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Caring for Cats and Kittens

With proper care and attention, your cat or kitten will give you years of pleasure. Please take the time to read the following important information about caring for your cat or kitten.

New Surroundings

When you purchase a cat or kitten please allow 2 to 6 weeks for it to adjust to its new surroundings. Keep the new cat confined and enclosed until it settles into its new home. Once it has settled, keep your cat inside at night to keep it safe from other cats, motor vehicles and to keep the local native wildlife safe. If you keep a litter tray and water inside, the cat will feel safe and sound. Use a few dry treats before bedtime if you need to encourage your cat inside.


Desex your cat
One pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in seven years. All animals admitted to the refuge are de-sexed if they over 5 months old. Ensure the kitten's vaccinations are up to date before de-sexing. Do not feed or allow your kitten water after 8pm the night before.  Take your kitten in a cat box so it is safe and secure. After de-sexing, keep the kitten warm and comfortable. Offer a little food and water under supervision and resume normal food the next day. Limit activity for a few days and make sure the stitches don't get wet. Stitches can be removed after 10 days.

Toilet Training
Provide a litter tray while your cat is settling in and at night to make sure your cat stays inside. Some kittens need to be encouraged to use the litter tray by scraping its front paws in the litter. Do not rub the cat's nose in any mishap it makes, as this does not work. You need to reward good behaviour not punish bad behaviour. 

Feeding
Kittens up to 3 months old require a minimum of 3 to 4 meals a day, primarily chicken or lamb based softer foods. Adult cats only require one meal a day. Combine freshly prepared meals of raw meats, fruit and vegetables, rice, pasta and even raw bones (raw chicken wings). This will ensure prime dental health and nutrition. Don't ever feed cooked bones or any sort. Cats do not need milk especially cow’s milk as the lactose causes gastric problems and diarrhoea. Supply fresh cold water every day especially with dry food. Seafood is not recommended in a cat's diet as it causes gastric problems. If you plan to change your cat's diet, do it gradually.

Worming
Always treat your cats for roundworm, tapeworm and whipworm and do this for the rest of your cat's life. From 1 to 12 weeks old dose every fortnight. From 3 to 6 months old dose monthly. From 6 months old dose every 3 months. Treatments come in various forms and are available at your vet or other retailers.

Vaccinate
Ensure your cat is vaccinated every year against cat flu and feline enteritis. Cats under 12 weeks are vaccinated 2 or 3 times to ensure adequate protection. Thereafter your cat needs to be taken to your vet to be vaccinated every 12 months.

Fleas and Grooming
Check for fleas and use effective flea controls available at your vet or retailers. Cats groom themselves but sometimes extra grooming may be necessary for long hair cats.