Start Early, Visit Often
Bringing a new kitten home is an incredibly exciting time but it’s so much better when you feel assured that your newest family member will spend a long and happy life with you. The staff at the Cat Clinic of Iowa City would like to help you start this new relationship in the healthiest way we can, with our knowledge of the nutrition and vaccinations that kittens need combined with our quiet, gentle touch.
We recommend scheduling an appointment as soon as possible, especially if your new kitten will be joining a mature cat or other pets in your household. For the safety of your new cat and their future four-legged companions, it is best to examine your kitten for diseases, especially feline leukemia, and for fleas and ticks before the whole family is integrated together.
Kittens experience the most physical growth in their first year and may require more frequent wellness exams. Dr. Hayes will carefully monitor weight and vital signs to ensure your kitten is maturing correctly and comfortably.
Kittens are particularly vulnerable to parasitic infections. Observing a diligent regimen of parasite prevention is highly recommended. Kittens are also highly susceptible to infections disease. The immature immune systems of juvenile cats require a specific vaccination schedule in order to boost their natural defenses. In accordance with the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), we suggest the following vaccination schedule for kittens:
- FVRCP Vaccine: begins at 7-8 weeks with boosts every 3-4 weeks until the age of 16 weeks.
- Feline Leukemia: begins at 9 weeks and receives one additional booster 3-4 weeks later.
- Rabies: given the first vaccination between 12-14 weeks.
Kittens may undergo spaying or neutering procedures as young as four and five months of age. Agreeing to these procedures will grant your cat multiple health benefits that include preventing cancers of the reproducing organs and deterring male cats from wandering.
If your new kitten is showing symptoms of a runny nose, eyes or both, we recommend that they come in to be checked. Furthermore, if a new kitten does not like to play or appears lethargic, you should also come for a visit.