Norwegian Forest Cat kittens sat together in black and white

Taking care of your kitten’s health

The early months of your kitten's life are a time of incredible growth and development. By taking care of their health at this vital stage you'll set the foundations for a healthy future together.

Seven tips to keep your kitten healthy

There are lot of simple ways to take care of their health and happiness. Here are some top tips from Royal Canin’s vets and nutritionists.

1. Learn to read your kitten’s body language so you know when they might be feeling ill. If you sense something isn’t right, speak to your vet.

2. Make sure your kitten gets the right nutrition from a specialist, well-balanced kitten diet.

3. Kittens need lots of sleep, so make sure they have a comfortable, quiet place to rest.

4. Make sure to never wake a kitten while they're sleeping

5. Kittens also need to exercise and enjoy company, so make time to play with them.

6. Help to build your kitten’s confidence by ensuring they’re regularly handled by a variety of people.

7. Always follow your vet’s recommended vaccination schedule.

Pack shot of kitten products

Build your kitten’s immunity with tailored nutrition

It's vital for your kitten's long-term health and wellbeing that they develop a strong immune system during the first months of life. Our formulas are scientifically developed to support their long-term healthy growth.

Your kitten's first visit to the vet

It’s important to take your kitten to the vet soon after they come home with you. Your vet will need to carry out a number of important checks and treatments, such as vaccinations and worming. This is a great opportunity to learn about your kitten’s health and how to care for them.

First vet visit

Vaccinating your kitten

Worming and sterilisation in kittens


Preventing worms in kittens

As your kitten’s immune system is still developing, they’re more prone to catching worms than adult cats. Worms are internal parasites and there are two types commonly found in kittens and cats:

  • Roundworms lodge in a kitten’s small intestine and form balls that can cause obstructions.
  • Tapeworms – fix onto the intestine walls and cause bloating, diarrhoea and sometimes damage to the kitten’s coat.

Ginger kitten outdoors walking through grass

What are the symptoms of worms?

There are several symptoms that might indicate your kitten has worms, including: Sickness, diarrhoea, a bloated abdomen, weight loss, poor coat quality, weakness, loss of energy, a sore bottom, vomiting and blood in the stool. If a kitten has lungworm, they may also experience coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath. 

Kitten sleeping on a grey carpet

Worm treatment for kittens

As part of your kitten’s initial vaccination programme, they should receive regular deworming treatments. Your vet can also recommend ongoing deworming treatments based on your cat’s lifestyle - especially focussing on whether they go outdoors and if they come into contact with other cats.

Ginger kitten standing on a table being examined by a vet

Does my kitten need sterilising?

Sterilisation in female cats is called spaying and in male cats it’s called neutering – both prevent your cat from reproducing by stopping the production of eggs or sperm. They involve your cat having a small operation, which must be done by a vet under complete anaesthesia.

Tabby kitten being examined by a vet

The wider benefits of kitten neutering and spaying

As well as preventing unwanted litters, sterilising your kitten offers several other health and behavioural benefits too. For example, a female cat will stop emitting sex hormones that attract males and the symptoms of being in heat are reduced or removed. Your cat will also be less likely to stray or fight.

Two kittens standing on a wall outdoors

Some health benefits of spaying and neutering

After sterilisation, there’s less risk of mammary gland tumours, ovarian and uterine infections, and worm infections in females. Sterilisation will also reduce the risk of testicular cancer in males. Other benefits include prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, less strong smelling urine and less spraying.

Maine Coon kitten sitting outdoors in long grass

The best age for your kitten to be neutered or spayed

Normally, a kitten can be sterilised when puberty begins at around six to seven months. Your vet will be able to provide guidance relating specifically to your kitten.

Kitten sitting on a windowsill looking outside

Spotting the symptoms of illness

Knowing the common health issues your kitten might face, and how to spot the early signs, can help you feel reassured and take better care of your kitten.

Common health issues
British Shorthair kitten standing in black and white on a white background

The right nutrition can help your kitten to stay healthy

One of the most important influences on your kitten’s health is their diet. Kittens and cats have different nutritional needs at different ages. So feeding your kitten the right nutrients for their age and individual needs plays a huge part in ensuring their bone strength, skin and coat health, digestive comfort and more.

Age-specific nutrition for kittens

Sacred Birman kitten in black and white eating from a white dish

Feeding your kitten

Get a deeper understanding of your kitten's nutritional needs and how to make sure they gain healthy eating habits.

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Tailored nutrition for kittens

Nutrition tailored to meet the specific needs of kittens of different ages, breeds and lifestyles.