Apart from looking good, a brushed coat contains less dead hair, meaning less is available to be removed by your cat while grooming. This has its benefits as with grooming activity constituting an average of 30% of your cat's time, it leads to ingestion of shed hair, leading to hairballs and sometimes digestive issues.
- Cats with longer hair such as the Persian require careful untangling of the coat with a good-quality comb every day.
- In short and flat hair cats (such as the Siamese or the Abyssinian), a few firm strokes of the hand is sometimes all that's needed.
- Passing a soft brush through the coat once a week is recommended for a medium-length coat or hair with a thick undercoat (such as in the Maine Coon or Exotic Shorthair).
Good oral health starts off when your kitten is young.
- When they come home, kittens will still have their milk teeth. These baby teeth are quite fragile, so kibble needs to be softer and easier to break open than an older cat's.
- Some wet foods have been specially formulated for kittens with an excellent texture, adapted to their sensitive teeth
- Toothbrushing is the gold standard for oral care, and using a special cat toothbrush and veterinary toothpaste is recommended.
The health and well-being of your cat involves a wide variety of factors, from preventative vaccinations and tablets to insurance and even whether or not to neuter your pet. Some of these costs are isolated, and others need to be considered as part of an ongoing budget alongside nutrition and grooming.
- Cats are routinely vaccinated against feline panleukopenia virus, feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus. The vaccination course consists of two injections, given three to four weeks apart. Your cat may have already had their first injection before they come to you, as the first dose can be given from the age of about nine weeks
- Microchipping is the painless insertion of a microchip under the skin on the neck and means that any vet or cat rescue organization can "read" the chip with a handheld scanner. Your vet can perform the procedure at any of your routine appointments
- It is important to prevent your cat from getting fleas, worms or ticks. A good breeder will have started an anti-parasite program from the very beginning of the cat's life and most rescue centers will also start a good worming and flea treatment regime for all of the animals in their care. It's important that you ask the person you are getting your kitten or cat from what treatments your new cat has had in the past
- Neutering is one of the most responsible decisions any pet owner can make. Cats have traditionally been neutered any time from around six months of age
- It's important to arrange annual check-ups with your vet to help prevent any health issues and monitor weight and behavioral changes
The majority of a kitten's education takes place during the first six months of their life. Most behavior is acquired in the first three months, thanks to the predominant role of their mother and siblings.
That means that when you bring a cat home, you have a limited contribution to make to their basic education, but you still have responsibilities. Your job is to complete their training in their new environment and to address the undesirable behavior.
Insurance offers peace of mind that you will be able to provide the care your cat needs should a crisis happen.
Pet insurers offer different levels of coverage, and prices vary according to your cat's age, breed or size and type, as well as your location.
Find the right cover for you and your kitten by:
- Using the internet to compare packages
- Ask your vet
- Look in pet magazines
It can be overwhelming at first to prepare for all the things needed to take care of your cat or kitten, but by starting properly you will help them adjust to their new home and maintain a happy and healthy life.