Congratulations on the arrival of your new furry family member.
The team at the Warwick Vet Clinic have put together a list of the necessary care your new kitten will require to keep them healthy and happy and ensure they are a part of your family for a long time to come.
WELLNESS FOR LIFE
Did you know pets age around seven times faster than you? Taking your cat to the veterinarian once a year is the same as a person seeing a doctor or dentist once every seven or eight years. That is why all cats need twice a year health and wellness check-ups. Wellness check-ups allow your veterinarian to detect, treat, and help prevent health-related problems early before they become painful and sometimes untreatable.
Getting the correct nutrition as a kitten is very important. It is highly recommended to feed your kitten a high quality, commercially available kitten or growth formula. We stock several varieties of premium quality cat foods at the Warwick Vet Clinic. Milk is unnecessary and can cause diarrhoea in kittens that are lactose intolerant. Clean water must be available at all times.
To safeguard your pet from potentially serious and sometimes fatal diseases, we recommend you keep your cat up-to-date with their vaccinations.
Your kitten will require a course of three vaccinations:
· 6 - 8 weeks for first vaccination
· 10 - 12 weeks for second vaccination
· 14 - 16 weeks for third vaccine
One week after the 14-week vaccination your it is safe for your kitten to go outside and socialise with other cats. FIV Vaccination requires a course of 3 vaccinations which can be done at 10, 12 & 14 weeks of age, or later in life. Cats vaccinated for FIV after 6 months will require a blood test prior to vaccination.
Adult cats require an annual vaccination booster for life. We send out a friendly reminder when your cat's yearly vaccination is due.
Cats are vaccinated against:
· Feline Enteritis - This is the most common life-threatening disease affecting cats. It is a very contagious viral disease with a high death rate, especially in cats under 12 months of age. Symptoms include fever, depression, severe stomach pain, vomiting diarrhoea, and dehydration.
· Feline Respiratory Disease (Cat Flu) - This is a highly contagious disease. Cats of all age are at risk, especially young kittens, Siamese and Burmese cats. Signs of Cat Flu include sneezing, nasal discharge, runny eyes, coughing, loss of appetite, and tongue ulcers. This can lead to severe dehydration which is often fatal. Kittens are particularly affected.
· Feline Panleucopaenia Virus – sometimes known as feline enteritis, this disease causes listless, diarrhoea, vomiting severe dehydration and fever. Treatment is difficult and recovery can be involved but fortunately the vaccine is effective.
· Feline Chlamydia - Chlamydia is an organism that causes eye disease, predominantly seen in kittens up to 9 months of age. The signs of infection are discharge from the eyes (sticky eye or conjunctivitis) and nose, fever, coughing, respiratory signs, enlarged lymph nodes, inappetence, weight loss, and depression. Chlamydia is found in up to 1/3 of cases of conjunctivitis and is transmitted by close and persistent contact between cats.
· FeLV Feline Leukaemia Virus – Infection with FeLV can result in a multitude of serious health problems for your cat – everything from cancerous conditions like leukaemia to a wide range of secondary infections caused by the destruction of the immune system. Testing is available to know the status of your cat.
· FIV Feline Immunodeficiency Virus - This blood borne viral infection causes feline AIDS which is potentially fatal. Vaccination is available and will be recommended by our veterinarians if your cat is at risk. The virus interferes with the immune system and initial symptoms such as fever, sores, lesions, and diarrhoea progress to severe chronic infections as the immune system is overcome. There is no treatment or cure for the virus itself.
WORMING AND HEARTWORM PREVENTION
Heartworm can affect cats and is spread by mosquitoes. Your kitten should commence heartworm prevention before 16 weeks of age with continual heartworm prevention needed for the lifetime of your pet.
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 symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, and in severe cases even death. Kittens should be wormed at 2, 6, 8 and 12 weeks of age, then every 3 months for life with an all wormer for example, Drontal tablet for cats, Milbemax or Popantel.
Fleas are unfortunately an ever-present nuisance to our pets. If they exist in the environment they will find a way onto your cat's coat. Fleas can be prevented easily and effectively with a once a month topical solution. All pets in the household need to be treated. Kittens can be given a topical flea treatment as early as 6-8 weeks of age. Our Veterinary Healthcare team can provide you with more detailed information about effective flea control.
We strongly recommend de-sexing all cats, male and female, between 5 and 6 months of age. As well as reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, de-sexing prevents pets from roaming, fighting, spraying, and night prowling. Once your cat has been de-sexed a tattoo, is placed in their left ear. This is a requirement to identify that your pet is de-sexed.
Microchipping is a permanent form of identification in the form of a tiny chip, which is implanted under the skin. Registration details are kept with Australian Animal Registry and can be updated by the owner if there is any change in owner details. We recommended to microchip at the time of de-sexing.
Please remember for the safety and well-being of your cat and other wildlife, it is recommended to keep your cat indoors or in an enclosure after sunset. Your cat should also wear a collar or be microchipped to ensure that they are properly identified.