Congratulations on the arrival of your new family member. The following information is provided to help you with all the necessary health care your new kitten will require, including worming, vaccination, heartworm prevention, flea control, nutrition, desexing and microchipping.
Wellness for Life
Cats age around 7 times faster than people. Taking your cat to the vet once a year is like you having a check-up at the doctor or dentist every 7 years. That’s why we recommend kittens have early veterinary monitoring and then twice yearly wellness check-ups. Wellness check-ups allow us to detect, treat and help prevent health related problems early before they become painful and sometime untreatable.
At St. Bernard’s Road Veterinary Clinic we recommend cats receive regular vaccinations to prevent serious and sometimes fatal diseases including Feline Enteritis, Cat Flu, and Feline AIDS. Your veterinarian will also conduct wellness checks at the time of vaccination, and answer any health related questions that you have. Kittens need their first vaccination at 8 weeks of age, and then have another 2 vaccinations to fully protect them against these potentially fatal diseases. One week after this full vaccination course, your kitten has optimal protection and is safe to socialize with other cats. We recommend keeping your kitten indoors and away from unvaccinated cats during this time.
Worms including roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms are a common cause of ill health in pets; causing loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and even death.
Kittens should be wormed from a very early age, not only for their health but for yours as well, as some worms can be transmitted to people. Please ask for advice on the best way to protect your kitten and your family against worms.
We recommend your kitten is wormed:
Heartworm disease has traditionally been a major concern for dogs, causing death and serious disease. Unfortunately heartworm disease has also now been found in cats, and as is the case with dogs, prevention is better than cure. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, and as a result all animals are at risk of contracting heartworm disease. There are a number of excellent topical products that can be applied monthly to prevent heartworm disease.
Fleas are unfortunately an ever present nuisance to our pets. If fleas exist in the environment they will find a way onto your cat’s skin. There are a number of products that help control fleas from a very early age in kittens. We can advise you of the most effective treatments available. All pets in the household need to be treated.
All cats, both male and female should be desexed. The optimum age is 5 to 6 months old, when the animal is approaching sexual maturity, but before female cats come on heat for the first time (and end up pregnant).
As well as reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, desexing can help prevent fighting (and therefore the spread of Feline AIDS) roaming and spraying. In females it also significantly reduces the risk of uterine and mammary cancer.
Providing your kitten with appropriate things to chew, as well as a balanced diet and regular check-ups, will help maintain your kitten’s dental health.
There are a number of excellent dental specific diets now available for cats which significantly reduce the incidence of dental disease in adult cats. Many cats suffer in silence when it comes to dental disease, make sure you have your cat’s teeth checked regularly to avoid serious long term dental disease.
Providing the correct nutrition for your new kitten is very important. The easiest way to ensure your kitten is properly nourished is to feed it a high quality balanced kitten food, of which we stock several premium varieties at our veterinary clinic.
Kittens only have small stomachs and require small meals often. Three to four meals spread through the day is best. Milk is not necessary, and can cause diarrhea, but clean water is essential at all times
Identification & Microchipping
Microchipping is a permanent form of identification in the form of a tiny chip, which is implanted under the skin. Registration details are kept with a national database and can be updated by the owner if there is any change in owner details. We use Biotherm microchips, which also allow us to check your cat’s body temperature simply by scanning the microchip. This is a much easier way of monitoring body temperature compared to using a thermometer. We recommend microchipping at the time of desexing as a tattoo is then placed in the right ear to identify your cat as being microchipped.
You need to provide your new kitten with:
Socialization and Training
Once your kitten is fully vaccinated, controlled socialization is very important. Experiencing new situations, animals and people will help them develop into unique characters. You can also start to train your kitten as soon as you adopt them. They can learn toileting, sitting and coming when called, especially if lessons are short, regular and rewarded.
For the safety and well-being of your cat and wildlife, it is recommended that you keep your cat indoors or in an enclosure after dark.
Pet Insurance is now available to cover your pet’s medical expenses including surgery, illness and accidents. We have some brochures available at the clinic.