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Kitten Care

We want your kitten to be healthy and happy! This guide gives recommendations and explanations regarding core and non-core vaccines, microchipping, declaw surgery, and spay/neuter procedure.

 

Vaccines

Core vaccines are recommended for all cats and should be administered in a series of three at the following intervals:

  • 6 – 8 weeks old: Exam, FDRTC, Fecal Exam
  • 10 – 12 weeks old: Exam, FDRTC
  • 14 – 16 weeks old: Exam, FDRTC, Rabies

 

Core vaccines will be given one year from the final kitten vaccination and then on an annual basis.

  • Distemper (Panleukonia) can cause vomiting and diarrhea and is often fatal to young animals.
  • Rhinotracheitis is a highly contagious virus that can cause fever, sneezing, eye and nasal discharge, and loss of appetite.
  • Calcivirus is similar to Rhinotracheitis, but can also cause sores or ulcers on the tongue, mouth or esophagus.
  • Rabies is a virus that affects the brain and central nervous system. Rabies can affect humans and is always fatal if left untreated.

 

Non-core vaccines are determined based on an individual, as needed basis.

  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is primarily a disease that affects kittens, and can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms mimic those of many other diseases. The available test is not 100% accurate, additionally the available vaccine is poorly effective and not routinely recommended.
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is very similar to the human AIDS virus. It’s primarily transmitted through bite wounds involving blood. Disease from mother to kitten is also possible. A reliable diagnostic test is available, however, no vaccine currently exists.
  • Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is a virus that can produce a wide range of signs from respiratory infection to cancer. FeLV is easily transmitted through saliva, urine, and feces. The FeLV vaccine should be part of the original core vaccines for kittens and one-year old cats. Following the initial vaccinations for FeLV, the vaccine will be reserved for yearly use in cats that go outside.

 

Introducing Your New Kitten

If you are bringing a new kitten into a household with other cats, we recommend testing your kitten for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus before introducing the cats to one another. We recommend confining the kitten for a slow introduction. Patience may be required as it can take days, weeks, or even longer. However, most cats adapt and learn to live in harmony.

 

Microchipping

A microchip is a form of permanent identification that is inserted beneath the skin between the shoulder blades. This unique method of identifying pets is being used in veterinary hospitals and humane societies all across the United States, Canada, and Europe. A microchip may be inserted at any time, takes just a few seconds, and is painless. Click here to learn more about microchipping.

We do not recommend that your cat go outside.  Most outdoor cats have shortened life-spans due to disease exposure and accidents.

 

Spay/Neuter

We recommend neutering your cat at six months of age. The benefits are numerous, including the prevention of pregnancy and most forms of reproductive organ cancer. It also helps to prevent undesirable behaviors such as urine marking and aggression.

 

Declaw Surgery

If you are considering declawing your kitten, we recommend having it done at a young age. Kittens must be at least two months old and weigh at least two pounds, but the younger they are at the time of surgery, the faster they will heal with less complications.