Health Care for your Kitten
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We hope that your new kitten brings many years of joy and companionship.
Registration and Identification
A name tag with your phone number is essential for easy identification of your pet. A microchip is really important if your pet goes missing without their collar. A microchip is the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin. This microchip contains details about your pet as well as your contact details. Our vets can easily implant a microchip for your pet during a consultation. The Logan City Council advises that all cats over the age of three months must be microchipped in accordance with State Government legislation.
Cats can potentially become unwell with serious infectious diseases. Your cat should be vaccinated to help prevent these diseases. Kittens should receive their first vaccination at 8 weeks of age; this vaccination is temporary and needs to be followed up with another vaccination at 12 weeks of age, and followed by another at 16 weeks of age. Your kitten will then need annual vaccination boosters to ensure they are protected for life.
Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and can be a potential cause of heart failure and death. It is important to note that your cat does NOT need to have contact with other dogs and cats to develop this disease. Prevention of heartworm disease should be started by 12 weeks of age. The Albert Animal Hospital recommends monthly heartworm preventative tablets.
Kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months of age, and then every 3 months for life. Intestinal worming prevention should be given even if you have not seen worms in the faeces, as many worms are too small to be seen with the naked eye. People can also become infected with intestinal worms, so it is important to practice good hygiene.
Your kitten can be introduced to a balanced premium kitten food at 4-6 weeks of age. The Albert Animal Hospital recommends Meals for Meows and BARF diets. Always introduce new diets gradually to avoid stomach upsets and diarrhoea.
Desexing is recommended to prevent certain health and behavioural issues as well as preventing unplanned litters. Desexing your female cat significantly reduces the risk of uterine and mammary cancers and pyometra (infection of the uterus). Desexing may prevent roaming and territorial behaviour in males. The ideal age for desexing is five to six months of age. This is when kittens are approaching sexual maturity but before females have their first oestrus cycle.
Fleas and ticks
Flea and tick prevention should be used on a regular basis. Fleas can cause itchy skin and blood loss from fleas feeding on your kitten. Paralysis ticks are the most common ticks found on cats. The toxin from paralysis ticks can cause weakness of the hindquarters which can progress to paralysis of all limbs. If left untreated, the chest and throat muscles will become paralysed which can potentially lead to death. Prevention is better than cure! Please ask us at the Albert Animal Hospital for advice on the best flea and tick prevention for your kitten.
Coat & Grooming
Brush your kitten daily, especially if they have long fur. For long haired kittens, you may like to have them groomed or clipped seasonally.
Healthy ears are clean and dry. Signs of ear problems include shaking the head, scratching at ears or tilting the head. If you notice your kitten displaying any of these signs please call us and we will arrange a consultation with one of our friendly veterinarians.
We recommend insuring your kitten as soon as possible, so that they will be covered for any unexpected illness or injuries.
It is recommended that you have a few litter trays available in different areas around your home with different types of litter for your kitten to choose from. Remember to make sure that your kitten is able to easily get in and out of the litter tray (smaller kittens will need trays with short sides).
Ensuring that your kitten is never too far from the litter tray and placing him/her in the litter tray after meals, after waking and after play will minimise accidents. Please see our Litter Training handout for more detailed information.
Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for detecting early signs of problems and maintaining your pet in good health. If you have
any concerns, please feel free to contact us at the Albert Animal Hospital on 3208 9233. Enjoy getting to know your new family member and we hope they settle in quickly.