Cats and Kittens
As soon as you’ve acquired your cat or kitten then it’s best to ring us to book your pet for a health check. Bring any paperwork that you have so that we can check the status of your pet’s vaccinations, deworming, flea/tick control, pet insurance and microchipping. Kittens need their first vaccination at 9 weeks of age, followed by their second vaccination at 12 weeks old. They are fully protected at 13 weeks old and ready to go outside into the big wide world.
All cats older than this that have not been vaccinated will need a course of 2 vaccinations - 3 weeks apart.
If you live in Preston, Lancashire please ring to arrange protection for your pet.
Vaccinations are against the main diseases that we see that can kill your cat...
- Feline Enteritis - a virus causing acute vomiting and diarrhoea
- Cat ‘flu - caused by the 2 major viruses/bacteria that cause coughing, sneezing and pneumonia.
- Feline Chlamydophyla - a bacterial disease that causes a ‘flu-like illness
- Feline Leukaemia - a virus that causes cancer of the immune system.
Adult cats also need an Annual Health check and Booster vaccination.
Flea and tick control is very important. We recommend one of the following methods - a monthly spot-on or a 3 monthly sport-on or a 6 month collar or a 6 month injection. There are lots of products available through supermarkets and pet shops but the most effective treatments are only available through a veterinary practice.
The same is also true for deworming control - we have tablets or spot-on dewormers that will kill ALL the tapeworms, lungworms, roundworms, whipworms that affect cats and kittens. We recommend that your kitten is dewormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks old and then 3 or 4 times each year.
Microchipping your cat or kitten is important. A microchip the size of a grain of rice is injected into the cat’s scruff, simply and painlessly. The chip has a unique 15 digit number that correlates with your contact details.
Pet Health Insurance is something that you should definitely consider. There are lots on the market but if you give us a call we will advise about the best plans to suit you and your pet. What’s more we can offer you a FREE 4 weeks of Pet Insurance when your kitten attends for their vaccinations.
We think that the dry complete food is best. The food changes as your kitten develops into a young adult and then a more mature cat. He’ll do best if you start him off with a kitten diet then progress to young adult then mature adult diets. That way he’ll get just the right nutrients to suit his age.
If you pop into the clinic we can help you choose the right food for your kitten or older cat.
Fitting a cat flap to your outside door will allow your cat access to the outside where they can exercise and socialise with other cats. All cats and kittens have an urge to dig and bury their wastes when they toilet - so they will either need access to the garden or to a litter tray.
Female cats (queens) will normally have their first season when they are about 5-6 months old, so it is important that we consider the options as soon as your kitten has her first check up. We will normally recommend that she is surgically neutered at around 4 to 5 months if you don’t want her to have kittens of her own.
A season is called “calling” as the female cat cries to attract male tom cats in order to mate. This can be very disconcerting if you are not prepared for it! The call of the queen usually lasts for 3-4 days, unless the queen has been mated. Your cat will then fall out-of-season for about 10 days before another season starts. This usually goes on for about 4-6 seasons until the cat becomes pregnant or the season stops. This cycle is then repeated every six months.
Pregnancy lasts for about 9 weeks. Litter size varies with age with older queens typically having larger litters. A kitten’s eyes open at about 2 weeks and weaning is at 5/6 weeks. Kittens are extremely energetic so be prepared for some antics!
Call us for advice if you’re worried about mum or if any of the kittens are failing to thrive.
Male tom cats will start to hunt for females to mate with from the age of about 6 months. They also will start to wee in the house to mark their territory. We recommend that all tom cats are castrated before this age unless intended for breeding.