Part of your commitment to your new kitten, is to ensure that it is healthy and free of disease and discomfort. You should also try to prevent disease or injury as far as is possible. Kittens may be obtained from a number of sources. You may have acquired your kitten from a breeder who was committed to these principles, or you may have rescued the kitten off the street. These kittens may need different approaches to ensure long-term health. Your veterinarian may also advise you to have stray kittens tested for two common but deadly viruses, the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and the feline immunodeficiency (FIV or Feline AIDS) virus. These viruses are common in some areas and may only result in symptoms of disease at a later stage, at which time the infection is usually fatal.
All kittens should be vaccinated against the cat snuffles and enteritis viruses at 9 weeks of age and again 3-4 weeks later. It is also recommended in some areas to have them inoculated simultaneously against the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) on both occasions and against rabies at the last vaccination. These vaccinations may be available all in one vaccine so that only a single injection is necessary each time. Your veterinarian will advise you and administer the correct vaccines. All these viral infections are potentially fatal or life threatening and vaccination is most strongly advised. It should also be remembered that it is now required by law to have your cat inoculated against rabies as it is a serious condition that is also contagious and fatal to humans. Your veterinarian will also examine the kitten at the time of vaccination to ensure that it is healthy and you should then discuss any questions you may have. It must be remembered that the vaccinations will usually be repeated once a year, every year, for life, to ensure ongoing protection against these viruses. The rabies vaccinations may be performed less often (depending on where in the country you live), and your veterinarian will advise you on this. The annual vaccinations once again allows your veterinarian the chance to examine your cat for any undetected disorders and it allows you the opportunity to discuss any questions you may have. Your veterinarian may also advise less frequent vaccination.
Kittens should be dewormed at the time of each vaccination and again every three months up to the age of one year, after which the cat should be dewormed once or ideally twice a year. Good quality broad-spectrum dewormers that kill all types of worms should be used. Many of the common over-the-counter worm remedies may only treat roundworms and not tapeworms, or vice versa. These worms may be dangerous to the health of you and your pet. Ask your veterinarian for advice.
External parasites, especially fleas, commonly affect our cats. There are now products available that will kill fleas on your kitten for many weeks after a single application, while being completely harmless to the kitten. Your veterinarian will advise you on this aspect. It is important that you do not use products designed for dogs or adult cats on your kitten if it is not expressly so stated on the label, as that may be fatal to the kitten. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL and follow the instructions carefully. Remember that fleas can carry disease and worm eggs, is a nuisance to you and your pet and may result in significant skin disorders in your cat.
Above all, love and enjoy your kitten and provide shelter, fresh food and water and lots of hugs and attention!Leave a reply →