Kitten Handout

CONGRATULATIONS on your new family member. Owning a kitten can be very rewarding and also very challenging. This handout is meant to be a brief introduction to the care of your new kitten.

FeLV/FIV Virus Testing
Every new kitten should be tested for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). If your kitten is carrying the FeLV virus it can drastically affect his/her life and it is important to be aware of this infection. If your kitten tests positive for FIV and is less than 6 months of age, we will want to retest once he/she is older. There is a possibility the kitten is still carrying the mother’s antibodies to FIV and isn’t actually infected. If the retest is positive again, we will provide information on the best ways to have your kitten remain healthy throughout it’s life.

Vaccines are critical to the health of your new kitten.

  1. FVRCP — A 3 way vaccine used to help protect your kitten from several components of the feline upper respiratory viral complex.
  2. FeLV — This vaccine is used to help protect your kitten against the leukemia virus. FeLV infection can attack the immune system and is life threatening. We generally recommend all kittens receive the initial vaccine series as kittens. If your cat will be strictly indoor only, the annual booster for this vaccine may not be necessary.
  3. Rabies – This vaccine is given to kittens 16 weeks and older in California to protect against rabies virus exposure. This vaccine is recommended even for indoor cats due to the low risk of bat exposure and the human health concern if an unvaccinated cat happens to bite someone.

**Please keep your kitten indoors until the vaccine series is completed.

THE SCHEDULE:

Age

VAX

Date Due

Date Given

8 weeks

FVRCP #1

12 weeks

FVRCP #2
FeLV #1

16 weeks

FVRCP #3
FeLV #2
Rabies

Risk of Fibrosarcoma Development
It has been shown that injections can predispose cats to tumor development. There has been an association seen between FeLV and Rabies vaccines and tumor development. Around 1 in 5,000 cats are at risk. It is suspected that the adjuvant (an additive in vaccines to help extend the life of the vaccine and therefore protection in the body) may be associated with increased risk of tumor development. We, at San Bruno Pet, are utilizing non-adjuvant vaccines when possible to help reduce the risk to your pet. The frequency and sites of administration have also been adjusted to help reduce risk, yet maximize the protection to your pet. Throughout your cat’s lifetime if you notice a lump at the site of an injection that is present for longer than one month following the injection please let us know.

Parasite Control

  • Deworming & The Fecal Exam
    There are many intestinal parasites your kitten may carry, therefore we proactively deworm all kittens. It is normal to expect these worms to pass into the feces after treatment. Because the standard deworming medication does not treat all types of parasites kitten may have, it is also very important to bring in a fecal sample for us to evaluate with special testing under the microscope. Some parasites are transmissible to humans, so this is a critical step for the health of your pet and protection of your family.
  • Heartworm Preventative
    Heartworm is a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes; hence both indoor and outdoor cats can be exposed. Heartworm disease in cats is slightly different from dogs, since the worms tend to migrate through the lungs of cats. Signs of Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD) in cats include coughing, shortness of breath, weight loss, vomiting, and lethargy. Given heartworm disease is both difficult to diagnose and to treat, we recommend talking about monthly heartworm prevention with your veterinarian.
  • Fleas
    Fleas can be a nuisance to you and your pet. In high quantities, fleas can cause a life-threatening anemia to young kittens. Treatment options for kittens greater than 7 weeks of age include:
    Revolution – this topical insecticide has a fast rate of killing adult fleas. It controls fleas for a full 30 days, while also protecting against heartworm, most intestinal parasites, and ear mites.
    Frontline Plus – topical insecticide, kills adult fleas and ticks within 24 hours. Protection lasts approximately 4 weeks.

Diet
Kittens should be fed a main brand kitten food such as – Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba, Royal Canin, or Purina from weaning until 1 year of age. Ideally train your kitten to be meal fed rather than always leaving food out. This will help control problems with obesity that could develop later in life. Dry foods are recommended over wet foods to help reduce the accumulation of plaque on the teeth.

Spay/Neuter
We recommend your kitten be spayed or neutered at 6 months of age. Spaying your female kitten will critically reduce the chances she will develop mammary cancer and infection of the uterus as an adult cat. Neutering your cat will help reduce the risk of spraying and marking behaviors. Also from the cat overpopulation standpoint, spaying and neutering your pet is the most responsible choice you can make.