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 the 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.
What should your kitten be vaccinated against?
We routinely vaccinate using a F3 which protects against Herpesvirus and Calicivirus (Cat Flu) and Feline Enteritis.
We also recommend FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) vaccination for kittens and cats that are likely to be spending time outside and are at risk of fighting. It is important that you discuss with your veterinarian to help you decide whether the FIV vaccine is appropriate for your cat. We recommend vaccinating against FIV at the 2nd and 3rd F3 vaccinations.
When should this be done?
6-8 weeks F3
10-12 weeks F3 booster (+/- FIV)
14-16 weeks F3 booster (+/- FIV)
A YEARLY BOOSTER is required to maintain immunity.
Our cattery accommodation requires all cats to be fully vaccinated and up to date with their F3 immunisations.
The incidence of heartworm in cats has been found to be about 5-10% of the incidence in dogs. Diagnosis is complicated and there is no treatment possible for cats. Prevention of this potentially fatal, mosquito borne disease is easy. We recommend using Milbemax or Revolution monthly.
Your kitten should be wormed against roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm. Worms can kill kittens and some are transmissible to humans, especially children so it is very important to prevent infestation.
We recommend worming every 2 weeks up to 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age, then every 3 months for the rest of your cat’s life.
We recommend to use Revolution monthly and a tapewormer every 3 months or Milbemax allwormer.
Flea control is very important for kittens. A large flea burden can cause anaemia, intense itching and secondary skin infections. We recommend all pets are on year-round flea control. In Brisbane’s warm humid climate it can be very difficult to eradicate a flea burden in your house and yard – it is much better to keep them away in the first place. All animals in the household must be treated for control to be effective. Only 5% of fleas live on your pet. 95% live in the environment. It is very important to keep up a continuous flea prevention regime or you may find you have a flea infestation.
We recommend Bravecto spot-on, Revolution or Comfortis.
Ticks can be a life-threatening problem all year round but particularly in the warmer months and especially after rain. If you are in a known paralysis tick area or your cat is likely to come into contact with ticks use a suitable prevention program. Note that no product is guaranteed 100% effective. Nothing beats checking your cat over by hand each day – remove any ticks straight away and monitor your cat closely for signs of tick poisoning. Signs of tick paralysis include wobbly back legs, laboured breathing, change in voice, retching or vomiting. 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.
The best tick control product available for cats is Bravecto 3-month spot on. Tick control should be implemented all year round.
Below is a list of worming, tick and flea products available at our clinic:
Bravecto Spot On - safe from 8 weeks of age, for fleas, given quarterly
Frontline Plus - safe from 8 weeks, for fleas, given monthly
Revolution - safe from 6 weeks, for fleas, heartworm, roundworm, hookworm, and ear mites, given monthly
Advocate - safe from 9 weeks, for fleas, heartworm, roundworm, hookworm, and ear mites, given monthly
Comfortis - safe from 14 weeks, for fleas, given monthly
Milbemax - safe from 6 weeks, for all intestinal worms & heartworm (if given monthly), given quarterly otherwise
Virbac Tapewormer - for tapeworm, given quarterly
Seresto Collar - for fleas, provides 8 months of flea control
We recommend this be done between 5 and 6 months of age. Cats can reach puberty as early as 5 months and are highly fertile! De-sexing will help control problems such as fighting, spraying, roaming and unwanted litters. De-sexing before puberty will also reduce the chance of mammary cancer later in life by about 98%.
We recommend feeding premium quality kitten food such as Royal Canin and Hills Science Diet as these are balanced and complete diets for your kitten. Ad lib feeding can lead to fussy or overweight cats so stick to set meal times.
One aspect of responsible pet ownership is the identification of your pet. Microchipping your cat is an important thing to do. If your cat ever strays you’ll be glad you did. A microchip means lifetime identification. The microchip is approximately the size of a grain of rice and is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades by a simple injection. The one-off fee includes the microchip and lifetime registration on a national database. Remember a collar and tag can be easily lost, but a microchip is there for life.
Train from an early age to use litter trays, come when called and use a scratching post instead of your furniture. Try to keep your kitten inside until at least 4-5 months of age. It means that your favourite feline will be far safer from both cars and cat fights. Keeping your cat only indoors is an option that is often the best solution for owner, pet and the environment.
Like humans, cats have two sets of teeth in their lifetime. There are 26 deciduous teeth (baby teeth) and 30 adult teeth. Teething begins in kittens at about 3½ to 4 months of age, when the primary incisors begin to be replaced by permanent incisors. By the time the average kitten reaches 6-7 months of age, all 30 adult teeth will have erupted. A retained tooth is a deciduous or baby tooth that is still present in the mouth after its replacement
permanent or adult tooth has erupted. While your kitten is under anaesthetic for its desexing we might also recommend to remove any deciduous teeth that have not yet fallen out.
A healthy mouth depends on healthy teeth. The ideal time to begin brushing a cat’s teeth is when you first bring him home, before the discomfort of teething begins. Your veterinary health care team can help you determine the best products and methods of dental care for your kitten.
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.
Putting your hand and fingers in the kitten’s mouth during patting and stoking to familiarise them to this.
You should supplement your kitten’s hygiene with regular grooming sessions to keep it free of loose hair and tangles – good therapy and excellent bonding time for kitten and owner alike! A longhaired kitten needs more frequent attention. Regular grooming also helps to reduce problems with hairballs.
No matter how much love and care we provide our pets, accidents and illness are beyond our control. We recommend Pet Health Insurance to 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, having insurance can certainly lead to substantial savings and peace of mind, knowing that you can do the best for your pet should the need arise.
Our staff are also more than happy to discuss any issues or worries you may have about your new pet.
If you have any problems or questions about your new kitten, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 3899 1495