Your New Kitten
Dave Cumber Vets would like to welcome you and your kitten to our surgery in Weymouth and Dorchester.
This article contains information which we hope you will find helpful. If you have further questions please feel free to ask a member of staff. Weigh & Worm clinics provide a good opportunity for you to discuss your kitten with one of our nurses or ask the vet who sees you for your kitten’s vaccination. Our reception staff will always be happy to point you in the right direction.
Kitten Health Check
We are pleased to give your kitten a full health check before its first vaccination. It is a good idea to allow your kitten to settle in at home for a few days first to allow you time to see if there are any specific concerns you would like to discuss. We will do our best to answer your questions.
Feeding Your Kitten
Ideally you should keep your new kitten on the food it has been used to for a week or so. After this time you can gradually introduce the food you intend to keep feeding. It is not a good idea to keep altering the diet as this can cause digestive problems and diarrhoea. We recommend complete foods as they are convenient, balanced and contain all the nutrients your kitten will need. We can advise you on the correct amount to feed.
Please remember that clean water should be available at all times. We do not recommend milk as part of your kitten’s diet as it can cause digestive upsets.
Vaccination For Your New Kitten
Vaccination is essential to protect your kitten against several of the most serious infectious diseases. Your kitten will not be allowed into catteries or to travel abroad unless it is fully vaccinated. Two injections at least three weeks apart are required with an annual booster thereafter. The first injection can be given from 9 weeks old but the kitten should not be allowed to mix with other cats or go where other cats have been until 10 days after the second injection. The basic vaccination covers cat flu and feline enteritis but we also strongly recommend the vaccination against feline leukaemia, which is a common killer disease of cats.
Fleas and Kittens
We recommend a number of spot-on and tablet treatments. Any of these in combination with an injection of Program every 6 months will ensure that your pet and home do not become infested with fleas. These products are safe, effective and easy to use. Our flea leaflet has more details.
Having your kitten “chipped” is advisable. It gives lifelong identification if your kitten is lost. The procedure is as simple as having an injection and all details are logged on a central database so they can be accessed from anywhere in the UK. A convenient time to have your kitten chipped is when it comes in to be neutered.
Pet Health Insurance for Kittens
When we give your kitten its first vaccination we can issue a cover note for 4 weeks free pet insurance provided that it is fit and healthy. Although routine procedures are not covered (such as vaccination and neutering), pet insurance takes the worry out of covering the cost of high quality veterinary care. We recommend Pet Plan as a reputable company but there are now many different insurers offering a range of cover. Please remember to read the small print carefully. Our insurance leaflet has more details.
Worming Your New Kitten
All kittens get worms from their mothers. Kittens require monthly worming with Milbemax until 6 months old and then routinely every 3 months for complete control of all important worms.
Most kittens are naturally clean and will use a litter tray almost straight away. Remember not to site the tray near to where you feed your kitten and to clean the tray promptly so that your kitten will be happy to use it.
Neutering Your Kitten
Once your kitten is fully vaccinated and wormed the next thing to do is to get it neutered. We do this from 5 months old for both males and females.
Unneutered males will smell strongly, roam and tend to get into cat fights, so it is important to castrate them before these antisocial habits start. Unneutered females will stay on heat (“calling”) until they are mated and so could produce 2-3 litters of kittens a year. It is therefore a good idea to spay them before their first heat.
Neutering is a routine operation involving a general anaesthetic. Females will have a clipped area of hair and a couple of stitches on their side. Males will have no hair removal and no stitches. Both can be collected later the same day.
Deciding on what your kitten needs in terms of vaccination and flea and worm control can be confusing and expensive. Our very popular Pet Health Club gives you peace of mind knowing your kitten is getting the best possible preventative healthcare while allowing you to spread the cost over a year by monthly direct debit payments and saving you up to 50%.
REMEMBER, YOUR KITTEN DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SICK TO COME AND SEE US. WE ARE HERE TO HELP IN ANY WAY WE CAN AT ALL STAGES OF YOUR PET’S LIFE.