Humane Society of Central Illinois
Kittens

Kitten Health Care

Congratulations!  You now have the pitter patter of four little paws in the house. Your friendship with your new pet will last a lifetime -- your kitten's!  To keep him/her healthy, regular trips to the veterinarian are essential.

We recommend giving your new kitten three FVRCP vaccinations. These vaccinations should be started at six to eight weeks. The FVRCP vaccination should be given monthly for a series of three inoculations. This vaccination contains protection against the following feline diseases:

Feline Distemper may cause listlessness, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stools. This disease is often fatal.

Rhinotracheitis and Calcivirus diseases cause cold-like symptoms and are highly contagious to other cats. Victims will have runny eyes, runny nose, and do a considerable amount of sneezing.

We also recommend vaccinating for Feline Leukemia. This would involve a series of two injections also given a month apart.

Feline Leukemia suppresses the immune system making cats more susceptible to various types of cancer and other chronic recurring illnesses.

If your kitten has an unknown history, the veterinarian may recommend running a feline leukemia test before vaccinating. This is done just to make sure your new kitten is free from the virus.

Rabies may be spread by raccoons, skunks, foxes, dogs, and cats. The virus is spread by way of a bite from an infected animal. The disease affects the nervous system and is always fatal.

A stool sample should be checked for any internal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and intestinal protozoa.

Vaccinations and stool checks should be performed yearly.

Spaying or neutering may be done as early as two months of age. Having your pet "fixed" not only eliminates the possibility of unwanted kittens but also helps eliminate problems such as spraying, roaming, reproductive tumors, and infections.

Declawing may be done about ten to twelve weeks of age. This should be performed on only the front feet.

Nutrition is very important for young kittens and adult cats. Cats are very susceptible to a condition called Feline Urologic Syndrome. Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) occurs when the ash and magnesium content are high in your cat's diet. This condition involves chronic urinary infections. The urine will many times contain stone forming crystals. These stones may result in a blockage leaving your cat unable to urinate. This is a life-threatening situation. Feeding a diet low in ash and magnesium will greatly reduce your cat's chances of experiencing this problem. IAMS and Science Diet made by Hills have a diet low in both ash and magnesium.

Cats are very susceptible to upper respiratory infections. Vaccinating your cat will greatly decrease the risk to your cat. Symptoms of the infections are sneezing, runny eyes, and nose. Consult your veterinarian for proper treatment.

Ear mites are annoying parasites that feed on the debris in your cat's ears. Ear mites are fairly common in stray and outdoor cats. This type of mite may also be present in a multi-cat household. Treatment involves the administration of ear drops.

Fleas can be quite bothersome to both you and your cat. Fleas are not only annoying but may cause serious health problems in your pet such as tapeworms and flea allergies -- when your pet becomes allergic to the bite of a flea. Spraying or powdering your cat regularly will help control the problem. Be sure the product that you will be using is CAT SAFE. Cats tend to have severe toxic reactions to certain flea products. Please check and double-check the safety of the flea product.

Regular grooming is necessary to help maintain the health of your pet. Brush or comb you cat at least daily. Long-haired cats, twice a day is ideal. Your cats nails may be trimmed every four to six weeks. The "quick" -- the structure that supplies blood to the nail -- is readily visible in cats. This makes cutting those nails less traumatic for your cat and YOU!

Brushing your cat's teeth is essential in maintaining good dental health. Be sure to use a toothbrush and toothpaste specifically designed for pets. Human toothpaste contains detergents that may upset your pet's stomach.

Listed below is a vaccination and checkup schedule for your cat:


6 - 8 Weeks:
  • Physical
  • FVRCP Vaccination
  • Fecal (bring stool sample)
10 - 12 Weeks:
  • FVRCP Vaccination
  • Feline Leukemia Test
  • Feline Leukemia Vaccination
  • Fecal (bring stool sample)
14 - 16 Weeks:
  • Physical
  • Feline Distemper Vaccination
  • Feline Leukemia Vaccination
  • Rabies Vaccination

6 Months:

  • Physical
  • Spay/Neuter
Yearly:
  • Physical
  • FVRCP Vaccination
  • Feline Leukemia Vaccination
  • Rabies Vaccination
  • Fecal (bring stool sample)

HSCI