Only use flea products that are safe for cats. You may also need to treat your home with a flea and tick control product.
Kittens commonly pick up a variety of worms from their mother or environment so use a broad spectrum wormer. A kitten or cat with worms may show the following symptoms: a dull coat, eating a lot but not gaining weight and a slight pot belly. Kittens need worming doses every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, monthly until they’re 6 months old, then every 3 months thereafter.
A balanced diet
A balanced diet is important so your cat lives a long healthy life. Kittens need a diet that specifically promotes bone growth. Don’t give milk to your cat as most are lactose intolerant and this may cause diarrhoea.