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 a lot of simple ways to take care of their health and happiness. Here are some top tips from Royal Canin’s veterinarians 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 veterinarian.

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

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

4. Make sure that you never wake up a kitten while it's 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 veterinarian's recommended vaccination schedule.

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 veterinarian

It’s important to take your kitten to the veterinarian soon after they have come home with you. Your veterinarian 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 veterinarian visit

Vaccinating your kitten

Deworming and neutering and spaying 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. 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, diarrhea and sometimes damage to the kitten’s coat.

What are the symptoms of worms?

There are several symptoms that might indicate your kitten has worms, including: Sickness, diarrhea, 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 and shortness of breath.

Worm treatment for kittens

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

Does my kitten need neutering or spaying?

Sterilization 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 anesthesia.

Tabby kitten being examined by a vet

The wider benefits of kitten neutering and spaying

As well as preventing unwanted litters, neutering or spaying 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 spaying, there’s less risk of mammary gland tumours, ovarian and uterine infections, and worm infections in females. Neutering 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 spayed when puberty begins at around six to seven months. Your veterinarian will be able to provide guidance relating specifically to your kitten.

Kitten sitting on a windowsill looking outside

After a kitten’s been spayed or neutered, they usually gain weight more easily because their appetite increases but they become less active. To prevent your kitten becoming overweight, and health issues linked to that, it’s important to adjust their diet – something your veterinarian can also advise on.

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.

Tailored nutrition for kittens

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