New Kitten

To help get your kitten off to a healthy start, Brimbank Veterinary Clinic is open seven days a week to discuss vaccinations, worming, feeding and house training.

Vaccination - Guarding against disease

Please talk to us about protecting your kitten from common viral diseases. It is essential your new pet is vaccinated against Feline Enteritis (a fatal diarrhoea), Feline Rhinotracheitis and Feline Calici Virus (cat flu) as these diseases can be fatal or have severe lasting effects. We also recommend vaccination against Chlamydia, which is a common cause of chronic conjunctivitis. Vaccination against these four diseases is called an F4 vaccination.

 

Vaccination schedule

1st … 6-8 weeks old                           2nd … 12 weeks old                           3rd … 16 weeks old

 

FIV vaccination – vaccination against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is now available. Vaccination is recommended for all at risk patients (please talk to our staff) and will give approx  85% protection.

 

                FIV Vaccination schedule

3 vaccinations are needed at 3-4 week intervals. These vaccinations can be combined with the above routine vaccination.

 

Managing pet health is a year-round activity, and an annual health check and vaccination assessment is required to maintain immunity. We ensure that your pet is thoroughly checked with every vaccination.

Worm free

Kittens should be treated for intestinal worms: roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.

Young kittens are particularly susceptible to the effects of worms that can cause weight loss, “pot belly”,

anaemia and, in some cases, death. Worm eggs are passed out through the kitten’s faeces and

are a human health risk – especially for children.

 

Treatment schedule

Treatment should be given at 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age; then at three-month intervals.

 

Treat your kitten with a good-quality “all wormer” tablet such as Drontal, or a paste such as Felex.

You can integrate worm treatment with flea control after 9 weeks of age by using Advocate applied

monthly to the skin at the base of the neck.

A “pill popper” is a special instrument that makes it easier to give tablets. It’s very helpful for new

cat owners. Please ask our staff for a demonstration.

 

Flea control - relieving the itch

Advocate or Advantage are safe, effective products to control fleas. Simply put a small amount of

liquid on the back of your kitten’s neck once a month.

We have found that flea collars are not very effective in controlling fleas, so please chat to us about

successful flea control options.

 

Good food, good health

A balanced diet is very important for growing kittens. Good quality commercial foods, either canned or

dry (such as Iams), will provide all your kitten’s nutritional requirements.

             
Tips:

  • Feed raw bones once weekly, such as a chicken neck or drum stick, to keep teeth healthy.
  • Cooked bones should be avoided as they tend to splinter.
  • Feed in two or three meals daily and adjust the amount to maintain good body condition.
  • Plain meat (cooked or uncooked) is not a balanced diet for a growing cat. If plain meat is

a substantial part of your cat’s diet then it is important that calcium is supplemented at

the correct rate.

 

Proper toilet habits

Training kittens to use a litter tray is usually simple. Many kittens will already have been trained by

their mothers before you get them.

As with all training, rewarding the correct behaviour is far more effective than punishing incorrect

behaviour.

Tips:

  • Choose a place for the litter tray. Take your kitten to the tray when it is likely to want

to go - which is usually after it wakes up, after meals or when it sniffs to find a place to urinate.

  • Many cats will only use a litter tray once before the litter needs to be changed. You may

need to have two litter trays side by side if you don’t get the chance to change the litter

quickly enough.

De-sexing

Desexing cats is recommended in urban areas. It not only helps to control cat populations, it can

also have a positive effect on animal behaviour.

In males, it greatly reduces aggression towards other male cats, territorial urination (spraying),

hypersexual behaviour and roaming. Desexing females avoids unwanted litters, greatly reduces

chances of breast cancer, and reduces roaming and attracting males when in season.

Please note:

  • Desexing won’t change your cat’s personality.
  • While there is some tendency for desexed cats to put on weight, this can be managed

through controlled feeding.

  • Desexing can be done from 5 months of age.

 

Microchip Identification

Microchips ensure permanent identification for your cat. Microchips will be compulsory with all council pet registrations

from May 2007. The microchip is  implanted under the skin on the back of the neck and can be implanted at any age.

If your cat is picked up by the council or animal shelter they will scan for a microchip and give you a call.

 

Ask our staff to have your pets’ microchip checked when they come in for an annual health check.

Council registration

Your kitten should be registered after three months of age. Registration is cheaper for microchipped or desexed pets.

 

Health insurance

You can cover your cat against unexpected medical problems as well as personal liability for damage it may cause.

Health insurance can cost as little as $16 per month. Look at these  websites for further details:

petsecure.com.au ; rspca.org.au ; Afspetmed.com.au ; vetsown.com.au ; insuranceline.com.au