Kitten Buying Guide

kitten

Thinking of getting a Kitten?

  • First, be sure that you have the commitment to take on a new pet.  Remember that cats can live 15 years or longer!
  • Consider carefully the costs involved – not just purchase price but ongoing costs, including food, lifelong flea and worming treatment, and veterinary bills. Pet insurance is a brilliant way to help pay for any unexpected medical issues.

A basic list of things to purchase are:

  • Cat Carrier
  • Food and water bowls
  • Litter tray and cat litter
  • Kitten food
  • Cat toys and a scratching post
  • Cat bed
  • Think about your lifestyle when considering a certain breed.  For example, some cats with longer coats may require regular grooming time.  Think about the effect a new cat will have on any pets already living in the household.  For more advice on which cat to choose, contact the clinic for advice
  • We recommend that you acquire your pet from a responsible breeder or from a reputable rescue centre (for example Cat’s Protection or RSPCA).  To find a breeder of a cat breed consider if a Breed Club exists or ask for advice at the veterinary practice.  
  • HELP STOP KITTEN FARMING.  Never buy a kitten from a dealer or pet shop.  Be wary when using newspapers, magazines or unknown websites when searching for a pet. 
  • Visit the litter before committing to purchasing a kitten.  Always try to see the kitten in its home environment with both its mother and littermates.  This allows you to assess how the kitten has been reared, to see the size and temperament of the mother, and to select a kitten.  We do not advise taking on a kitten that is much smaller than its littermates.  While it may look cute, there could be a reason for its small size!
  • Talk to the breeder.  Find out if the kitten has had any health checks, vaccinations, worming or flea treatments, and if they have, which brands have been used.  Check that there have been no health problems.  Find out the kitten’s current diet – it is very important to continue this for at least the first week in the pet’s new home.  Ask the breeder for a copy of any paperwork – for example the pet’s pedigree or results of any genetic testing
  • Some breeders are now issuing a contract of sale.  This is in the best interests of both breeder and purchaser and encourages responsible breeding.  Be sure to read any small print and only sign once you are happy
  • Once you have purchased your new kitten we recommend arranging a health check at the clinic.  This allows us to give your pet a thorough health check and give you the best advice possible.  Remember to bring any paperwork along to this appointment.

Commonly Asked Questions:

  • Your kitten can be vaccinated from nine weeks old. They need to have two vaccinations at least three weeks apart. 

    The second vaccine can be given at twelve weeks of age.

    Until your kitten has finished its primary vaccination course it is important that it doesn’t mix with other cats that are not vaccinated; this usually means keeping your kitten indoors for the first few weeks.

    We offer a “Kitten Pack” to any animal up to a year old, which includes both the first vaccines, a flea and worm treatment, microchip and 4 weeks free insurance

    It is also important to get a booster vaccine annually as immunity wanes twelve months after vaccination.

  • It is important that your kitten has enough food to grow and that you feed a diet which is designed for kittens rather than adult cats, to ensure the right nutrients are present for growth and development. If you are unsure about which brands are best, please contact the clinic for advice, our nurses are more than happy to speak to you about this.

  • We recommend worming your kitten every four weeks until the age of six months, then every three months for life. It’s a good idea to regularly weigh your kitten to ensure you are giving the correct worming dose. If you don’t have scales at home, you can come into the clinic for a free weight check with one of our nurses, who can also administer your cat’s treatment at the same time. There are many options of wormer available, contact the clinic for advice on which is the best for your cat.

  • Depending on the product you use, most flea treatments last four- eight weeks.

    A spot on treatment can be applied to the skin on the back of your cat’s neck to treat or prevent fleas. Fleas also lay thousands of eggs in carpets, beds, rugs etc. so it is important to treat the environment as well as your pet.

    Again, it is a good idea to regularly weigh your kitten to ensure they are getting the right dose. Please feel free to book in for a free weight check with one of our nurses, who can also discuss all the options of flea treatments available.

  • We advise that both male and female cats should be neutered from five months of age and at a minimum weight of 2kg. Neutering prevents females coming into season and becoming pregnant and can reduce urine spraying and inter-cat aggression in males. Please visit our neutering information page for more details about the procedure and its benefits.

  • Insuring your kitten will give you peace of mind that if they have an illness, accident or injury. This will ensure they are offered the best possible care without you having to worry about the cost. Please see our information page about insurance for more details.

  • A microchip is a tiny device about the size of a grain of rice, which is inserted under the skin in the neck. A microchip is a way of permanently identifying your kitten, so that you can be reunited if they get handed in as a stray or after being injured. Unlike a collar, the microchip cannot be lost.

  • All cats love a good scratch, so to avoid them having to do it on your expensive sofa or stylish carpets, invest in a scratching post. They aren’t expensive but do make sure to invest in a sturdy structure as your kitten is likely to attack it on a very frequent basis. Alongside a scratching post, kittens are very playful so make sure you have plenty of toys around the house to keep them entertained.

If you have any questions or would like more advice, please contact the surgery on 01443 224666