When you first acquire your new kitten, he or she should visit the veterinarian for a full physical exam and assessment. Most kittens will receive 3 sets of vaccines. It is very important that these vaccines are given within a certain time-frame, to ensure that your kitten is fully protected against the common diseases of cats. If you have plans to allow your kitten outdoors, special vaccines are given to help prevent Feline Leukemia, a deadly viral disease that is passed from other cats.
Also, kittens should be dewormed to rid them of common parasites, like roundworms and hookworms. Kittens acquire these worms from their mothers at a young age. It is also important to take a stool sample to check for other less common parasites, so they can be treated if necessary. Another reason to test for parasites is that many are contagious to people and can cause a variety of illnesses.
Kittens should be given toys to play with and a scratching post to encourage appropriate scratching. Trimming your cat’s nails should become a part of your pet’s routine early in life. Please see the Health Care at Home section for information on nail trims. At 6 months of age, it is strongly recommended that your cat be neutered if he is male, or spayed if she is female. This not only helps curb problematic behaviours, like urine spraying, excessive vocalization, but also prevents unwanted pregnancies. In females. spaying also greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer later in life, and prevents ovarian cancers and serious uterine infections, known as pyometras. This is also an ideal time to microchip your pet.
Please call or drop by to ask about our kitten packages, which include vaccines, deworming, stool testing and a spay or neuter.
Your adult cat should be seen at least once a year for an annual exam and any required vaccines. An annual exam allows your veterinarian to assess the health of your cat’s eyes, ears, teeth and internal organs. Annual stool checks are recommended to monitor for parasites. This visit also gives you a chance to discuss any concerns about behaviour or weight issues, and to follow-up with any previous health concerns.
Cats over the age of 10 are considered senior patients. It is recommended that senior patients have annual blood and urine screenings to identify diseases early, before there are any signs of illness so we can begin appropriate treatments. Senior patients, along with cats of any age with illnesses, should have exams and labwork every 6 months to monitor for any changes in their condition.
Some of the common diseases of which senior cats are at risk for include dental disease, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and diabetes.