Congratulations on your new kitten! Thank you for choosing us to help protect and care for your new addition to your family.
Our kitten wellness program is designed to help get your kitten started on the right path to a long and healthy life. The first few months are a critical period in your kitten’s development, and we can give you the support and tools necessary to help him or her grow into a well-mannered, healthy cat, including information and advice on nutrition, litterbox training, and behavior.
Schedule your kitten for his or her first exam as soon as possible. We will recommend screening for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses as these can be fatal diseases in our feline patients. Until your kitten has received a series of vaccines, he or she is susceptible to many serious but preventable diseases.
Our hospital only uses non-adjuvanted feline vaccines. An adjuvant is added to a vaccine to stimulate the immune system to react to the vaccine and thus increase the effectiveness of the vaccine (i.e. to make antibodies to protect your cat in the future). Unfortunately, many of the adjuvanted vaccines have come under scrutiny and may be causing a certain type of cancer (fibrosarcoma) in cats. Even though this vaccine-related fibrosarcoma is rare (about 1 in 10,000 cats), it is an aggressive tumor that is difficult to treat. Why take the risk? Our hospital does not use any adjuvanted vaccines for this reason. We follow the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Vaccine Guidelines. The AAFP recommends core vaccines (rabies vaccine, FVRCP vaccine) to all cats. The AAFP recommends the non-core feline leukemia vaccine only to at risk cats (i.e. cats that spend any time outside, cats that interact with indoor/outdoor cats). Please visit their website for more information: American Association of Feline Practitioners
We have chosen our vaccines carefully and follow the current AAFP Vaccine Guidelines to minimize the number of vaccines we are administering to our patients, and to minimize the number of side effects to our patients. Even with our best intentions, a very few number of cats may still have a vaccine reaction. If your cat has had a vaccine reaction, we will need to tailor a specific vaccine protocol for your individual cat to help avoid such reactions in the future.
Most kittens have roundworms, hookworms, and other intestinal parasites that can cause coughing, weight loss, and a potbellied appearance in cats (although they may not cause any symptoms). We will highly recommend a fecal exam to identify which parasites, if any, are present to allow us to determine the appropriate treatment. It is important for kittens to be treated for any intestinal worm or parasite, not only to help rid them of the infection but also to prevent you and the rest of your family from becoming infected. Roundworms are one of a few zoonotic parasites, which means they can be transmitted from pets to people. By ensuring that your kitten is properly treated, you can keep your entire family safe.
Most pet owners are well versed in heartworm disease and prevention in their puppies and dogs, but do not realize that heartworm disease is a real problem in our cat population as well. At your kitten’s first visit, we will also discuss products available to help protect your cat against this deadly disease. Prevention is very important as there is NO treatment available for cats at this time. Unlike dogs, the most common clinical signs shown by infected cats are asthma-like breathing problems or sudden death. To find out more about heartworm disease in cats and what the prevalence is in our area please click on the following links:
We look forward to meeting your new kitten! Schedule your appointment today.