Selecting a cat or kitten
The right breed for you
Selecting the right breed of kitten is very important, you should think
about your lifestyle, how much time you will need to groom and care for
a particular breed. To find out some of the breeds that may suit your
lifestyle see the Select-a- pet website at www.petnet.com.au/selectapet.
Once you have decided what breed of kitten you would like, you will need
to find a kitten. If you would like a Pedigree Kitten you will be able
to contact the Cat Controlling Body in your State to enquire about cat
clubs. Registered breeders are subject to a code of ethics governed by
the State Feline Associations. Pedigree kittens should grow true to the
recognized standards of the breed. You therefore have a good idea of the
ultimate size, appearance, weight and temperament of your kitten.
If you would like to give a second chance to a homeless kitten, there
are many animal welfare organisations that have kittens available. Local
pounds also have kittens that are looking for homes, your local pound
is listed in the local Government section of your telephone book.
What you will receive with your kitten
When you purchase your new kitten whether it be from a pet shop or directly
from a breeder, it should be at least 8 weeks of age, vaccinated and wormed.
All kittens that are vaccinated will have a vaccination certificate issued
by a veterinarian to indicate when the kitten was vaccinated and when
it’s due again. Kittens are vaccinated against Feline Enteritis,
Feline Respiratory Disease and Feline Leukaemia. Cats are usually vaccinated
at 6 to 8 weeks of age, 10 to 12 weeks of age, 14 to 18 weeks of age then
annually. Sometimes your veterinarian may suggest a different time for
your cat and you should take your veterinarian’s advice.
Bringing your cat home
Whether your cat is a stray or a purebred it still requires the same
care and attention.
Before bringing your new cat home prepare its sleeping area. Your cat
needs a warm, secure place to sleep. Cat bed and baskets are available
commercially or a cardboard box arranged with an entrance hole and a blanket
is equally suitable.
When you bring your cat or kitten home make sure the house is quiet and
allow it to settle in and explore without too much interference. It is
advisable to keep your new cat or kitten confined to the house for the
first few weeks. Once your cat or kitten has settled in its new home it
should be familiarised with all the normal household noises and activities
and introduced to visitors to ensure that it becomes confident and well
socialised. Other pets should be introduced to the new arrival slowly
and under close supervision.
Cats are naturally playful and will appreciate a few simple toys.
Naming your kitten
This is fun, but it’s also very important. A kitten needs a name
it will recognise, so try and avoid names that sound like commands you
are likely to use. For instance “Beau” sounds similar to “No”.
A short, simple name is ideal. Don’t forget one day you may have
to stand in your front yard and call it, so don’t pick something
you’ll be embarrassed by.
For suggestions on the most popular cat names and their meanings check
out the Bow Wow Meow website at www.bowwow.com.au
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