Kitten Care

Kitten Care Information

Kittens are probably the cutest things you can come across, which makes it very tempting to get one without further thought. But with a kitten come serious responsibilities. It is important to fully understand what you are taking on by adopting one. Please read below a list of all your new kitty's health requirements.

VACCINATION

We routinely vaccinate against feline panleukopenia, feline calicivirus and feline rhinotracheitis (F3 vaccine). A new vaccine is now available to prevent Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) or feline AIDS – we recommend all cats be vaccinated against this deadly disease.

 

When should this be done?

1st F3  vaccination at 8 weeks of age

2nd F3 vaccination at 12 weeks of age (+/- FIV) (+/- FIV at 14 weeks)

3rd F3 vaccination at 16 weeks of age (+/- FIV)

A YEARLY BOOSTER is required to maintain immunity.

 

HEARTWORM

The incidence of heartworm in cats has recently found to be about 10% of the incidence in dogs.  Diagnosis and treatment is very difficult in cats.  Clinical signs vary from bronchitis-like symptoms to sudden death.

Prevention of this potentially fatal disease is easy:

We recommend Bravecto Plus, which covers heartworm, intestinal worms, fleas and ticks for two months. It is easily applied to the back of the neck once every two months.

PARASITE CONTROL

You kitten should be wormed against roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm, in addition to the heartworm mentioned above. There are 2 types of tapeworm: the “flea tapeworm” and the “hunter tapeworm”.

The “hunter tapeworm” Spirometra can affect cats that hunt lizards, frogs and insects, requiring a higher dose (usually 2x the normal “flea tapeworm” dose). Your kitten should be wormed every fortnight from 6 to 12 weeks of age, then (depending on the product used), every 2-3 months for life.

We recommend using Bravecto Plus, which as mentioned above also protects your

kitten from fleas and ticks.

Popantel tablets should be given for tapeworm every 3 months and the dosage

should be douled for hunting cats. (Should be used in conjunction with Bravecto).

Ticks can be a life-threatening problem all year round but particularly in the warmer months and especially after rain. No cat tick prevention is 100% effective, and nothing beats checking your cat over by hand each day- remove any ticks straight away and monitor your cat closely for any signs of poisoning. SIGNS of tick paralysis include wobbly back legs, change in voice, difficulty breathing, depression, distress and collapse. Seek veterinary attention immediately if your cat is showing any of these signs! The earlier we catch the problem, the better chance we have of saving your pet.

Remember – all animals in the household must be treated for flea and worm control to be effective!

DESEXING

We recommend desexing from 5-6 months of age.  Female cats can come into season as early as five months of age and are highly fertile!!  Desexing will help control problems such as fighting, spraying, roaming and unwanted litters.  Desexing before the first season also reduces the chance of mammary cancers later on in life. 

Most entire male cats will contract feline AIDS from fighting with other male cats.

Feel free to discuss desexing with our friendly nurses and vets.

FEEDING

The type, quantity and frequency of food will vary greatly with the age and activity level of your cat.  Ad lib feeding (having food always available) leads to fussy and overweight cats.  Your kitten should be fed on a commercial kitten food (not adult) as these are balanced in all the vitamins, minerals and dietary requirements your growing kitten needs. 

We recommend premium foods such as Royal Canin Paediatric Growth and Hills Science Diet Kitten. 

MICROCHIP IMPLANT

If cats are not confined, they are likely to roam and may be lost or impounded.  If your cat has identification, its chances of being reunited with your family are much higher. A collar and tag are very important but may be lost – a microchip is there for life! Ask our health care team about the simple microchipping procedure – no sedation required.

TRAINING

Train your kitten from an early age to use litter trays, come when called and use a scratching post instead of your furniture.  You should approach training a step at a time, continually rewarding desired actions and giving no encouragement to bad behaviour.

Try to keep your kitten indoors until about 4-5 months of age – this will make enforcing a cat curfew of 8pm to 8am easier.  A curfew will greatly reduce the likelihood of your cat will becoming a local wildlife killer and also reduce the risk of cat fights and being hit by cars on the road.

Keeping your cat indoors only is often the best solution for owner, pet and the environment. 

ADVICE ON TABLET GIVING

Train your kitten to take tablets. You can do this by:-

Starting tablets (for worming) rather than liquids at a young age.

Gently stroking in and around the kitten’s mouth during patting and playing to familiarize them to this.

GROOMING

You should supplement your kitten’s grooming with regular brushing sessions to keep it free of loose hair and tangles – good therapy for kitten and owner alike!  A longhaired kitten needs more frequent attention.  Regular grooming also helps to reduce problems with hairballs.

INSURANCE

Your pets are precious and you want to protect them from harm and look after them the best way possible. No matter how much love and care we provide, accidents and illness are beyond our control. Pet Insurance can take the worry out of paying pet health care bills when the unexpected happens. With some procedures and illnesses now costing in the thousands for specialist treatment, this can certainly lead to substantial savings.

We would recommend that you organise pet insurance when your pet is as young as possible, most policies can be taken out from 8 weeks of age. Any condition which is already present prior to taking out the insurance policy will not be covered. There are also exclusions on taking out policies on older animals. Don’t wait until it is too late.

If you have any questions or problems with your new kitten, please do not hesitate to give us a call!