Zasman Vet kitten information
New kitten information
information for new kitten owners
Your new kitten needs a course of vaccinations to protect them from serious and deadly diseases. The breeder may have given your kitten its first vaccination already. There are 2 types of vaccinations –core vaccines and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines are essential for your pet’s health. Non-core vaccines are recommended optional vaccines. The core vaccine for your kitten will protect them against parvovirus (severe diarrhoea and immunosuppression), Calicivirus (respiratory disease and oral ulceration), Herpesvirus (longterm respiratory and ocular disease) and Feline Leukemia Virus (cancers, immunosuppression and blood disorders). Your kitten will have their first vaccine at or after 9 weeks and the second 3-4 weeks later. They will only be fully protected against these diseases 2 weeks after the second vaccine. The non-core vaccine is rabies. This is given after 12 weeks of age. Rabies vaccine is only required for animals who will be obtaining a pet passport for travel. To maintain your cat's immunity, annual boosters will be required throughout their life.
All cats should wear a cat collar with an identification tag. However sometimes collars can be lost or removed. Microchipping is a permanent form of identification for your pet. A small implant the size of a grain of rice is injected under the skin of the animal’s neck. When scanned, the microchip will transmit a unique number which is linked to your contact details on a nationwide database. If your pet is lost, stolen or injured, any vet or rescue centre can scan them and contact you immediately.
Worms are parasites which live in the kitten’s intestines, affecting how they digest their food and how much goodness they can extract from it. Round worms and tape worms are the commonest types, round worms lodge in the kitten's small intestine, form balls and can cause intestinal obstructions. Tape worms fix onto the intestinal wall and cause bloating, diarrhoea and sometimes damage to the coat. They can be detected by the presence of white disks in the stool rather like grains of rice. It’s important to treat for worms as some of them can also infect humans. Worms are much more common if your kitten goes outdoors a lot, and especially if they turn out to be a hunter. Your kitten could have dog or cat fleas – fleas aren’t picky, they’ll feast off either species quite happily, and as well as causing itching, they also transmit worms, and will bite humans too. You should keep an eye out for any flea outbreaks – look out for black specks along your kitten’s spine or, when you comb them, wipe the comb on a damp tissue – red or black specks mean they have fleas. Once they have infected an animal, fleas will lay eggs and start breeding in your home. This type of infestation can be very hard to eliminate. Prevention is better than cure! Watch out for store-bought flea treatments that contain permethrin - these can be very toxic to cats.
Unless you’re planning to breed from your kitten, neutering is the best thing you can do to help them enjoy life to the full. Besides preventing unwanted kittens neutering has many health benefits, the reduction in hormones can protect your cat from diseases, such as womb infections and some cancers. Unneutered cats are more likely to roam in search of a mate and may be more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident or fighting. Ultimately, neutered cats tend to live longer. Entire males are very territorial and tend to fight frequently, this increases their risk of getting abscesses and contracting Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Male cats will often start to territory mark in the house when they reach maturity. This behaviour can be prevented by neutering before sexual maturity and is the only treatment. Neutering once the behaviour has begun is only effective in 60% of cases. Entire females will usually come into season from Spring to Autumn. Females in season will often cry, scream, roll about and try desperately to get out of the house, their behaviour can be very disruptive. During the season cats will cycle every 3 weeks or so—this can occur numerous times. Neutering will prevent this behaviour which is often distressing for both owners and cats.
Find out what your kitten is eating before they come home, and keep them on that for a week or so before you change it. The most important thing to remember in feeding kittens is that their digestive systems are still immature, so they can be prone to upset tummies. The best and easiest solution is to feed an ultra-digestible food specially designed for kittens (the kibble size, shape and texture in dry foods are also good for their teeth), and to feed little and often.
what a new kitten needs
Good oral health starts off when your kitten is young! When you bring them home they will still have milk teeth. These baby teeth are quite fragile, so their kibble needs to be softer and easier to break open than an older cat’s. Around the age of 4 months, adult teeth will start coming through. You might find the odd milk tooth lying around, but usually the kitten will just swallow them. Unlike their wild counterparts our cats are expected to live well into their teens and will need dental care to keep their teeth in good shape over the years. Cats can suffer from all the same dental problems as we do, they experience pain from dental disease and can even develop infections in other parts of the body as the result of an infected mouth. Daily tooth brushing is the gold standard for oral care, using a special cat toothbrush and veterinary toothpaste is recommended. DO NOT USE HUMAN TOOTHPASTE as this contains too much fluoride and can cause poisoning. Feeding your kitten dry food will help to keep his teeth clean between brushing.
Every owner wants to do the best for their cat but even with the best preventative care you can’t always ensure your pet does not fall ill or injure themselves. We are dedicated to providing your pet with the best and most up-to-date treatments possible. We try our hardest to keep costs reasonable, but there is no denying that accidents or long-term illnesses can cause the veterinary bills to mount up. Insurance offers peace of mind that you will be able to provide the care your kitten needs, should a crisis happen. Pet insurers offer different levels of cover, and prices vary according to your kitten’s age, breed or size and type, as well as your location.
Pet Health Club
It’s easy to spread the cost of your pets routine healthcare, including annual vaccinations, flea & worming treatments and vet visits, with our monthly Pet Health Club. The club provides affordable monthly payments made by Direct Debit to help budget the costs pet insurance won’t pick up. Our club also saves you money, annual savings of up to 39% are available by joining the Pet Health Club.
Bringing your new kitten home will be one of the most stressful times of their life. Initially they may feel lonely and distressed, this may also reduce their ability to learn effectively. Feliway is a synthetic version of the pheromone cats use to mark their environment, when their environment is fully marked they feel safe and secure. Using a plug-in Feliway diffuser in your home will make it a lot easier to settle your kitten in. Feliway can be used in spray form on furniture to prevent scratching, in transport boxes to reduce transport stress and as a diffuser whenever stressful events occur (eg visitors to the home, new furniture, new animals or baby in the home).
Free Nurse Checks
Our qualified nurses run free Kitten Checks. You can book in to see us when your kitten is 4, 5 and 6 months old. During these clinics the nurse will discuss diet, vaccinations, flea and worming treatment and any problems you may have.