03 3489728 Straven Road Vet
03 3525749 Papanui Vet
Got a new kitten?
This article provides information about what you need to know right now.
It is best to feed a premium kitten diet (e.g. Hills Science Diet) as these contain all the nutrition that a young growing kitten needs. It is simple to feed and is completely balanced.
Do not change your kittens diet suddenly as this can cause diarrhoea. If you do want to change the food your kitten is eating, do it gradually. Mix a small amount of the new food in with the old, and slowly increase the amount of new food in each meal.
Kittens should be fed 3-4 times daily until 3 months of age, then two meals per day.
Don't give your kitten cows milk. It can cause vomiting and diarrhoea. We recommend water only alongside a quality kitten diet. If you really want to feed your kitten milk, choose a specialially formulated kitten milk (lactose free).
Your kitten will have a certain level of natural immunity to disease acquired from its mother's milk. This immunity usually lasts for 6-8 weeks and after this time it will require a course of vaccinations. Ideally we would start this kitten vaccinations at 8 weeks and repeat at 12 weeks to ensure your kitten as continuous immunity against the diseases we can vaccinate for.
If your kitten is later receiving its first vaccination, we will advise an alternative kitten vaccination course. Please contact us to discuss this.
The kitten course of vaccinations is followed by an annual vaccination.
Your kitten will be vaccinated against feline enteritis and snuffles (rhinotracheitis and calicivirus).
IMPORTANT: Kittens should be kept inside until 10 days after the last vaccination. Visiting one of our veterinarians for regular vaccinations will also mean your kitten will receive regular health checks.
There are some optional vacciantions available to help protect your cat against feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukaemia virus. Talk to one of our veterinarians about whether either of these vaccinations are necessary for your cat.
You will find additional information about cat vaccinations on this website.
Although microchipping is not yet a legal requirement for cats and kittens, we recommend all kittens are microchipped and added to the NZCAR register to ensure that they can be quickly reunited with owners should they get lost or injured.
You will find additional information about microchiping on this website.
Your kitten should be treated for roundworm and tapeworm every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age. From 12 weeks onwards your kitten should be wormed every 3 months for life with a good broad spectrum wormer like Drontal or Endogard.
You will find additional infomration on this website regarding worming
Your kitten will need to have flea treatment applied regularly throughout its life. This will not only keep your kitten comfortable but also keep your home flea free! It is important that you treat your kitten with a high quality and safe product like Frontline Plus, Advocate or Revolution to ensure they are effective and safe.
You will find additional information on this website regarding flea treatment
We highly recommend that you have your kitten desexed. Kittens can be desexed from 4 months old. This will help prevent unwanted pregnancies as well as health and behaviour problems later in life.
You will find additional inforamtion on this website regarding the importance of desexing.
Pet insurance is now readily available and we recommend that every pet owner reviews what's available and make a decision whether it is required or not. If you decide to get insurance, do it now! If you decide against it, make sure you have a contingency plan to be able to pay for unexpected veterinary bills for example if your kitten is hit by a car. Costs for these cases could rise well into the thousands.
You will find further information on this website regarding pet insurance.