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Cats Questions and Answers

12 May 2019
Q. When is a kitten old enough to leave its mother and littermates?
A. 12 weeks is the best time as the kitten will have learned from play with its brothers and sister, plus it will also have had its first vaccinations. Your vet can advise.

Q. When should a kitten be vaccinated?
A. The first vaccinations should be no earlier than nine weeks, with the second ones three weeks later. Boosters should then take place annually thereafter. The kitten shouldn’t mix with other animals until fully vaccinated.

Q. How soon should I have my kitten spayed?
A. A kitten should ideally be spayed or neutered at 4 months as this is when cats reach sexual maturity but ask your vet’s advice when you go in for vaccinations.

Q. Is it true that a cat should have a litter of kittens before she is spayed?
A. No, this is not true. There is no need for a cat to have a litter before she is spayed, the sooner she is spayed the better if you want to avoid unwanted kittens.... or rather, kittens which you may struggle to rehome. If you want to see this side of the fence, ask the cat homes and rescue centres!

Q. Should cats be microchipped?
A. Yes. If your cat is lost and it is micro-chipped, there is a much stronger chance of you being reunited. Micro-chipping your cat – even if it is a house cat – is the responsible thing to do.

Q. Why has my cat stopped using its litter tray?
A. Firstly, check out with your vet that there isn’t a medical problem for this as it could be your cat simply can’t get there quick enough. If not, then it could be that the litter box isn’t clean enough for the cat; you may be using a new type of litter and the cat doesn’t like it; the litter box may be in a place the cat doesn’t like. Small issues like that can be big issues for the cat!

Q. How do I stop my cat from clawing the furniture?
A. The first thing to do is to try a scratching post which usually works. If this fails, try putting some catnip on the scratching post.

Q. How should I treat a nervous cat?
A. The best way is to allow it to live in a relaxed and quiet environment and try not to use too much physical contact/handling. Putting tasty treats in a bowl and then, eventually, in an outstretched palm of the hand should bring him round. Love and patience is the key with a nervous cat.

Q. Why has my cat got bad breath?
A. Bad breath is often a sign of dental problems. Good dental hygiene from an early age can stop this. However, bad breath can also be caused by underlying health issues such as diabetes, kidney problems and digestive disorders, so don’t let it go unchecked. Seek the advice of your vet.