There are many important diseases around that can infect your kitten. Here at Robson Vets we recommend every kitten receives routine vaccinations to help prevent these. The initial vaccination course can be started from nine weeks of age and consists of two injections given under the skin three weeks apart. Your kitten will be fully protected a month after their second injection.
There are two types of vaccination available for your kitten. The Tricat vaccination will protect against feline panleucopaenia (infectious enteritis), feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus which are both causes of ‘cat flu’. For outdoor cats we would strongly recommend the addition of the feline leukaemia vaccination. This is a fatal disease transferred by fighting, sexual contact and from infected mothers to their kittens. It can take several years to become apparent and infected cats can appear healthy but will still be a risk of infection to others.
Your vet can discuss the various options for your kitten with you at your appointments depending on your kitten's past and future lifestyles!
Worms are commonly found in young animals following maternal transfer during their development. This is the reason breeding females need regular worming treatments throughout their pregnancy. Your breeder should inform you when your kitten was last wormed and what product they used. Our vets can then assess your kitten's individual worming requirements during your consultation. Don’t worry however, as there are both tablet and spot-on wormers that can be used in your kitten!
Unless you are going to breed from your kitten we would recommend that you have your kitten neutered. For male cats this will significantly reduce their tendency to roam and fight with other cats in the neighbourhood. Medically it will prevent testicular tumours later in life. Here at Robson Vets we recommend neutering male kittens from four to six months of age prior to your new kitten first going outside.
The benefits of neutering female kittens include the prevention of unwanted litters, no messy discharge or increased male cat interest. Medically it will significantly reduce the risk of mammary tumours (when neutered early) and prevent the fatal womb infection called a pyometra. Females can be neutered from four to six months old. Our vets can discuss the pros and cons of these options during your vaccination appointments.
Microchipping is a permanent method of identifying your new kitten. This is very important especially if your cat is to be allowed to go outside. A microchip allows every vet to identify your cat should they become lost, injured or stolen. It is also the first stage in a pet passport allowing your cat to travel abroad on holiday with you! Both our vets and our nurses are happy to perform this procedure for you at all of our surgeries.
It is essential (and much fun!) to get your new kitten used to being handled to reduce behavioural problems later on in life. The most important time for this is from birth to seven weeks of age however the more hands on with your kitten you are once they enter your home the happier they will be overall.
You should regularly touch every part of your kitten especially their head and feet. This ensures they are happy to be checked over and that you will quickly catch any problems that occur. Grooming is also very important to start from a young age especially in longer haired breeds. This will help to reduce the chance of the hair matting within your cat’s coat.
There are an increasing number of companies providing comprehensive pet insurance. With the advancement in treatment options for more and more diseases and conditions, we would recommend insuring your kitten with a life long policy.