Congratulations on your new kitten!
We are excited to be able to help you get him off to a healthy start in life! Kitten veterinary care involves several main points:
- Assessment of general health, including detection of congenital disorders, infectious diseases, and parasites both internal and on the skin. To accomplish this, it’s important for the doctor to do a complete physical exam and intestinal parasite test during each of your kitten’s visits for his vaccinations.
- Prevention of infectious diseases with vaccinations given every 4 weeks, beginning at 6 to 8 weeks of age and ending at 16 to 17 weeks of age. We also highly recommend that all kittens should be feline leukemia virus tested upon first arrival, and retested 6 months later.Keep in mind that one set of vaccinations is NEVER sufficient to stimulate a kitten’s immune system to allow protection against these diseases. When kittens are born, they receive antibodies through their mother’s colostrum (initial milk supply) which will protect them for the first several weeks of life. This immunity begins to decrease at about 4 weeks of age and is usually gone by 7 weeks of age, but these antibodies unfortunately interfere with the kitten’s immune system’s ability to respond to a vaccine adequately. Once the immune system can respond, it needs to be exposed to the same vaccine multiple times to develop enough protective antibodies. Therefore, kittens are at most risk of developing illness from an exposure to an infectious disease between 5 and 16 weeks of age. More detailed information on vaccinations.
- Deworming as deemed appropriate by the doctor.
- Heartworm preventative medication begun at the kitten’s first visit, and continued life-long.
- Addressing any behavior issues that might arise.
- Preventative dental care recommendations.
- Spay (females) and neuter (males) recommendations. We recommend you spay or neuter your kitten at 5 ½ to 6 months of age. This routine procedure offers many benefits to companion animals and their owners, such as:
- Promotes health and longevity by preventing certain cancers and uterine infections.
- Reduces or eliminates many problem behaviors such as urine marking, aggression, roaming, and estrus (“heat”) cycles.
- Controls pet overpopulation, as many pets are euthanized simply because there is no room in shelters and no one adopts them.
- Declawing is a procedure that is best discussed between you and your veterinarian.
“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” ― Charles Dickens