Congratulations on your new kitten! What an exciting time for the whole family. With this excitement also comes new responsibility. You will be learning a lot about your new addition in the next short while and we want to help you start them off on the right paw. The first few months are critical in establishing the foundation of your cat’s health. Our kitten wellness visits are a series of consultations with our healthcare team. These visits include many components that will prepare your kitten for a long healthy life.
Every time that you and your kitten come in to visit us, a veterinarian will perform a complete comprehensive physical examination. This is a nose to tail check which will help the veterinarian to evaluate any potential health risks as well as other issues that may arise as your cat grows.
Your kitten will receive a series of vaccinations, ideally at 8, 12, and 16 weeks of age. This is to ensure that they are protected against very serious, often fatal diseases. The good news is that these diseases are also preventable. Kitten’s immune systems are vulnerable. They obtain some antibodies from their mother’s milk when they are very young but it is our responsibility to continue that protection once they come home.
Kitten Parasite Prevention and Control
Many kittens have internal parasites such as intestinal worms yet show no outward signs of disease. In very rare circumstances, some of these parasites can be transmitted to people (the young, old and immune-compromised individuals are specifically susceptible). We will ensure that your kitten follows an appropriate deworming protocol. We will also recommend checking a stool sample so that our laboratory can check to make sure that your kitten is free of parasites, thus keeping them (and your family) safe.
Kitten Dental Assessment
Oral health is a huge concern for our cats, so we will be monitoring your kitten’s dentition during it’s first year of life. Our health care team is very knowledgeable in the area of dental development and trained to deal with issues pertaining to retained deciduous (baby) teeth, over-crowding and malocclusion(abnormal position of the teeth or jaw) that can cause serious issues as your cat matures. Managing these concerns early will help us to avoid costly treatment options in the future.
Kitten Spay and Neuter
Your cat should be spayed or neutered around six (6) months of age. Performing the surgery at this age has been proven to have positive effects on their health as adults. In addition, the health benefits, postsurgical recovery at this age is quicker and less traumatic than it is for the same procedure performed on adult cats. Mammary tumours (breast cancer), pyometra (infection of the uterus), prostate enlargement and infections are just some of the disease that are reduced or eliminated by spaying and neutering your pet. Behavioural issues of roaming, territorial aggression and urine marking may also be averted.
Microchipping your cat is used as a method of identification. It can be done at the time of spaying and neutering or as part of a regular visit. A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is inserted under the skin between your pet’s shoulder blades using a special needle and syringe. Once in place, the microchip can be detected with a handheld device. The information stored in the microchip can be used to help reunite lost cats with their owners.