First Kitten Visit
Hello! Welcome to Sherbourne Animal Hospital. This is a summary of what the doctor usually talks about during the first visit. Please read the notes below and let us know if you have any questions.
1) Kittens will need 3-4 sets of vaccines, every 3-4 weeks, until they are around 4 months of age. The first vaccine is called the FVRCP vaccine, which protects against 4 diseases: Feline Panleukopenia, Herpes Virus, Calici Virus, and Chlamydia. The second vaccine is the Rabies vaccine, which is mandatory to keep up to date in Ontario. Outdoor cats may need additional vaccines, such as the Leukemia vaccine.
Vaccine reactions may happen after any vaccination. If there is swelling of the face, swelling of the limbs, red spots on the abdomen, or hives are noted, please have <animal> rechecked. FOR AFTER HOUR EMERGENCIES YOUR CAN REACH THE EMERGENCY HOSPITAL AT (416) 920-2002 (VEC TORONTO) .
2) Parasitic control. Kittens need a deworming treatment with every vaccine visit, to treat roundworms and other parasites they may have gotten from their mother. At the end of their vaccine and deworming series, we recommend checking a fecal sample for parasites.
3) Dental health is important for cats, just like people. Teeth brushing is the best thing we can do at home to maintain dental health. It should ideally be done every day once he/she has their adult teeth (~6-7 months of age). Start slowly, and build your way up to the teeth brushing. If brushing is not possible, then we can consider dental diets, dental treats, oral gels/water additives, or a combination of these. Deciduous or baby teeth should fall out by the age of 6 months, so you may note blood in the mouth and/or teeth on the floor (this is normal).
4) Nail trims are generally done every 4 weeks. Although in some pets nail trims may not be necessary as frequently, it is good to monitor the length of nails. The quick or blood vessel in the nail is pink, and you want to only cut the end of the nails off where it is white/clear.
5) Scratching posts, toys, and enrichment in the home is very important for cats. Cats have a natural instinct to hunt, and also need mental stimulation. It is ideal to have 1 litter box per cat in the house, plus an additional litter box (in different locations if possible). It is ideal to have the feeding/watering area separate from the litter area.
6) Pet Insurance. Accidents and illness are unpredictable, so it would be important that you consider having her/him insured. It will make the decision making process whenever a treatment is needed. We have free trials available with the OVMA; please let us know if you would like more information.
7) Kittens and pets in general required a balanced diet. They should eat a kitten diet up until about 1 year old, after that it is important to maintain a regular adult diet. Treats can be offered but in small amounts. It is ideal to feed cats a combination of canned and kibble diet, if they will eat both. Recently grain free diets, and boutique diets, have been linked to increased risk of heart disease. Here are a few links with further information about that. We currently have a promotional offer for a FREE bag of Purina Kitten Essential kibble for new patients, and we can send one home with you today if you are interested!
8) There are several substances that can be toxic to cats, below is a list of some of these toxic substances.
- Chocolate, garlic, onions, chew gums (products that contain Xylitol), dog flea/tick medications, Lilies other flowers and plants, and antifreeze car liquids.
9)Spaying and neutering cats is recommended by 6 months of age. This prevents unwanted litters and also provides health benefits. This also makes indoor cats behaviour much easier to manage.
11) Declawing is not recommended in cats. Onychectomy (surgical declawing) involves the permanent amputation of the last bone in each toe. Declawing is illegal in many countries all over the world because many consider it unnecessary and inhumane.
Please visit the following websites for information about cat declawing and alternatives. Training your cat to scratch in desirable places and to accept frequent nail trims is essential, and best done early in your kitty's life. Older cats can be trained, but if you have your cat as a kitten, it is best to start right away.
American Animal Hospital Association Position on Declawing: https://www.aaha.org/professional/resources/declawing.aspx
Scratching is a normal and necessary cat behaviour! Encourage your cat to scratch acceptable locations:
Trimming nails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YLDQMvskH8
Soft Paws: http://www.softpaws.com/
Feliway calming pheromone: www.feliway.com