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Caring For Your Kitten
Moving to a new home can be very streesful for a kitten. Remember, your kitten could be as young as 8 weeks old. Give it reassurance and time to adjust to the new surroundings. If you have other pets, give them both time before you introduce them to each other. Keep all doors and windows shut and make sure your kitten knows where its litter tray, bed and food bowls are.
The kittens' bed should be warm, dry, and draught free. There are many types of bed you can choose for your kitten but, as long as it feels secure and warm, it will do - near a radiator in the winter is a good idea.
Kittens can be insured against illness and vet fees from the age of 8-9 weeks. It pays to get kitten or cat insurance early to ensure lifetime protection for your cat and protect yourself against high vet fees. See our guide on kitten insurance.
When you first bring your kitten home try and match the food it has been used to - sudden food changes as well as a new home can be unsettling and lead to upset stomachs. If you need to change your kitten's diet, do it gradually and mix it in with its usual food. Kittens like to be fed little and often and there are many specialist kitten foods available. Kittens aged 8-12 weeks need four meals a day, 3-6 months three meals, and kittens over 6 months old, two meals. Dried food as an addition to their normal food is also a good idea. Don't feed your kitten cow's milk - water is much better. If you want to give your kitten (or cat) milk, there are specialist milks for cats that you can buy.
Kittens can be very fussy about going to the toilet and kittens will usually have learnt to use a litter tray by copying their mother. Show your kitten where the litter tray is and you may be lucky! Otherwise, place the kitten in the tray when it wakes up or after a meal and get it used to the tray - or when it looks like it may just go somewhere else instead.
Plastic litter trays are best filled with a cat litter from a pet shop. Place the tray on newspaper to prevent a mess. Never use earth from the garden, especially with unvaccinated cats. At the time when your kitten is ready to begin using the garden, keep a tray handy at nights during the transition period.
Always keep litter trays well away from their food and water and, if possible keep the trays where they will not be disturbed. They may be reluctant to use a tray too near their food. Change the litter frequently but only use hot soapy water to clean the tray as some disinfectants are toxic to cats. If your kitten doesn't adapt quickly to its litter tray, confine it to one room, especially at night, until it learns to use it properly.
Your kitten should not be allowed outside until at least a week after it has finished its first course of vaccinations. These should be at about 13-14 weeks. Once it is fully vaccinated and has become used to life in your house, you can start to let your kitten go outside. When you first let your kitten outside, choose a quiet time and go along to to accompany your kitten. Let your kitten out for short periods and not alone until it is used to the garden and can find its way back. Consider getting a cat flap so that your kitten can come and go when it pleases.
When your kitten is older, perhaps 6 months old, consider fitting a collar for safety and identification. Collars should be fitted carefully and must be neither toom loose or too tight. They can easily become snagged and you should be wary of this. Snap open collars can prevent this but you should also make sure you check the collar regularly as your kitten grows. An alternative to collars is micro chipping but a collar remains the best instant means of identification.
....and finally. Kittens are very playful - give them lots of love and some toys to play with - plus a scratching post!
Remember, kittens can also be insured from just 8 weeks of age. There are real benefits from insuring your cat while it is very young - it will mean your pet insurer will protect your cat right into its old age. Conversely, it can often be harder to get cat insurance once your cat is older - such as 10 or 11 years of age. Protect yourself from high vet bills and get the best healthcare for your cat by choosing from our excellent range of online cat insurance providers. To get a cat insurance quote click here.
Pet Health Insurance aims to give you as much information as possible about pet insurance and why you should have it for your pet.
We have gathered together links to many of the top online pet insurers but we do not provide or endorse any particular product or make recommendations in any way. Please ensure that the pet insurance product that you purchase from any online provider meets your needs and that the provider is correctly regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).