Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to house train my new cat or kitten?  

What should I feed him or her?

When should I neuter my cat ?

Should I let her have one litter before getting her spayed ?

When should the kitten be vaccinated ?

How long must I keep the kitten or cat in, before letting him out? * * * * * * Very important

Will a fully grown cat adapt to a new home ?

How often should a cat be wormed ?

How about flea control?


How long will it take to house train my new cat or kitten?

Cats and kittens are amazing.   

Small kittens will use a litter tray as soon as they can walk, following their mother in and doing as she does.   If the kitten is an orphan kitten, without a mother’s help, all that needs to be done is to lift the kitten gently into the litter tray, scrabble its front paws gently in the litter, and the kitten works it out for him or her self!!.   

Older cats will look for somewhere to use as a toilet, (always supposing that they have never seen a litter tray) and will be very pleased to find that a place is provided for them.   They may also ask, and prefer, to go out.   Litter trays should be kept clean – cats do not like to use dirty litter trays. Cleaning out the tray once a day is a must.

(Back to the top) 

What should I feed him or her?

Vets advise that it is better for cats to have good quality dried cat food, which is formulated and balanced to give good nutrition.     Cats MUST have meat, and all proprietary foods include meat products.    Many cats are intolerant of lactose in milk, and generally it is better to give fresh clean water only, as milk can give cats tummy upsets and other problems.  Try to find out what the cat or kitten was eating before coming to you, and if you want to change this diet, do it gradually over a week or so, to avoid tummy upsets.

Big cats are fed once or twice a day. 

Kittens are generally fed three or four times a day, because they have small stomachs and cannot take in as much as they need if fed less frequently. Generally very small kittens (under 4/5 weeks old)  are fed by their mothers, but if they are orphaned, they need to be bottle or syringe fed using kitten formula milk.  Very small kittens (under two weeks old) may need to be fed every two to three hours, and they must be winded like babies, and have their abdomens stroked with cotton wool or paper tissue or kitchen towel to stimulate them to pee (mother cats lick kittens here for the same purpose).

(Back to the top)

When should I neuter my cat ?

Female kittens as young as 4 months old can become pregnant during the summer.   However, normally it is safe to wait until a female is five months old and a male is six months old to have them neutered.

(Back to the top)

Should I let her have one litter before getting her spayed ?

Absolutely not.   It is better to spay a kitten before she has her first heat, and letting her have kittens simply adds to the overpopulation of cats.   In addition, you cannot be sure that those kittens will not go on to have more kittens.    An adult cat can have up to 3 litters of kittens a year, and a pair of adult cats can have 20,000 descendants. .

(Back to the top) 

When should the kitten be vaccinated ?

 The first vaccination is due at about 8 or 9 weeks of age, and the second is due at 12 weeks or older, but 3 weeks after the first vaccination.   It is essential to vaccinate kittens against infectious enteritis (known as FEV or Feline Enteritis Virus) which is related to the Parvo Virus that affects puppies, and has the same devastating effects.   This vaccination also includes vaccination against the common flue viruses.  Other vaccinations are also available, e.g. leukaemia, and this should be considered if there is a population of feral cats in the area.   Kittens and cats should be kept in until the course of vaccinations has been completed.

(Back to the top) 

How long must I keep the kitten or cat in, before letting him out?

Generally, cats and kittens are kept in for up to three weeks.   Of course, small kittens will need to be kept in for longer, or allowed out after three weeks only under supervision.    The “keeping in” time also depends on  whether the vaccinations are completed, what hazardous may be in the neighbourhood, and the time of year, i.e. in the cold dark months, kittens should not be let out, unsupervised. 

They are kept in for two main reasons –

1) because they will try to find “home”, e.g. their mother, or their litter mates, and after three weeks they will have forgotten that they had another home, and

2) because small kittens cannot fend for themselves in a strange environment, and they will wander away and get lost.

 Generally cats do not “run away”, but they can get lost, and they can be killed by traffic or dogs.

(Back to the top)  

Will a fully grown cat adapt to a new home ?

This depends to some extent on why the cat was re-homed.    If it is lost, hungry, straying around, and lonely, then it is most unlikely to leave a new warm welcoming home.   However, it the cat is happy where it lives, it may try to return there, even if the owner has moved away, or died.   In either case, keeping the cat in the house for a longer period is likely to help it to adjust to the new surroundings.   A few drops of Dr. Bach’s flower remedy “Walnut” can also help the cat to adjust to change.

 A few drops of Flower remedies in food or water, such as “Rescue Remedy”  or “Mimulus” (used for fear) can often help a nervous cat.  

(Back to the top) 

How often should a cat be wormed ?

 Kittens should be wormed with a suitable wormer such as “Parazole” every three weeks until they are six months old, and every three months thereafter using either “Parazole”, or “Drontal”, or “Milbemax”    Care should be taken not to over-dose a kitten. Use of a spot on treatment available at your vet and at some chemists such as Stronghold for kittens and Frontline for kittens can also be used and need only be applied once every 4 to 6 weeks. Your vet will be able to advise you on the treatments.

(Back to the top)

How about flea control?

 There are a lot of very good preparations available from your vet or veterinary chemist.   Very small kittens can be treated with “Frontline” spray, older kittens and cats can be treated with a spot on treatment  such as “Advantage”,  “Stronghold” or “frontline”.  Newer preparations are occasionally introduced to the market.   Cats should be treated for fleas as recommended by the manufacturers – some products last for one month, some for two months.   Flea collars are generally of very limited use and need to be a snap on snap off type in case your pet gets caught up in a tree or fence and therefore the collar needs to release easily for the pet to get free.

(Back to the top) 

 

 

Cork Cat Action Trust registered charity number C.H.Y. 18345



  Many thanks to Haworth Cat Rescue for our sites icons and layout