All kittens are vaccinated using an all in one injection against Feline Calicivirus, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (both causes of Cat 'Flu), Feline Panleucopaenia (which causes enteritis) and Feline Leukaemia.
• The youngest age to start the course is 9 weeks.
• Two injections are given, 21-28 days apart.
• Only healthy animals can be vaccinated.
• New animals need to be kept at home for a week before vaccinations start so they can settle in
Kittens require one week after the SECOND vaccination before full immunity is reached so before this time keep them indoors and away from any unvaccinated or unhealthy cats. A booster is required every year on the anniversary of the second vaccination.
There are two types of worms – roundworm and tapeworms. Nearly all kittens are infected by roundworms from their mother’s milk. You will not always see them in the faeces. Worms can cause a loss of condition, diarrhoea and a round belly. It is vital to worm your kitten regularly from birth.
Our worming schedule is:
Once your kitten is over 1kg and 8 weeks old worm every 3 months with Drontal and use Advocate once a month.
Advocate treats for fleas as well as worms but it doesn’t treat tape worms. More frequent worming may be necessary when there are young children handling the animal or if the cat hunts. Your cat will need regular weight checks as it grows to ensure an accurate dose is given.
Once fleas become established they can be very difficult to clear as the larvae can live for a year before maturing into adults and setting the cycle off again. You can use Frontline Combo spot on from 8 weeks and 1kg weight or Advocate. Frontline Combo will help to treat the larval stages as well as the adults. Advocate will only treat the adult fleas but will also help with worming. Younger or smaller cats need a different treatment so please consult a nurse or vet.
Fleas often infest the animals bedding, carpets and soft furnishings. If fleas are a big problem, then these areas should be treated with an insecticide spray. Please speak to a nurse for advice on purchasing a suitable product.
We strongly recommend getting your kitten microchipped. This can be carried out at any age. The microchip is in a capsule the size of a grain of rice and is implanted into the scruff of the neck. When a lost pet is scanned, a code is displayed which allows it to be traced back to its owner.
Cats naturally prefer to snack on small meals throughout the day and night rather than eat a small number of large meals. Kittens do not tend to overeat so it is usual to allow kittens unrestricted access to food, alternatively 3 or 4 small meals can be offered a day. As adults, the number of meals can be reduced to two a day, this is especially important if your cat starts to put on too much weight. Regular weight checks will allow you to spot what your cats’ weight is doing and food can be adjusted accordingly. A good quality complete food contains all the nutrients that your cat needs. Giving extras, such as tit bits, will unbalance the diet and can create fussy eaters.
Insurance for your pet should be taken out at the earliest opportunity as insurance taken out after a condition is noted will mean it will not be covered. There are two main policy types termed annual or life long. Annual policies are usually cheaper but will only cover a condition for a maximum of 12 months. This is fine for problems which are usually solved within a year such as accidents. However if your animal develops a condition that is likely to be ongoing such as diabetes, arthritis or skin allergies your insurance should cover the first 12 months of medication but no more. You will be very unlikely to then be able to take out another insurance policy which will cover that condition. A life time policy will cover for the accidents but will also cover your animal should it develop a condition that will be present for the rest of its life. Insurance will often require you pay an excess for EACH SEPERATE condition. That is to say if you bring your cat in with a fracture and diabetes on the same day you will have to pay 2 excesses. Excesses are usually made up of a fixed fee and some will also require you pay a percentage of total treatment fees.
This is important to start as young as possible so they get used to being handled. Cats and kittens tend to prefer short bouts of handling and interaction so don’t over do things and end up making the cat annoyed. All parts of their body should be touched including the mouth, face, tail and feet. This will help you be able to handle them at home but will also mean when they come into the vets they don’t think that the handling is anything unusual and make them scared. To also help they need to be lifted frequently and gently restrained.
Kittens are obviously very playful so you need to introduce several toys. Variety is the key to interest so try toys that are noisy, move rapidly or are feathery or shiny. Try to avoid your kitten playing with your fingers, this can lead to your adult cat seeing your fingers as prey so when you try to stroke them you will end up being attacked. Also try not to let your kitten crawl up your trouser legs. While this is cute as a youngster, when they are adults the extra weight requires them to dig their claws in much harder!
Anyone who has owned a cat before will testify to the difficulty in getting a cat in a cat basket. All too often they are left in the shed and the cat only ever sees it when it is off to the vets or the cattery, neither of which are a favourite place for cats. To help reduce anxiety in cats try to get your cat used to it being around, particularly when they are young. To make the box more interesting try placing toys or food in the box and leave it around the home so the kitten sees it of furniture rather than ‘the box’. Try to get a robust carrier, cardboard boxes don’t tend to last very long. When coming to the vets make it more familiar by putting some of the cats bedding into the box and then keep it covered during journeys and in the vets waiting room.
Cats tend to be quite secretive about their toileting habits and prefer to be away from busy areas and other animals. They prefer to use areas away from where they eat so don’t place a litter tray next to feeding areas. If you’re taking a new kitten home then try to use the same litter that was used at their original home. If you don’t know what they were using then use a finer grain of litter material.
The website and all its contents is copyright of Belmont Veterinary Centre
© Belmont Veterinary Centre 2011.
Site designed by Blue Mango