Even if you are not a novice, taking care of a kitten is a challenge. Below we will try to detail everything you will have to control and manage the first year.

Table of Contents

1. Arrival and adaptation

2. Identification, microchip and registration

3. Kitten Vaccination

4. Deworming

5. Cat castration / Cat sterilization

6. Training a cat

 

1. Arrival and adaptation

The first most important thing is to find out what treatments and vaccines you have previously received: dose and type of vaccine, identification, deworming…

Then we will coordinate with whoever gives us the kitten so that the transition is as stress-free as possible:

    • We will expose him to our smell by bringing him our things from home a few days beforehand
    • We must ask that he is weaned correctly </ li>
    • We’ll keep his food or even his old bed for at least a few days.

Upon arrival we must enable a zone of tranquility / security, not overwhelm him, and leave him space. We will also have patience with him in adapting to the new home, new routines to relieve himself and rest.

It could be that you need the help of a ethologist at home to make this transition. Our Annual Kitten Care Plan includes these services along with the rest of the necessary veterinary services during the first year.

2. Identification, microchip and registration

Necklace with identification/tag

It is not recommended for kittens that go outside as it can pose a choking hazard if the cat gets caught on a branch or fence, as well as an area where another cat can grab it in a fight.
In case of carrying it, it must be one of those that are easy to release (the hook is released in case of tension to avoid hanging).

Vaccination record

Each kitten must have its card duly filled out with all the updated data of the owner, the animal, microchip number and applied vaccinations as well as surgeries or notable data (FIV/FELV tests for example)

Microchip and registration

Microchip implantation is mandatory. Some kittens already have it at the time we acquire them, but even if they tell us, it is very important to ask the veterinarian to verify that this chip is registered in the corresponding registry and in our name.

An implanted but unregistered chip is absolutely useless in the event that the animal is lost as the chip number will not be associated with any information so that the owner can be contacted in the event that the animal is found.

Registration in the City Council census

Once the chip has been implanted and registered, the animal must be registered in the town hall register. This can only be done by the owner.

3. Vaccination for kittens

For the maximum detail on vaccines for kittens read Cats Vaccines. Here you have a general summary:

Vaccination schedule for home kittens (without access to the outside or “on the floor”)

  • At 8 weeks: Trivalent
  • At 12 weeks: Trivalent
  • At 16 weeks: Trivalent
  • Annually: trivalent

If the cat is going to travel or routinely travels outside of Catalonia:

  • Rabies: Annual vaccine

Regular vaccination schedule for kittens with access to the outdoors

In the case of kittens, it is important that they are vaccinated at least in one guideline before being outdoors and coming into contact with other animals:

  • At 8 weeks: Trivalent
  • At 12 weeks: Trivalent + Leukemia Test + Leukemia (if negative test)
  • At 16 weeks: Trivalent and Leukemia
  • Annually: Trivalent + Leukemia

If the cat is going to travel or routinely travels outside of Catalonia:

  • Rabies: Annual vaccine

In any case, it is advisable to explain the type of life and contacts that our kitten has and will have to ensure that he does not need different guidelines.

4. Deworming

Internal deworming

From 6 weeks to 6 months of age, it is recommended that a kitten be dewormed internally (for intestinal and pulmonary/cardiac worms) at least once a month with a specific antiparasitic for her age and breed.

From the age of 6 months, cats will be dewormed every 2-3 months on a regular basis in general, but there may be variations depending on the area where they live or even depending on whether there are people in the family with vulnerable health.

External deworming

There is a wide range of antiparasitics but in general it is important that our animal is always covered (and throughout the year) against:

  • Fleas
  • Ticks
  • Sandfly

Not only do they cause annoying itching in our pets, but they are important transmitters of serious diseases.

There is no seasonality of these parasites and therefore they must be covered at any time of the year.

There are many options regarding types of antiparasitic (collars, pipettes, chewable tablets, sprays) and there is no “perfect” method but it will depend on: age (very young kittens can only be dewormed with certain products), size, type of life and activity, type of hair, animals with which it lives…

It is always better to discuss the case of our pets with a specialist to determine the best antiparasitic regimen for them.

5. Cat Castration / Cat Ovariohysterectomy

Sterilization (castration of males, octubrehysterectomy of females) not only prevents unwanted litters and is an action that we do as responsible owners, but it also prevents serious diseases in which the hormonal cycle plays an important role, such as: testicular tumors, pyometras ( or womb infections), breast, ovarian or womb tumors, among others, in addition to the prevention of behaviors such as fights between males (in which serious diseases can be transmitted by bite), loitering to distant areas during mating seasons and prevention of contagion of diseases (which occur during mounts for example).

For these surgeries to have these effects, it is important not only to sterilize but to do it at the right time:

  • Male cats: From 8 months to avoid urinary problems in adulthood.
  • Female cats: From 6 months and if possible before the first heat, especially in cats with access to the outside.

Before sterilizing the animal, the veterinarian may require a pre-surgery to ensure that the surgery is as safe as possible, which will normally consist of a blood test but may also include some other test such as chest X-ray, ultrasound or echocardiography, depending on the case.

6. Educate a kitten

To learn more about the subject, consult our ethology page. Here is a little summary for kittens.

Socialization

Socialization goes from birth to 8-10 weeks. During this period we must expose the kitten to stimuli so that it is not afraid of them as an adult.
After this period it will be increasingly difficult to “desensitize” the cat to a stimulus that causes fear.

That is why it is recommended that breeders begin this process by gradually socializing kittens in front of people, children, other cats, dogs or even noises such as fireworks or thunder.

In case of acquiring a kitten, we must also progressively and respectfully accustom them to this type of stimuli (keeping them inside the house until the veterinarian gives us permission so that those who have access can go outside).

Expected behaviors

Damage: They are due to the fact that the cat does not know which objects are his toys and which are not. You have to initially limit the exploration area and always have toys at hand that he can use.

Heat behavior: It has a very important hormonal component but it can also be aggravated by poor socialization.

How to correct unwanted behavior

  • Decide on concrete rules: Your family should choose the rules of the house and apply them strictly from the beginning.
  • Establish a routine: Cats respond well to routines and it is advisable to maintain meal, play and sleep schedules.
  • Be positive: We recommend training based on positive reinforcement.

Education for coexistence

  • Hygienic Behavior: Usually kittens have no problem relieving themselves in the litter tray since they prefer it to any other place in the house. Even so, it is important for the first few days to put the tray in an area that he knows how to reach easily but that is not too close to his food and resting area. It is also important that the trays are large enough for the cat to comfortably turn 360 degrees inside and that there is always one more tray than the number of cats in the house as well as the litter it likes.
  • Exits to the garden/balcony: If the cat is going to live in an apartment, it is important to assess its exits (windows and balconies) and the possibility that it is necessary to put bars in these areas to prevent the cat from falling through an oversight (parachuting cat syndrome).
    If the cat is going to have the opportunity to go outside, it will be necessary to make sure that he introduces himself to the outside progressively.</ Li>
  • Adaptation to living with other animals: If we already have other pets at home, it is important to make the introductions slowly and progressively, making sure at all times to keep the two individuals that we are presenting safe to avoid injuries.< /li>

IMPORTANT: These are general guidelines but each kitten and each family is a world. For this reason, we recommend that you contact us if you have any questions. All the needs to take care of your kitten during its first year can be covered with our annual kitten care plan