Our Basic Recommendations
8 Weeks Old
- Intestinal Parasite Screen
12 Weeks Old
- Intestinal Parasite Screen
16 Weeks Old
- Intestinal Parasite Screen
*The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that all kittens are vaccinated against feline leukemia. This is because kittens are very susceptible to this disease.
We recommend spaying or neutering at approximately 6 months old.
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Routine examinations are especially important for kittens. They grow quickly and problems can arise quickly. Because kittens, like any newborns, have very new immune systems and very few energy reserves too draw on compared to adults, they can go from being healthy to being very sick in a hurry.
Our routine kitten exams include all of the following.
- We'll check his mouth and teeth for any early oral or dental abnormalities.
- We'll check her eyes, ears, and nose. Ear mites, conjunctivitis (pink eye), and upper respiratory infections are common in kittens.
- A thorough exam of your kitten's coat and skin will reveal any potential external parasite problems (such as fleas, ticks, mites, lice, etc).
- We'll listen carefully to his heart and lungs at each visit.
- We'll check her abdomen for any abnormal lumps or bumps (such as hernias).
- His joints will be examined for any evidence of developmental abnormalities.
Our goal is to make sure that your new kitten gets off to the best start possible, and regular exams that detect problems early are an important part of achieving that goal.
We recommend kittens receive their first exam at about 3 days old. They should then be examined every 4 weeks until they reach 16 weeks of age.
Whatever age your new kitten is when you adopt it, you should set up a visit with us within the first 2 or 3 days you have the kitten. We can then develop an appropriate care plan for your new kitten that includes proper exam intervals, vaccinations, and parasite prevention.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Screening.
If you have adopted your kitten from a shelter, or decided to give a home to stray kitten, or you just don't know the history of the kitten, testing for FeLV and FIV is recommended. These are both diseases that will have long term consequences on the health of your kitten, and may be spread to other cats in your household as well. Knowing the status of your kitten will help us make the best decisions regarding her health care needs both as a kitten and an adult cat.
Because both of these disease are transmissible to other cats in the household, it is important to know the status of a new kitten before introducing it into a house that already has cats present.
FeLV and FIV screening is a simple process. It involves taking a small blood sample for a test that we can run right here at the hospital. It usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get results.
As we mentioned above a thorough exam of your kitten will help to reveal any external parasites. Common external parasites we see in kittens include:
Your kitten also needs to be checked for internal parasites. These are primarily intestinal worms, but kittens may also contract coccidia, and lungworms.
Stool exams should be performed regularly during the first 16 weeks of your kitten's life to make sure that any intestinal parasites are identified and treated. Hookworms, roundworms, and coccidia are very common in kittens and if left undiagnosed and untreated, can cause much more severe disease in kittens than in adult cats. Treatment is easy in most cases, but the infection must be identified first.
Once any existing parasites are identified and treated, the next step is to prevent their return. We'll get your kitten set up with an effective parasite prevention program. Our favorite product for cats is Revolution. One dose once a month prevents heartworms, hookworms, roundworms, fleas, and ear mites. If other preventives are needed we will incorporate those into a complete prevention program as well.
Routine vaccinations during the first 16 weeks of your kitten's life are extremely important to getting her off to a good, healthy start. We'll consider the vaccines your kitten has already had, if any, and then develop a vaccination plan that will provide the protection she needs. Below is a list of some typical vaccines that may be included for your kitten:
Core vaccines - these vaccines are considered to be important for all puppies.
- Feline Leukemia Vaccine - The AAFP recommends FeLV vaccination for all kittens. This is because kittens are very susceptilbe to this disease and while you may expect their exposure to be limited, the living arrangements (inside vs. outside) changes for many kittens once you have them at home for a while.
There are other vaccines that may be used in select situations, but for most kittens, the vaccines listed above are adequate.
Your kitten's diet is important. A good diet will meet all of your kitten's nutritional requirements and allow for a healthy rate of growth. That is why PetVet Animal Hospital recommends iVet diets for kittens. Your kitten should stay on a good quality kitten diet until they are at least 6 months old.
PetVet Animal Health Center
Rabies and Leukemia vaccines for cats and kittens.
Why? They are safer and healthier for your cat!
Kitten Care Recommendations
We love cats here at PetVet Animal Hospital, and we know that your new kitten needs gentle, knowledgeable, and consistent care to help it grow into a healthy cat. You will find our basic kitten care recommendations in the box to the right, but each situation is different and we will always take time to consider your kittens individual needs and develop a plan that's best for him or her. We know that cats have special needs, and need to be handled with special care. We hope you'll feel free to stop by and visit us if you have any questions, or call or e-mail any time!
Call or e-mail us any time!