Your kitten’s 1st year

Bringing a kitten home for the first time is exciting, but it can be a bit daunting too! This step-by-step guide to your kitten’s first year of life will help you to be the best paw-rent they could wish for.

kitten first year

0-8 weeks

Kitten’s are usually with mum and littermates at this early age. Mum’s milk gives them the best start. Your kitten should be slowly weaned onto a complete, balanced kitten food from 4-6 weeks of age.

Worms can pass to kittens from their mother before birth (through the uterus), and afterwards through her milk. Mum should be wormed regularly during pregnancy. Kittens should be wormed every month from two weeks to 6 months of age.

Kittens learn a lot about behaviour from their mum and siblings at this time, but human contact is also important to build their confidence with people. It’s good to visit your kitten a few times during this period before you bring them home.

kitten first year

8-12 weeks

Welcome home to your new kitten! Around 10 weeks is usually the best time to bring your kitten home. Our new owner packs <https://www.easipetcare.com/pet-advice/new-owner-packs/> are full of all the advice and tips you need to give your newest family member everything they need.

Litter training your kitten can start straight away. They should have learned toileting behaviour from their mum and may already be litter trained. The type of litter and tray can be important – ask the breeder what they’re used to.

Kitten vaccinations are a course of injections, usually at 9 and 12 weeks of age. Your kitten may have had the first vaccination by the time you take them home. Two weeks after your kitten has completed the full vaccination course, they will be safe to meet other cats and go outside.

Your kitten can be microchipped at any age – the breeder may already have had this done. It’s important to ensure your kitten is microchipped before it starts to go outside, so you can be contacted if they become lost or injured.

Kittens can go outside once they have been settled in your home for 4 weeks. However, they do not have a very good sense of danger at this young age, and are more at risk of injury. It is best to wait until they are older (between 6-12 months of age) before you let them outside unsupervised.

The best kitten food is a complete, balanced kitten food – you may want to stay with the brand recommended by the breeder, or swap to another brand. If you decide to swap, make sure you wean slowly (over a week) onto the new food to allow your kitten’s tummy to adjust and avoid stomach upsets.

Your kitten still needs worming every month. If your kitten is pooing worms contact us to discuss the correct treatment.

Regular treatment for skin parasites (such as fleas, ticks and mites) is recommended, especially if you have other pets.

Pet insurance for your kitten is a good idea. It helps to give you peace of mind if your kitten is injured or becomes unwell and needs a lot of treatment.

3-6 months

Your kitten will be growing rapidly and increasingly playful.

This is the time when your kitten starts teething. Mind out for those sharp teeth when they nip! This is a good time to start a dental care routine. Dental disease is very common in adult dogs, so getting into good habits now can help to keep their teeth healthy when they are older.

Kittens are neutered at 4-6 months of age. By 6 months of age a female kitten can become pregnant! There are many health and behaviour benefits to neutering.

And don’t forget to keep worming them every month!

6-8 months

Your kitten will be growing in size and confidence. From this age your kitten only needs to be wormed every 3 months.

8-12 months

Your kitten is nearing a year old! At this time they stop growing and you can wean them onto a balanced adult cat food.

12+ months

Your kitten is now a cat!

Your fur-baby may not be such a baby any more, but they’re a part of your family. It’s important to keep up to date with their preventative care of annual vaccinations, and flea, tick and worm treatment. Our kitten healthcare plans are an affordable way to make sure your pet receives the best care for a happy, healthy life.

If you need any more advice, contact us or pop into your local easipetcare practice and talk to our friendly staff. We’re here to help your new kitten stay happy and healthy throughout their life.

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