Caring For Your Kitten
A kitten or a cat will bring you, and your family, a wealth of love and enjoyment to be shared for many years, so it is important to choose your new kitten carefully. Why not Think Adoption First™?
Adopt a cat at Our Vet™
Is this the right pet for me?
• People wanting an independent feline best friend
• Singles, couples, families with children
• People living in apartments
• People who enjoy having pets living indoors.
• 12-16 years or more
• Intestinal worm treatment
• Flea control
Growing kittens have great demands for nutrients, so feed a premium quality kitten food that is palatable, easy to eat and supplies complete and balanced nutrition. How much and how often you feed your kitten will depend on its age, breed, individual characteristics and what you are feeding.
Follow the manufacturer’s feeding guide on quantity to feed. Until they are about four months old, kittens need three or four meals per day. After that, two meals a day - morning and night - should be enough.
Kittens are unlikely to overeat and will graze on their food throughout the day. If you want to change your kitten’s diet, wait until it has settled in and then introduce the new diet gradually over five days. Keep your kitten’s food and water bowls clean and separate from the family’s dishes. Cool, fresh water should always be available.
Bringing your kitten home
Choose a name before your kitten arrives and use it often. A new environment can be quite frightening for a kitten, so ensure you release them in a small area they can explore. For the first couple of weeks, allow your kitten to get used to their new home by confining them to the house so that they can become familiar with the environment, feeding and sleeping routine. If you have other pets, introduce them slowly to avoid jealousy and make sure you do not neglect your other pets.
Never allow children to tease your kitten or handle it roughly and always supervise children and pets whilst they are together.
Children should be taught to always wash their hands after playing with the kitten.
Kittens need a comfortable bed, which may be a well-lined box, basket or cat igloo. It is recommended that cats be kept indoors from dusk to dawn each day to help prevent them from straying, fighting or hunting.
Cats are naturally clean so toilet training kittens is usually a simple process as they will instinctively look for a private place – like a litter tray – to go. Cats tend to be rather shy about their toilet habits and like to relieve themselves in private.
Provide at least one litter tray indoors in a quiet spot. The tray should not be placed near the cat’s feeding bowls. Clean out the kitty litter tray regularly (wearing gloves) and always wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. Newspaper or cardboard may be placed under the tray to catch any scattered litter, or buy a litter tray with a hood.
There are various different types of kitty litter available in store. See the details on the packet for appropriate disposal of the Litter. Never punish your kitten if accidents occur and give lots of praise when it does the right thing. Try to avoid accidents by giving your kitten plenty of opportunity to go to the toilet on its tray or outdoors.
Cats generally like to keep themselves clean and short haired breeds require little grooming. If your kitten is long haired, you must be prepared to groom their beautiful coat daily. Cats use their sharp claws for climbing and self defence and like to keep in good condition.
A scratching post or specially designed cat furniture is a good investment or otherwise your kitten may start using your furniture to exercise its claws. Make sure the post is tall enough so that your cat can stretch upwards.
Kittens generally exercise themselves and will run wildly around the house at times. Your kitten can be encouraged to exercise more by playing with toys and providing it access to large areas.
If you let your kitten exercises outside during the day, be sure to bring it in at dusk as in some local areas this is a compulsory requirement of having cats and kittens.
Play time is the perfect opportunity to build a strong bond with your kitten. Have a variety of toys on hand and rotate them.
Part of a cat’s charm is its independence and free spirit, but this also means that cats can be less responsive to training than dogs.
However, your kitten can still be trained to display desirable rather than undesirable behaviour to ensure it fits in with your household.
Decide which behaviours are not acceptable e.g. jumping up on kitchen benches, sleeping on beds. The most effective way to discipline your cat is to use a gruff, loud tone of voice and to keep a water pistol or plant sprayer handy to be used the instant the undesirable behaviour occurs.
Travelling with your kitten
It is important that your kitten is safely contained when traveling in your car. Your cat should be placed in a sturdy travel cage with some bedding in the bottom.
Your kitten may feel more comfortable if the carry cage is covered with a light cloth. Never leave a cat in a closed, stationary car - even in cool weather as the interior of a car can become extremely hot!
Ensure you have plenty of fresh water to give your cat throughout your journey. If you take your kitten away with you, keep it securely indoors to prevent it straying or fighting with other cats.
Whether your kitten needs microchipping, a vaccination, de-sexing operation, or anything else, you can go to the Our Vet™ counter in store and talk to the Team. Our Vet™ can also advise you about dental health, coat care, or any other issues that concern you.
Your kitten should have received its first vaccination to protect it from potentially fatal diseases. Until your kitten has completed its course of vaccinations, keep it away from other cats. Keep your kitten’s vaccination record in a safe place and note when the next vaccination is due.
All cats need to be wormed regularly to remove parasitic worms which live in the intestine. Ask at the Our Vet counter about the best worming products for your kitten.
Fleas and ticks are common external parasites that cause skin irritation especially during the warmer months. Usually a combination of products is required to control them. The Our Vet™ team can give you specific advice on your kitten’s needs.
Our Vet™ highly recommends that you have your new kitten desexed. Cats are generally healthier and more sociable pets if desexed. Your kitten should be desexed before 3 months of age. Emergency Treatment during the guarantee period: Kittens may develop stomach upsets or diarrhoea while adjusting to their new home environment.
If your kitten develops diarrhoea which persists for more than 24 hours, or becomes severe, or has any other health problems during the guarantee period please contact the team at Our Vet in store or your nearest veterinarian.
We recommend you have your kitten microchipped for permanent identification. A tiny microchip is placed under the skin, which works in a similar way to a bar code and allows your kitten to be traced back to you should it become lost.
Microchip identification is compulsory for registration of cats in Victoria. Always ensure your kitten wears a collar, which has an identifying name and telephone number and a council registration tag. You can also register your cat with organisation such as the National Pet Registry who will provide a free pet tag with a 1800 number to help return your cat to you if it is lost.
If your kitten is lost, contact your local pound, council, animal shelter (such as The Lost Dogs Home & Cat Shelter) and veterinary clinics, as lost pets are often taken there.
Responsible pet ownership
In most areas of Australia you are required by law to register your kitten. In some cases there are restrictions on the number and types of pets you are allowed to keep and cats must be kept confined at certain times.
Check with your local government for further information on your rights and responsibilities both to your cat and to your neighbours.
New kitten checklist
Here’s a list of the essentials you’ll need for your new Kitten. Ask any of the Best Friends Team to help you with your selections.
• A warm, draught-free, cat bed, igloo or basket lined with warm soft bedding
• 2 unbreakable bowls for food and water.
• Premium kitten food.
• Cat litter, litter tray & litter scoop.
• A light collar (and lead if you are considering walking your kitten).
• Identification tag for name and phone number.
• Bell(s) for the collar (to discourage hunting behaviour).
• Cat travel cage.
Your kitten will also appreciate:
• A great selection of toys to chew, hide, chase and catch.
• A cat scratching post or other special cat furniture.
• A cat flap for easy access to the outdoors.
• Nail clippers.
• Cat treats (for training – yes, cat’s & kittens can be trained!).
• Grooming brush (especially for long haired kittens).
• An outdoor enclosure.
We’ve rehomed over 9,700 cats & kittens through our Adoption Program
We've been working with shelters and rescue groups to rehome kittens through our Adoption Program since our first store opened in 2008. Together with the team at Our Vet, we care for abandoned kittens until we can find them a new, loving forever home. The kittens are cared for seven days a week by the Our Vet team, and get to meet pet loving people like you who come to visit our stores every day.
All cats and kittens adopted through Best Friends are desexed, vaccinated, wormed and microchipped. To learn more about our adoption program or to find out if any kittens are available at your local store, please contact the team at Our Vet.
20% off all feline essentials to get set up
When you adopt a cat or kitten at a Best Friends, you'll get a checklist of the essentials you need and a 20% discount on those essentials, so you can give your new family member a real welcome home.Adopt a cat at Our Vet™
BEST FRIENDS PET GUARANTEE:
At Best Friends we take the utmost care of all animals living under our roof to ensure they are happy and healthy whilst in our care. After purchase, if you are not satisfied with the health of your new pet or you are having second thoughts on pet ownership, you can return your pet to us with the receipt within 14 days of purchase for vet treatment*, refund or replacement pet†. We are unable to provide a refund for any equipment you purchased and have used for your pet during this time. * Vet treatment includes 1 free consultation and appropriate treatment for illnesses that are considered by OurVet™ to have been present in the pet and have further developed after the pet was sold. New illnesses and injures that have occurred after the pet was sold are not covered. Treatments provided are at the sole discretion of Best Friends & OurVet™. † Replacement Pets are offered at the same value as original pet purchased. Does not include any livestock purchased and kept under a wildlife licence.