Congratulations, you have a new kitten!
Not only are we eager to meet your newest family member but we recommend a physical exam on any new kitten to ensure health issues are addressed as early as possible. We can help you avoid common house training mistakes, behavioral challenges, breed specific health problems and address food related questions. Please bring all pertinent medical paperwork and a fresh(within 8 hours) stool sample with ou to our first appointment.
The Initial Visit Will Include:
- Physical exam
- Fecal exam to screen for intestinal parasites
- Appropriate deworming
- Necessary vaccine boosters
- Heartworm preventative (as needed)
- Flea/tick preventative
- A discussion of Home Again Microchips, which we recommend to all pet owners
Which Vaccines Should Your Kitten Receive?
Just like children, kittens require a series of vaccines to help build optimal immunity against common illnesses. Initial vaccines begin at 6-8 weeks old and are boostered every 3-4 weeks. The kitten vaccination series is usually completed with a rabies vaccine at 4 months of age. At that point, vaccines and heartworm testing become an annual event.
There are an abundance of vaccines available that are not routinely necessary. "Core" vaccines are recommended for most pets, and "non-core" vaccines are reserved for pets with unique needs. Together we will decide on a vaccination schedule that best suits your kitten's lifestyle.
FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus)/FeLV (feline leukemia virus)
These are two viruses that your kitten can get from other cats via blood or saliva exposure. Some kittens are born with them while others are exposed to these viruses via fighting with cats that have either virus. Both FeLV or FIV can be fatal to your kitten. It is important to ensure your new kitten has been tested prior to exposing your new family member to any other cat in the household. These viruses are just one reason why an indoor only kitten is a safer and healthier kitten.
Flea and Tick Prevention
In addition to being annoying and gross, fleas and ticks can transmit a number of parasites or pathogens that can develope into serious and potentially life threatening diseases. Flea allergies, related skin infections or severe anemia (blood loss) are also a potential sequela of these parasites. Fleas and ticks can easily be avoided with appropriate monthly preventatives. These options will be discussed during your initial visits to help get your puppy the right coverage.
Heartworms are a parasite that your kitten can get from mosquito bites. Unlike dogs, the topic of feline heartworm testing and prevention is controversial. Although it has been proven that cats can get heartworm disease, present available testing has not proven effective in detecting heartworms so it is unclear how many cats are truly affected by this parasite. Due to this inconsistency different doctors take a different approach to feline heartworm prevention. Together we will decide what approach works best for your four legged friend.