Initial Days at the New Home
The first few days were the most challenging for us. Before the little one arrived, it kept calling every night for about a week. This was its way of seeking comfort from its parents. Prepare toys like a teaser wand and catnip sticks to bond with the kitten. Spend an hour playing with it every day.
Vaccination & Deworming
In Australia, there’s no rabies vaccine for cats. We have to vaccinate them monthly for the first three months, and then they don’t need it anymore. (The cost of each shot for me was $120).
The vet recommends deworming every two weeks before the kitten turns four months old. Deworming and vaccination should not be done together within a week.
Feeding & Hydration:
The kitten gains about 500g per week. Feed kitten food three times a day (though it’s essentially leaving enough for a day; it will eat when hungry). Occasionally, give it a bit of canned food (observe its reaction because my cat once overate and vomited).
Ensure the water bowl is always replenished!
Litter Box & Dental Care
Don’t fill it too much; we scoop every day, occasionally every two days.
Use baby wipes to clean dirty areas. The vet recommends brushing its teeth two to three times a week.
Start with a pet toothbrush and toothpaste and focus on getting it accustomed.
You don’t need to buy too many toys; they are not cheap in Australia! Our cats love playing with circular objects like Christmas tree ornaments or rubber bands.
Although cats aren’t as smart as dogs, you can still socialise them during their kittenhood to prevent stress responses in emergencies. Initially, we let my friends come home to interact with it. Later, we carried it in the apartment corridor to leave its scent and impression. Now, it eagerly waits at our door when it hears footsteps. Now, we carry it downstairs to the lobby and gradually take it to convenience stores downstairs, parks, etc. It’s not particularly afraid anymore, and its courage is growing.
Cat Behaviour Tips
Some of the behaviours and its meaning:
Rubbing against you when waking up in the morning: they see you as the closest person.
Meowing: They may want food/water. If accompanied by sluggishness, it could be a sign of illness. Purring when touched: They may be feeling comfortable, keep petting (rubbing its paw pads and belly will make it sleepy).
Kneading: They may be feeling comfortable, treating you as a mother, getting ready to lie down and sleep.
Vomiting: It could be illness/overeating/food intolerance.