The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
The UK's Premier Registration body
A kitten should be fully vaccinated against both cat flu and enteritis before it leaves the breeder. GCCF recommends that no kitten should go to its new home until at least 13 weeks of age, and a week after its full course of primary vaccinations has been completed.
Your kitten's breeder should ensure that your kitten is vaccinated against cat ’flu and enteritis prior to leaving home, and at least 7 days should have elapsed after the second vaccination before the kitten leaves the breeder. You should make a note of when the annual booster will be due.
Your kitten should also have been wormed. This should be repeated at regular intervals using a wormer obtained from your Vet. Never use wormers obtained from pet stores—these can be dangerous! There are good palatable chewy tablets, or “spot-on” wormers that just go on the back of the neck. Please follow the recommendations of your Vet with regard to regular worming of your kitten, especially if there are young children handling the kitten.
Kittens should be microchipped, this is the most reliable form of identification should your kitten become lost and will help to reunite you with your pet. Don’t forget to update the microchip record if you move home or have additional or different contact numbers. The kitten's microchip number should also be recorded on its veterinary records and vaccination certificate.
Your kitten should be completely weaned from its mother, and your breeder should provide full details of how the kitten is being fed, and many also give you a supply of food to take away with you, to make sure the change over from one home to another is achieved smoothly.
Ensure your kitten is groomed regularly, especially if long-haired; make the grooming routine a pleasant and relaxing time for the kitten. Your breeder should supply a detailed grooming sheet in your kitten pack to advise you how to keep it feeling comfortable all the time. If your kitten goes into the garden and brings home some unwelcome visitors in the form of fleas, obtain a flea preparation from your Vet (not a pet shop or store). The “spot on” flea preparations are very easy and safe to use and avoid fleas being brought into your home and irritating your cat—they can be a source of allergies and disease.
Check that your breeder is happy to be contacted if you have any small problems or queries. Ensure you register your new kitten with your local Vet practice, so that your Vet has all the necessary information should you need to consult him.
Kittens sold as pets are usually registered on the GCCF Non-Active Register and should be neutered or spayed by six months of age. Discuss neutering/spaying with your Vet to choose the right time for your kitten. Some breeders neuter/spay before selling kittens. For information on early neutering see The Cat Group.
Most breeders supply free insurance with your kitten. Continuing the policy will ensure that, should an emergency arise, your kitten's Vet bills can be covered.
These are just some of the things to consider when bringing home a new kitten, but there is a wealth of essential information on caring for your cat on the International Cat Care website, from keeping your cat healthy and safe, to cat behaviour and "How To" guides. The information provided on the site has been put together by experts in feline health, behaviour and welfare. However, it is not intended to be used as a substitute for going to the vet.
If your cat is unwell, please seek veterinary attention.
The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) fully endorses the owner information on the International Cat Care website.
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© GCCF 2019