West Toowoomba Veterinary Surgery (07) 4636 2027
All about Kittens
All about Kittens
So, you've got a kitten. A tiny bundle of love, energy, enthusiasm and fur! There are few things that compare to the sight of your kitten playing around your feet or curled up with you on the couch. But with custodianship of your kitten come a lot of responsibilities (the responsibility to safeguard his/her health, to ensure that your kitten's behaviour) as he/she grows older - is acceptable to the people around you, and to keep him/her safe from unexpected dangers (e.g. cars, strange dogs, etc). So how can you meet these responsibilities?
Growing kittens need a tremendous amount of calcium, protein and vitamins to meet their growth requirements. Failing to meet these requirements can result in stunted, unhealthy kittens with soft, fragile bones. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of people who think that mince and milk is all their kitten needs. The West Toowoomba Vet Surgery recommends feeding high quality commercial kitten foods to young cats till they are 8-12 months old. Premium brands, such as Eukanuba? and Hills?, consistently give us healthier kittens than those fed on cheaper brands or homemade diets. Call into the Surgery and our trained staff will discuss with you the best diet for your kitten.
What else can you feed your kitten? We strongly advocate feeding raw, soft bones 2-3 times each week. Not only are these entertaining for your kitten, they also clean their teeth and massage their gums. For young kittens, raw chicken wings, drumsticks and neck bones are ideal. Make sure you keep these frozen till ready to feed, as Salmonella (food poisoning) can occur if poor hygiene is practised.
Kittens are vaccinated at 6-8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks, and then annually after that. Your kitten should be vaccinated by a veterinarian, not the breeder, and there should be a vaccination certificate with your kitten. (Only a vet can properly check the kitten over to ensure it is healthy before administering a vaccination a key requirement to ensure the vaccine does work.). Vaccines can be divided into 'core' and 'non-core' vaccines. Core vaccines are Feline Enteritis and 'Cat Flu' (rhinotracheitisvirus and calicivirus); non-core vaccines include Chlamydia, FIV and Feline Leukaemia virus. When you bring your kitten to the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery we will tailor a vaccination programme to suit your kitten's requirements.
Kittens, because they are young, have a relatively poorly-developed immune system and are therefore both more likely to pick up intestinal parasites and then to suffer severely from their effects. Every vet has seen kittens, wormed with cheap supermarket or pet shop worm tablets, with severe diarrhoea and anaemia from heavy worm burdens and many of these kittens have died. At the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery, we rely on Milbemax tablets to keep kittens free of worms. We recommend worming every second week till the kitten is 12 weeks old, then monthly till 6 months and after that, every 3 months. It is important that your kitten receives the correct dose of the worm medication and that requires you know your kitten's weight. Why don't you bring your kitten down to the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery, where our friendly staff will weigh your kitten and dispense the correct dose of Milbemax - you'll be pleasantly surprised to find that our prices are cheaper than most pet shops!
Fleas are a common parasite of kittens. At the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery we have seen kittens, covered with so many of these blood-sucking parasites, so anaemic that they needed a blood transfusion to survive. Don't let this happen to your kitten! Effective flea control is readily available at the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery. Flea collars, powders and shampoos just don't work well enough, and so we do not recommend them at all. Advocate, Advantage and Revolution are effective and safe, our staff will advise you on the best way to use them. Again, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that our prices are cheaper than the pet shops and you will get expert advice on their use from our trained staff!
Every week between 10-20 cats and kittens are destroyed in Toowoomba by the City Council and the RSPCA. You can do your bit to prevent this horror by having your kitten desexed before it breeds. For more information, follow this link.
Do you have specific questions about your kitten's health and well-being? Try looking in our Pet Library here. If you still can't get the answers you need, please call us at the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery!