Kitten Wellness Care
We would like to congratulate you on the acquisition of your new kitten. Owning a cat can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it is also a large responsibility.
First let us say that we are grateful that you have chosen us to help you with your kitten's health care. If you have questions concerning any subject related to your kitten's health, please feel free to call our hospital. Our veterinarians and staff will be happy to help you.
By meeting the special needs of your growing kitten, you can protect against illness and parasites and establish good wellness habits for the life of your pet.
Kittens are very vulnerable to contagious diseases during their early weeks of life. Until your kitten has completed his or her series of kitten visits and vaccines (usually by 12 weeks of age), please keep him or her at home as much as possible.
Avoid places where your kitten will encounter other pets or their droppings. Don't take him or her to the pet store, groomer or to visit friends with animals. And, of course, make sure that any other pets in your home are up to date on their wellness care. Exams
Comprehensive veterinary exams are the foundation of good health. Your kitten's first exam should take place as soon as possible after adoption. If possible, schedule a visit on your way home from the adoption center (or breeder). Your kitten should have exams every two to three weeks until completion of the kitten wellness series at 12 weeks of age (or older if vaccines were started later than 6 weeks of age).FIV/FELV & Heartworm TestingAll kittens should be tested for the deadly Feline Leukemia Virus (FELV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) before or at the time of adoption. Heartworm testing is also recommended annually.
Fleas & Ticks
Fleas and ticks are a year-round problem in our area. Ticks can spread serious diseases and fleas can cause skin allergies, skin infections and transmission of parasites like tapeworms. NEVER use over-the-counter flea and tick products as they can be extremely poisonous as well as ineffective. Monthly flea protection should begin by 8 weeks of age.
Every cat should be on monthly heartworm preventative (HWP) to protect against heartworms as well as intestinal parasites, beginning between 6 & 9 weeks of age. Intestinal Parasites
Dewormings: Virtually all kittens are born with intestinal parasites because of transmission from mother to kitten during pregnancy and nursing. Every kitten should be dewormed every 2-3 weeks until 3 months of age, starting as early as possible (ideally beginning at 2 weeks old). After 3 months of age, monthly deworming is needed. In our heartworm endemic region, we take care of the need to deworm for intestinal parasites monthly by using a Heartworm Preventative that also controls common intestinal parasites.
Fecal Exams: Because there are many different intestinal parasites that infect cats and no one dewormer controls every parasite, we need to check your kitten's stool. Based on the results of the exam, an appropriate dewormer will be chosen for your pet. Fecal exams are needed every 6 months for adult pets and every 2-3 weeks for puppies and kittens until they reach 12-16 weeks of age.
FVRCP+C Vaccine: FVRCP+C (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia & Chalmydia combination) vaccines should be administered every three weeks starting at 6 weeks of age. At least two boosters are needed, ending at 12 weeks or older. FVRCP+C is boostered annually in adult cats.
Rabies Vaccine: One rabies vaccine is needed at 12 weeks of age and boostered annually. A 3 year rabies vaccine may be given after initially receiving a 1 year vaccine.
Bordetella: Intranasal bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine is needed for your kitten between 9 & 12 weeks of age. Bordetella vaccine is boostered annually in adult cats.
Feline Leukemia (FELV): FELV vaccines are given at 9 & 12 weeks of age and boostered annually for adult cats. Spay or Neuter
Every kitten should be spayed or neutered between 4 & 6 months of age unless you are planning on breeding your pet (some circumstances warrant an earlier surgery). Timely spay or neuter prevents many serious medical (cancers, infections, etc.) and behavioral problems and adds years to your pet's life expectancy.
Permanent identification with a microchip helps ensure that your kitten will be returned to you if he or she is ever lost or stolen. A microchip can be implanted at any time, but we usually do it at the time of spaying or neutering. Your kitten should also where an ID tag on its collar with your name, address and phone numbers.