Congratulations on the arrival of your new family member! We’ve put together some basic kitten information to help you get started.
To safeguard your pet from potentially serious and sometimes fatal diseases, your kitten needs to be vaccinated. Our vaccines protect against several diseases including Feline Herpes Virus, Feline Calicivirus and Feline Panleukopaenia. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) vaccinations are also available and will be recommended by our veterinarians if your cat is considered to be at risk. We recommend the following vaccination schedule:
Kittens: Vaccinate every 4 weeks from 6 weeks (or first presentation) until at least 16 weeks old. This usually means:
8 weeks First kitten vaccination (F3)
12 weeks Second kitten vaccination (F3)
16 weeks Third kitten vaccination (F3)
Annually F2 Vaccination.
Triannually F3 Vaccination.
When can my kitten meet other kittens/cats or go outside?
Kittens are not completely protected by their vaccinations until 2 weeks after their final kitten booster. Until this time we do not recommend you let your kitten go outside or be exposed to other cats with unknown vaccination or health statuses. To avoid unwanted pregnancies ideally, we suggest keeping them indoors until they are desexed.
Vets have to poke and prod every part of the animal so it really helps us if you get your kitten used to this at an early age. Practice touching their ears, eyes, paws and letting you open their mouths and touch around their tail base. Give them lots of rewards if they respond to this calmly. This will make future vet visits and procedures such as giving tablets or cutting nails so much easier!
The most common worms that affect cats in Australia are roundworm, hookworm, and tapeworm. Worms are a common cause of ill health in pets and can cause problems such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, and in severe cases, death. We recommend the following regime for kittens:
- Fortnightly worming from 2 weeks old to 3 months old
- Monthly worming from 3 months old to 6 months old
- Three monthly worming from 6 months old for life.
Fleas & Paralysis Ticks
Fleas are a constant cause of discomfort and skin disease for cats and are much easier to prevent rather than treat. Coastal NSW is also home to the deadly Paralysis tick. They are carried by wildlife and are rapidly life threatening. Please note we have high numbers of paralysis ticks in our area and for this reason recommend year-round protection.
Heartworm disease is a very different kind of worm that is spread by mosquitoes and causes serious damage to the heart of infected cats. Although heartworm infestation is much rarer in cats the resulting effects are much more life threatening.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDED PREVENTATIVES
8 weeks – intestinal wormer +/- revolution
10 weeks – Tick and Flea Treatment + Tapewormer
4 months – Tick and Flea Treatment + Tapewormer
6 months – Tick and Flea Treatment + Tapewormer
Every 2 months thereafter – Tick and Flea Treatment + Tapewormer
If the products are purchased from us we will send you text reminders as to when they are next due.
We recommend all kittens should be desexed between the age of 4 and 6 months. Desexing reduces unwanted pregnancies and in male cats it reduces aggression, fighting, roaming, territory marking, and night prowling. In both sexes it eliminates the risk of common sexual hormone-associated tumours in later life. The kitten is in for the day (doesn’t stay overnight) and a straightforward surgery is performed. Risks of complications or death are incredibly low (less than 0.5%) but may include bleeding or unexplained anaesthetic drug reactions. Please discuss any concerns you may have with staff.
Nutrition – a healthy diet
Food is CRITICAL in ensuring your kitten grows well and in a healthy manner. cats are omnivores which means they require meat as well as plant based foods. The easiest way to provide your kitten with a balanced diet is to feed them a commercial food.
- Supermarket foods – these are very poorly regulated, bulked out with additives that aren’t good for your kitten (such as poor quality grains, meat off cuts and salt). This is the equivalent of us eating McDonalds every day!
- Premium foods – these are usually purchased at places like petbarn. Some premium foods are excellent however even this market is poorly regulated and many brands do not provide an adequate balance.
- Super premium foods – these include Royal Canin or Hills. These companies spend millions of dollars on research to ensure their foods are balanced, palatable and improve lifespan.
Thornleigh Vet hospital recommends Hills kitten foods.
Please ask our staff if you have any questions about food, bones or treats.
Identification and Microchipping
Legally all pets must be microchipped by 3 months old and registered with the council by 6 months of age. Most kittens will be microchipped by the breeder or initial owner however this can be performed at the time of desex if need be. Microchipping and registration ensures your pet can be returned to you if lost.
We strongly encourage pet insurance for your kitten. It is a good idea to get started when your kitten is young before any accidents or other mishaps occur. There are several policies available to suit your budget and desired level of cover. Some even have a free introductory period so you can consider if it is right for you. One of our staff will be happy to discuss the policies with you.
Careful I’m toxic!
There are quite a few dangerous substances that your new furry family member will need to avoid. These can cause internal disease and if serious, may be lethal. If consumed, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
- Macadamia Nuts
- Grapes and raisins
- Lily plants
- Mouldy food
- Xylitol (Artificial sweetener)
- Human medicines
- Recreational drugs
- Pyrethroids (in some dog tick products or insect sprays)
Thornleigh Vet Hospital once again welcomes your new furry family member! Please do not hesitate to give us a call for any further information!