Newly adopted kittens should visit Memorial Cat Hospital for a complete physical examination as soon as possible. The goal is to screen for fleas, intestinal parasites, FeLV, FIV or other health problems. This helps ensure that your new family member is healthy and that disease is not transmitted to other animals or humans in your household. Kittens are especially vulnerable to parasitic infections that can threaten their health, and as such, deworming is recommended twice for every kitten. Preventive products can protect them against intestinal worms, fleas and heartworm disease.
Juvenile cats have immature immune systems, making it difficult to fight off disease. Susceptibility to infectious disease is high. Vaccinations are the most effective preventive measure you can take for the health of your kitten. The most important vaccines for your kitten include:
- Feline Panleukopenia (Distemper)
- Feline Rhinotracheitis (Herpesvirus)/Feline Calicivirus
- Feline Leukemia Virus
Kittens receive a series of vaccinations in order to be protected; an incomplete series may leave your kitten vulnerable to infection. At Memorial Cat Hospital, we follow the guidelines of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, recommending the final vaccination series at 16 weeks of age or older. Nutritional and feeding recommendations are also a critical part of the kitten visits. Kittens are in a high growth stage, requiring specially formulated food to meet their nutritional needs. Their lifelong food preferences are established at a very young age; therefore, feeding for prevention of adult conditions such as obesity starts in kittenhood! Left with the option of free choice (always available) feedings, the majority of indoor cats will become overweight by the time they reach 1-2 years of age. This excessive weight is challenging to get off, and is linked to chronic disease later in life. Prevention is the best cure! Talk to your veterinarian at Memorial Cat Hospital about the best diet and feeding schedule for your cat.