Vaccination

There are a number of viruses which can cause serious and sometimes fatal diseases in your cat.  These include the Cat Flu viruses, Feline Panleucopenia and Feline Leukaemia.  We can protect against these viruses with annual vaccination.  We recommend starting the vaccinations in your kitten at 9 weeks of age and giving a second vaccination 3 weeks later.  After the first year they just need one vaccination each year.  This vaccination visit includes a health examination which gives our vets an opportunity to examine your fluffy friend for any health problems.  Don’t worry if your cat hasn’t been vaccinated yet, older cats can start vaccinations too.  Your cat will be fully vaccinated from two weeks after the second injection, although with kittens we recommend you don’t start letting them out until they are neutered, around 6 months of age.

Worming

Kittens acquire roundworms from their mum through their milk.  Roundworms can cause serious health problems in a young kitten.  We recommend starting worming at 6 weeks of age.  Kittens require worming every month until 6 months of age, then every 3 months is recommended as an adult cat. We will be able to prescribe very effective treatments that, when used correctly, will guarantee elimination of these parasites.

Adult cats can get roundworms when hunting and from soil.  Tapeworms are spread via fleas and through hunting.   Adult cats will need worming medication at different frequencies, depending on factors such as whether your cat hunts regularly, or is kept as an indoor cat.  Please chat to our staff and they will help you work out a sensible level of worming for your cat.

It’s important to be aware that, although rare, roundworm can be transmitted to people, particularly children.  This can cause blindness in children.  This is another reason why it is important to worm your cat regularly.

Flea and tick control

Fleas are a common problem on cats.  Sometimes cats arrive at your house carrying fleas, fleas may exist in the house from another pet, or your cat can pick fleas up easily when they start going outside.  Fleas also transmit tapeworms when the cat grooms if they eat a flea containing a developing tapeworm.  Fleas can cause irritation to their owners by biting them, but won’t live on them.  The main issue is when a build-up of flea eggs and developing flea stages occurs in the house, this can be stopped by regular preventative flea treatment.

Ticks are another parasite that can affect cats.  They can be picked up in gardens from hedgehogs or from other animals in more rural areas.

Please talk to our staff about prescribing safe, effective flea and tick treatments for your furry friend.

Diet

Please make sure your cat is fed an appropriate diet for their age.  As an example, kittens need a diet that is suitable for growth with high energy and protein and an older cat may need a food with restricted protein levels.

Our staff are highly trained and experienced nutritional advisors.  Please talk to our staff for bespoke advice for your pet.

Socialisation

Young kittens are constantly learning about the world and need to get used to contact with different types of people, other animals and day-to-day sights and sounds.  Invite friends and family for a gentle introduction but make sure your kitten isn’t overwhelmed and scared. This helps them to become happy, well-adjusted adult cats and avoids behaviour problems for the future.  This is called the socialisation period and lasts until your kitten is around 10 weeks old.  Kittens are naturally very playful, but please avoid play fighting with your hands or feet with your kitten.  This just teaches your kitten to attack you, and can be funny at 8 weeks old but will not be so funny when a fully grown cat still attacks you. Play with them with toys which are a long way from your hands such as toys on ‘fishing rods’. At your kitten’s first vaccination you will be offered a complementary pack containing various informative items and a toy.  To learn more about socialisation visit the Cats Protection League website

https://www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice/kitten-socialisation

Neutering

Cats can become sexually mature at approximately 5 months old.   There are so many unwanted cats in the world, please make sure you don’t accidently produce more!  Book your male or female cat in for neutering (an operation to remove the uterus or testicles) at 6 months of age.  This also reduces the chance of your furry friend going further away to look for another cat to mate with.  This reduces the risk of them crossing roads and getting knocked down, fighting with other cats and contracting the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV).  Male cats that are not neutered will often urine mark in your house with a strong smelling urine.

Dental care

While your kitten is young this is the perfect time to introduce teeth brushing.  This is much harder with an older cat.  This will help you to avoid dental problems in the future.  We would be happy to book you a dental care demonstration today.

Insurance

Please consider a pet health insurance policy for your kitten or cat.  Our clients are often glad of insurance for their pets.  We have treated a kitten which has broken their leg by only falling off a table, indoor cats that have to have surgery to remove thread or toys from their intestines and many that are unlucky enough to become ill without any accident taking place.  As your cat ages disease such as dental disease, kidney disease, over active thyroid and tumours are all common.  A pet health insurance policy helps to take away the worry of the cost of treatment for your pet’s illness or accident.

After the first examination of your kitten with one of our vets, a cover note with Pet Plan will be offered.  This gives you four weeks complementary insurance for any illness or accident which is not detected at examination.

Be aware not all pet insurance and policies are equal.  There are a number of types of policies available.  For example, those that will cover for the life of your pet or only 12 months and those that will cover for accidents alone. Please chat to our staff about the different types of policy available.

Talk to the Albany Vets team