Congratualtions on your new kitten!
To help you get started with your new family member, CPAH provides free access to Animal Behavior Network to help you learn more about bonding with and teaching your kitten. We will enroll your kitten during her initial visit to our hospital. We also provide access to two pet health libraries where you can search online for answers to questions about your new pet.
To provide the best kitten care, you should bring your kitten in for a complete health examination as soon as possible. We will start your kitten on a vaccination schedule and advise you when boosters are necessary. A stool specimen will be examined for intestinal parasites. All kittens should be dewormed starting at 3 weeks of age, and this process should be repeated every two weeks. We will also discuss flea control for your kitten.
We encourage you to learn more about the neuter and spay surgeries, and hopefully answer any questions you might have about pre-anesthetic testing, anesthesia safety and pain management.
Cat owners need to know the dangers of feline heartworm disease. All cats in the Lawrence area, even if they never go outdoors, should be on year-round prevention. Studies have shown that approximately 30% of cats infected with FHWD are indoor cats!
Pets are evaluated by one of our veterinarians during their first exam and the doctor will make recommendations based on their lifestyle, breed, age and exposure. We don’t vaccinate our own pets with more than they truly need, and we treat your pets the same. We do recognize, however, that vaccines are the best and safest agents to control and prevent many common infectious diseases.
Learn more about vaccinations for cats.
Why Microchip Your Cat?
Although most of our feline patients are indoor cats, we see numerous cases of them escaping outdoors, sometimes without a collar or identification. Most outdoor cats either don't wear collars at all or, if they do, wear break-away collars. When people see a cat without a collar outdoors, they often assume it's a stray and don't realize there is a family missing its pet.
Microchipping your cat is the best way to help assure you get your missing family member back safe in your arms. Most shelters and veterinary hospitals scan all new or found pets for a microchip to help find the owner. Thousands of pets have found their way back home with this wonderful technology. The microchip is only the size of a grain of rice and is injected with a needle under the skin of your pet where it remains safely for life.
What About Feline Leukemia?
Feline Leukemia (FeLV) is one of the most common causes of deaths in cats today. It suppresses the cat’s immune system, leaving it unable to fight off other infections.
For FeLV testing and vaccination, we recommend:
- All cats be tested for FeLV
- All cats that go outdoors be vaccinated against FeLV
- All cats in a multiple-cat household be vaccinated if any of the cats go outdoors
- Not vaccinating indoor cats if all the cats in the household stay indoors
We discourage this surgery for our feline friends. Numerous studies have shown that declawing does not have a detrimental effect on a cat’s behavior or personality.
Learning how to trim your cat’s nails will usually be all you need to prevent destructive scratching. If you have sincerely tried to solve the problem but still encounter destructive scratching, then declawing may be a final consideration. It is certainly a better alternative than banning your cat to the outdoors.
Recommended Kitten Care Schedule
Additional Resources for Cat Owners
- Indoor Cat Initiative from Ohio State University's College of Veterinary Medicine
- Caring for Cats from the American Association of Feline Practitioners