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A new kitten will become part of your family. This is a long term commitment and responsibility. There are important steps to take in the first months of life to ensure the health of your kitten. Remember your kitten may live until it is a 20 year old senior cat. You must be ready to care for your kitten well into the future.

Where do I get my New Kitten?

Common places to get a new kitten include welfare agencies, pet shops and private and commercial breeders. It can be nice to choose two littermates especially if they are going to be left home alone during the day.

  • Kittens from private homes can be very healthy but it depends on the home.
  • Welfare or rescue kittens are usually healthy when put up for adoption.
  • Pet shops and breeders may be very good or very bad.
  • The internet is an unreliable source for healthy kittens.
Check first!

Look at your kitten carefully for signs of ill health before you take it home. Common sense can tell you if it is basically healthy or not.

  • The kitten should be in good body condition, not too thin and be bright and active.
  • Avoid a kitten that is coughing or sneezing, or has a lot of eye or nose discharge.
  • Is it very quiet or weak?
  • Is the coat good or are patches of fur missing?
  • Check for signs of diarrheoa.
  • Are any other kittens showing obvious signs of disease?
Body Check

You can book a new kitten appointment with us before you agree to final payment. Any reputable seller should agree to this. The cost of getting a pre-purchase ‘Body Check’ is a fraction of what it costs to treat a sick kitten. A body check in the first week you care for the kitten is a very useful for you and the kitten. Taking a sick kitten home can also be a risk to any other pets you might already have.

How to feed my kitten

Only take a kitten home if it is fully weaned, over 6 weeks old.

  • Feed a good quality dry and/or canned kitten foods for a well balanced complete diet.
  • Young kittens may need dry food to be soaked.
  • Offer dry foods to the kitten all the time.
  • You can also give 2-4 meals of can kitten food 2-4 times daily. If a kitten finishes all the food you give it you are not feeding it enough!
  • Do not give them milk substitutes or vitamin and mineral supplements – indeed it may be it may be harmful to do so.

As your kitten gets older its dietary requirements may change. We will continue to recommend the right diet for your individual cat based on its age, breed and lifestyle. We are happy to supply a range of kitten and other cat foods from Hills Pet foods and Royal Canin.

  • Fresh water must be available at all times.
  • Some cats prefer to drink running water and will learn to ask to drink from a running tap.
  • Water fountains provide running water. These are ideal because they encourage the cat to drink more water.

All kittens from pet shops and breeders should have been vaccinated by a vet at least a week before purchase. You should ask for a vaccine card when the kitten is purchased. If the card is “not ready” or “not available”, beware! Check that the details on the card match the kitten. Read about Caring for a new kitten.

Daily Care

Examine your kitten every day for signs of any health problems. This can be combined with gentle grooming. If the coat is long, daily brushing should start from a young age so the adult cat will accept this. You may also need to clean the eyes and nose especially if your kitten has the flatter face seen in the Exotic and Persian types.


Play with your kitten very day to help build a bond between you, this is important! Use toys or just some newspaper or a ball to chase. As the kitten gets older they will chase and play with almost anything that moves. Your kitten will need lots of toys to keep it amused and fit. Do not allow your kitten to play with thread or wool, as these can be swallowed and lead to serious problems.

Toilet training

Every kitten needs a litter tray. This should have an absorbent non-toxic, un-perfumed litter added. The litter must be cleaned daily at least. Place the tray in a quiet, out of the way place so the kitten has some privacy. You may need two trays to keep one cat happy. If you have more than one cat, each cat needs one tray and you may need one extra tray. Many cats do not like to share trays or use a soiled tray.

Place your kitten inside the tray and scratch or play with the litter. This will encourage him to use the tray. If you see him use the tray reward and fuss him once he is done. If he tries to use the wrong place pick him up and place him in the tray. Reward him for good behavior, NEVER PUNISH HIM.


A soft warm bed should be provided. A box with a towel or cushion is sufficient. Cats love something which is partly enclosed so that they feel safe but can see out. If this is at a height so that they can look down on things and see further, so much the better.

Read more about caring for your kitten.


A last word about Scottish Folds, American Folds and Munchkins. These breeds have unusual features caused by genetic problems that interfere with correct cartilage growth. If you choose one of these breeds your cat may have health problems caused by this. Some Scottish Fold cats have a “double dose” of the fold gene. As these cats age, their joints become very stiff. We see young cats of this breed that can hardly move and suffer greatly.

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