Congratulations on your adorable new feline friend! Your Animal Hospital of the Sierra veterinarian is your partner in making sure your kitten gets the best start possible. Our Kitten Wellness Program was created to make sure your new friend gets started off on the right paw because the first few months of a young cat’s life are critical to their development, future health, and well-being.
You should schedule your kitten to see the veterinarian as soon as possible after you adopt. Below is information on what you can expect when you bring your pet in for his or her initial exam.
Comprehensive Physical Exams
Is your kitten’s growth on track? Are there any telltale signs of current or future health issues? How large will my kitten get? These are all questions that can be answered by your veterinarian with a physical exam.
Kittens receive antibodies against diseases from their mother. These antibodies will neutralize vaccines given and not allow the kitten to develop its own immunity. The age at which these maternal antibodies wear off varies from kitten to kitten. For this reason, kittens receive a series of vaccinations given 3-4 weeks apart to become protected. The final kitten vaccine needs to be given when the kitten is over 16 weeks of age. Your kitten will receive an FVRCP, which vaccinates against feline distemper (panleukopenia), calicivirus, and viral rhinotracheitis. Depending on your cat’s risk, vaccinations for rabies and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) may also be recommended.
Intestinal Parasite Screening
It’s very common for kittens to have worms, and they can make your new friend very sick and weak. Some of these worms can also be passed to your human family members. Fecal testing for intestinal parasites is a must for kittens. Should your pet test positive for hookworms, whipworms, roundworms or tapeworms, treatment is at an additional cost but is usually very reasonable.
One of the most important things you can do for your pet is to make sure he or she is microchipped. Unlike collars, microchips stay with your pet for life and will make it much more likely your cat will be returned to you if lost. At Animal Hospital of the Sierra, we donate all fees collected from microchipping to the Eastern Madera County SPCA.
First Doses of Flea, & Tick Preventative
Fleas and ticks are not only unpleasant, they carry disease and can be very detrimental to a young cat’s health. We’ll make sure your kitten is protected with their first doses of flea and tick preventive.
Behavior & Nutrition Counseling
While it may be true that kittens don’t come with instructions, counseling with our veterinarians about litterbox training, the importance of socialization (yes—cats are actually very social!) and other basic behavior information will set your kitten up for success as a family member. We can also advise you on feeding schedules and options for optimum health.