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