Kitten Health Care
Vaccination, worming and diet
Your kitten needs its first vaccination at 9 weeks and the second three weeks later at 12 weeks . The course of vaccination protects against three major potentially fatal diseases called Feline Enteritis, Cat flu and Feline Leukaemia.
- Feline Enteritis - this is a fatal disease which affects young kittens. They get vomiting, diarrhoea and can die within 3 days
- Cat flu - there are three types of cat flu (Calicivirus, Herpesvirus and Chlamydia). All types of cat flu are highly infectious to other cats and can cause permanent damage to the sinuses.
- Feline Leukaemia - This is a virus which suppresses the immune system and causes leukaemia and cancer of the glands. It is one of the most common causes of death in young cats. It can be spread through the mother in the womb or through saliva from other cats.
If you have other cats in the house it is advisable to make sure their vaccinations are up to date. Cat flu is particularly infectious and a new kitten coming into the house could bring the infection in.
All kittens have roundworms called Toxocara Cati, which they inherit from their mother through her milk while suckling. Therefore worming should be done every 2-4 weeks from an early age. We can give your kitten either worm tablets (Milbemax or Drontal) or spot-on products ( Stronghold or Advocate) which kills both fleas and worms together.
Even the best cared for kittens can still get fleas. Fleas are a hazard of modern living because we all have warm centrally heated houses with fitted carpets. Fleas survive by sucking your kitten's blood and very young kittens can get stunted and anaemic from blood loss. It is important to remember that if your kitten has fleas you must treat all the other cats or dogs in the house too.
What to use
Frontline aerosol spray is safe for kittens under 6 weeks. Older kittens can be treated with Advantage, Stronghold or Advocate which are easy to apply. All you need to do is apply a spot-on to the back of the neck once a month.
Although adult fleas cause most of the irritation to your kitten they actually only represent 5% of the flea population. The other 95% are the eggs and larvae which get laid in your pet's environment (carpets, furniture, and your pet's bed) and can lie dormant for up to a year. In order to stop your pet becoming re-infested from the house it is advisable to use a household spray called Indorex or Acclaim to kill off the flea eggs. These sprays are long acting and often have effect for up to 12 months.
Feeding the kitten
Your kitten is growing fast so will need a diet high in protein and fat for growth and energy. It will also have a high requirement for calcium for its growing bones. It is important that kittens are fed a good quality kitten food, which is highly digestible for their delicate stomachs. We find the best and most palatable food for growing kittens is the Royal Canin Kitten growth.
How often should I feed?
8-12 wks: 4 meals daily
12-20 wks: 3 meals daily
20wk+: 2 meals daily
How much should I feed?
Kittens tend not to overeat so you can give them all they can consume in 20 minutes.
Does my kitten need milk?
Once your kitten is weaned it does not need milk. Some cats lack the enzyme to digest the milk sugar of cow's milk (lactose) so this can be a common cause of diarrhoea.