HEALTH & BEHAVIOUR ADVICE: CATS & KITTENS
Below you will find useful resources and guides for your foster animal, these are your one-stop shop for all the essential info about the animal in your care.
*Please note as of 4/9/23 for any urgent health-related issues outside of opening hours, please call the on-call vet nurse on (07) 5509 9075.
Behavioural Management Plan
Management is an important part of working on changing a cat’s behaviour. “Managing” means doing what is required to prevent a cat from practising undesirable behaviours or emotions while offering them a great quality of life. If you are fostering one of our unique animals experiencing a few behavioural challenges, please ensure you complete our Behaviour Management Plan and provide updates within the outlined timeframes.
Thank you for fostering an animal that needs additional socialisation support. Together, we can provide the foster animal with the best opportunity for a comfortable and safe life.
Time and effort are required to socialise kittens properly. Daily socialisation sessions are essential in shaping the kitten’s personality and emotional growth when they’re between four and twelve weeks old. Kittens need to become familiar with having their paws touched, mouths opened, and ears touched. Combining this handling with regular grooming sessions helps to prevent skin sensitivity or aversion to touch. In addition, exposing kittens to various sights, sounds, and textures will allow them to grow into well-socialised cats.
Litterbox Issues and Advice
Cats stop using their litter boxes for various reasons, including issues with the box or litter, dissatisfaction with the placement or number of boxes, changes in the environment inside or outside the house and undiagnosed medical conditions. You may have to investigate several possibilities before understanding what your cat is trying to tell you, but most issues are easy to remedy.
Scared and Fearful Cats
Cats may be fearful of strangers or visitors for several reasons. A common reason is a lack of experience with visitors when they were kittens. If cats were not introduced to different people during their socialisation period, they may be more apprehensive of strangers as adults. Like people, some cats possess more timid or less social personalities or temperaments.
Cats may be fearful of strangers or visitors for several reasons. A common reason is a lack of experience with visitors when they were kittens. If cats were not introduced to different people during their socialisation period, they may be more apprehensive of strangers as adults. Just like people, some cats simply possess more timid or less social personalities or temperaments.
There are so many ways that you can enrich the life of a cat. Keeping in mind that every cat is an individual, spend some time discovering what your feline particularly enjoys. How do you provide enrichment for a cat? There are a number of ways, such as giving them a variety of toys, providing perches, training and playing games with a cat, and much more.
Making Pet Toys
Self-play toys are those that a cat can play with on their own. Toys that encourage chasing and pouncing are typically the most enjoyable for cats. Some simple and cheap options are cardboard boxes, large paper bags (with the handles removed for safety) and crumpled-up pieces of paper.
AWLQ provides all medical care for our foster animals at our approved veterinary clinics. Because we are ultimately responsible for your foster cat’s well-being, our staff must authorise any and all treatment for foster dogs at our approved veterinary partners.
If your foster cat needs to go to the veterinarian, please notify the foster coordinator by email or phone. Because our vets run on a tight schedule, all foster animal vet checks must be allocated an appropriate appointment time. If you cannot make a vet appointment for your foster animal, please call the relevant foster office, giving us as much notice as possible, so we can rebook you a time.
For any urgent health-related issues outside of opening hours, please call the on-call vet nurse on (07)55099075
For more information on common medical issues please refer to your Foster Carer Manual.
If your foster animal displays any of the following medical symptoms during the foster period, please get in touch with your relevant AWLQ Foster Coordinator to arrange a vet check appointment:
- Sneezing and congestion with green/yellow discharge from the nose and/or eyes
- Coughing, wheezing or heavy breathing
- Diarrhoea or vomiting
- Straining to urinate or defecate
- Bleeding from any part of the body
- An extreme change in attitude or behaviour
- Not eating or drinking regularly
Caring for Neonates
The care of neonatal kittens can be a daunting thought because of the vulnerability of kittens and the time and resources their care requires. Following a carefully planned procedure for kittens can help ease these concerns and make caring for this vulnerable population a little less overwhelming.
This resource provides instructions for caring for bottle-feeding kittens (“bottle babies”) – very young kittens who have been abandoned or orphaned. It includes information on feeding, weaning, medical care, developmental milestones and more.
Ringworm is a very common contagious skin infection – and it’s not actually a worm at all. Ringworm is a fungus that infects the skin, fur or nails of cats, dogs and even humans. It’s called “ringworm” because the typical skin lesions in humans (and in some animals) can appear as a circular patch of hair loss with crusting in the shape of a worm.
Please get in touch with your relevant AWLQ Foster Coordinator if you notice any hair loss on your foster kittens. It is usual for cats to have thin fur around the lips, eyelids and in front of the ears, but clumpy patches of hair loss or thinning hair can indicate ringworm or dermatitis. It is important to check your foster kittens’ coats every day.