Your Kitten's First Year

At City Kitty, we try to do everything possible to make sure that your kitten’s first year is a healthy and enjoyable one.  Kittens have specific needs and risks that result from their body’s incompletely formed immune system, and your kitten’s physical exam visits and vaccine schedule is timed to maximize and enhance his immune system’s natural response.

VACCINES

Here at City Kitty, we are committed to using the best possible vaccines for all our patients.  We take every precaution possible to ensure that we are vaccinating only for those diseases that pose a risk and that we are using the safest and most effective vaccines available.  We take each kitten’s age and lifestyle into consideration before recommending which vaccines should be administered.  The veterinarians at City Kitty make vaccine recommendations based on scientific data and the supporting evidence compiled by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).

VACCINE SCHEDULE

  • FVRCP (distemper): We recommend that all kittens receive an FVRCP vaccine every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age.
  • Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV): We recommend that all kittens receive this vaccine initially. It is given as a set of 2 vaccines, 3 weeks apart.
  • Rabies: Rhode Island law mandates that all cats are vaccinated against rabies. This vaccine is first given at 12 weeks of age.

DEWORMING

A general de-wormer is given to all kittens at each visit.

FECAL TESTING

All kittens should have a fecal examination performed to check for intestinal parasites. Please bring a sample with you to your kitten’s first appointment. The sample should be as fresh as possible and approximately the size of a quarter.

PARASITE CONTROL

We HIGHLY recommend that all of our patients be on a year-round parasite preventative in order to keep them, as well as you, free of the burden of parasites. Many of these common “worms” can actually spread from cats to people.  The doctors and staff of City Kitty will make recommendations about which kind of parasite control will result in the best and most complete protection for your individual cat.  We generally want products that protect against fleas, ear mites, intestinal parasites (such as roundworms and hookworms) and heartworm disease, which is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Indoor cats are certainly not immune to infection from these parasites. It is possible for fleas and parasite eggs to hitch rides inside your home on shoes, dirt, and potted plant soil. And we all know how easy it is for mosquitoes to find their way inside. Let’s keep our pets as healthy and happy as possible!

FeLV/FIV TESTING

All kittens should be tested for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). These are deadly viruses that can be passed from mothers to kittens or through contact with other infected cats. All kittens in a litter should be tested, as it is possible for some in a litter to be infected while others are not. This is a simple blood test and results are obtained in 10 minutes.

SPAYING and NEUTERING

All kittens should be spayed, which is the removal of the female reproductive tract, or neutered, which is a similar procedure for males.  This surgery will help prevent common behavior and physical problems which can result from testosterone or estrogen surges.  Spaying cats at a young age has also been found to dramatically reduce the incidence of breast cancers as those cats become older.  Neutering male cats can also effectively eliminate urine spraying, which is a particularly nasty side effect of male sex hormones.  We recommend that these surgeries be done between four and five months of age.

NUTRITION

Kittens have a much higher need for calories because they are growing so quickly!  We recommend a quality kitten food until about seven to eight months of age, at which time you can begin to wean your kitten on to an adult diet, which is typically lower in calories. Read more about feline nutrition…