The Ark Kitten Care
Getting a kitten can be an exciting time for you, your family and your new bundle of fluff! However, there’s a lot to learn about how to best care for your new kitten, and lots of things that you need to do to ensure that they stay safe and healthy, and set them up well for adult life. This page is your one stop shop for everything kitten, with information on:
- Kitten-proofing your house
- Litter training
- Training or playtime?
- Flea control
- Tick control
- The Ark comprehensive kitten care package
- Important things to remember when looking after your kitten
Individual kitten care consults
At our individual consults our experienced veterinarian gives your kitten a nose to tail health check. They make sure that your kitten is totally healthy and give you advice if treatments are necessary.
We also give you advice on vaccinations, desexing, behaviour and all other information you require.
If you want more information please call our friendly staff at 02-94161300.
You can also find a lot of information about kitten care below.
The Ark Comprehensive Kitten Care Package
All this can be a lot to take in at once and seem daunting. The Ark is committed to ensuring your pet’s health and a good quality of life, but also to making vet treatments and pet care more streamlined and easier for the owner. We’ve introduced a comprehensive kitten care package which contains everything your kitten needs in their first year of life to set them up for a healthy adulthood. You will recieve all the information you need in terms of your kitten’s nutrition, training and pest control, as well as veterinarian and nurse assessments to ensure that your kitten is growing properly. The package is tailored to the different stages of kitten growth, so we can let you know when your kittens adult teeth are emerging and what to do, how vaccinations and worming schedules change over time, and at what point your kitten needs to be desexed. The entire package is worth over $850, but for only $555 we offer:
- 2 general health consults
- 2 growth, dental and nutritional consults
- Initial vaccinations and 2 sets of booster injections
- 12 months of intestinal worming and flea control
- 3kg bag of Hill’s kitten food, a veterinarian and nutritionalist formulated food that contains nutrients vital to support your growing kitten
Kitten Package valued at $850,-
- 2 general health consults
- 2 growth health, dental and weight consults
- 3 vaccinations
- Intestinal worming up to the age of 12 months
- Flea control up to the age of 12 months
- Wellness treatment (bath $ blow dry)
- Nutritional consult + 3kg bag of Hill′s kitten food
Nutrition for kittens
In their first year of life kittens have a lot of growing to do! It’s really important that they are fed a balanced diet during this time so they can grow properly, as well as set them up for good health in adulthood. We recommend feeding young kittens under 6 months three times a day, as their tiny tummies get full before they can get all the food they need. After this, you can feed them once or twice a day without any problems. Our nurses have expertise in devising kitten nutrition plans, so if you have any concerns book an appointment today to get advice on when and what to feed your kitten, as well as see our range of premium, veterinary formulated foods.
Kitten-Proofing your House
Kittens are very inquisitive and playful, so it’s really important to remove any potential dangers in your house so they don’t accidently hurt themselves. We’ve put together a checklist you can use to make sure you’ve set up a safe and comfortable environment for your kitten that will keep them occupied with fun things to do but also keep them out of mischief!
- Keep all electrical wiring and any poisonous substances out of reach
- Close off balconies and high decks
- Remove any plants that might be toxic to your kitten – if you’re unsure about a plant, please run it by one of our nurses, who will be able to tell you if it is safe or not. A particular plant to be careful of is the arum lily, as eating any part of the plant can have toxic side effects, especially in a tiny kitten
- Provide your kitten with a soft bed in a quiet spot, as cats enjoy their privacy and like to feel safe and secure
- Buy a scratching post – kittens and cats need to wear down their nails so they don’t get too long. Without a scratching post, they might decide to use your furniture!
- Make sure your cat has their own designated food and water bowl
- Provide your kitten with some toys to play with – for a kitten, anything, even a piece of string or crumpled up paper can be a toy! They love to chase things, and playing with your kitten is an important bonding experience
- Ensure you have a cat carrier. This makes transporting your pet much easier, and reduces the stress and fear your kitten may feel while travelling
Microchipping is a legal requirement for cats in NSW when they are registered. Microchips are small implants, about the size of a grain of rice, which are placed under your kitten’s skin behind their neck when they are very young. This procedure is non-invasive and our veterinary staff have years of experience to make it as comfortable for your kitten as possible. The microchip contains a special number registered to your name, which is the best way to identify your pet if they go astray. Vet clinics and pounds can use scanners to access your contact information to get them home quickly. It’s therefore very important that if your contact details change, you update them with your local council so your kitten can always find their way home.
If your cat is going to spend a lot of time indoors, it’s important to get them used to using a litter tray. Most kittens will use a litter tray instinctively, but it can be a good idea to put them in their tray about half an hour after they are fed, and actively praise them when they use it you can help to reinforce the behaviour. Place the litter tray away from your kitten’s food and change the litter frequency as cats do not like using soiled litter trays!
Training or playtime?
It’s important to keep your new kitten active and occupied, to fulfil their natural sense of curiousity. Often when playing kittens will stalk, chase, pounce on and bite their toys. Kittens love to have access to lots of levels, so low perches or kitten hammocks can keep play interesting for them! However, it can be easy to accidently encourage biting and scratching during play, which can set up bad habits in an adult cat. Here are some tips to prevent scratching and biting behaviours as your kitten gets older:
- Try and keep some distance between you and your kitten, using toys that don’t encourage direct contact with your skin
- Exclaim loudly if your kitten bites or scratches you, even if it isn’t too painful, and walk away. Your kitten will quickly learn that playing rough will end the game and be gentler in future
All cats require brushing to keep their coat in top condition, and often really enjoy grooming. Particularly if you have a long-haired breed, a slicker brush, comb or both may be needed to properly maintain their coats and keep their fur un-matted. We recommend you brush your new kitten daily, as this gets them used to being handled and can be a great bonding experience.
While trimming your kitten’s nails can seem daunting, like everything, if they become used to it when they are young, you are less likely to have problems with nail maintenance when they are older. Playing with your kitten’s feet or touching their nails can help them become familiar with the process. Our nurses are happy to show you how to safely trim your cats nails, so if you are unsure book an appointment online today.
From 8 weeks onwards, your kitten will require a series of vaccinations to protect them from serious infectious diseases. These vaccinations cover feline enteritis, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis and chlamydia. An additonal vaccine will also protect them against feline leukaemia. Vaccination booster shots are also given at 12 and 16 weeks to age to ensure the best protection.
For more information on how vaccinations work and why they are so important, visit the vaccinations page.
Desexing is a standard and simple procedure that we recommend you perform when your kitten is 5-6 months old – it is slightly different in male and female cats, but prevents them from both breeding or carrying a litter of kittens. Particularly in males, desexing reduces testosterone levels, which can be linked to behavioural problems in adult life. For comprehensive information on the procedure and its benefits, vising our desexing page [link], but we’ve put together a quick list of some of the benefits of desexing your kitten:
- Male cats are less likely to wander in search for a mate or fight with other cats in the neighbourhood
- The risk of cancer in the reproductive organs is greatly reduced
- Reduction in anti-social or aggressive behaviours, as well as territory marking in male cats
- Reduction in populations of stray cats in shelters and on the streets – this also means less unvaccinated cats that may transmit diseases through the pet community