Is Your Cat Due For A Vet Visit
If your cat hasn’t been to the vet in the last year, it’s probably time to make an appointment. To make these appointments easier to remember, try writing them down in a planner or making a reminder on your phone or email calendar. Your vet’s office might even offer appointment reminders via email, text, or phone call if you opt in for them.
If your cat has severe anxiety before vet visits and tends to run away or hide when it’s time to get them in the car, take a look at these tips for getting your cat into a carrier as well as ways to ease your cat’s anxiety in general to make vet visits a less stressful experience for everyone involved. Some cat parents even use vets who offer mobile services so their cats can been seen in the comfort of home.
Preventive Care & Early Diagnosis
One of the most effective ways to make sure your kitty has a long and healthy life is to prevent serious illnesses from developing, or catch them early when they are more easily treated.
Our vets understand how you might be worried about the costs of your cat’s routine checkups and preventive care especially if they seem to be in optimal health. By taking a proactive, preventive approach to your kitty’s health could save you the fees of more expensive treatments in the future.
Should A Vet Visit Always Be Your First Response
You might be wondering if its really necessary to leap to the worst conclusion and contact your vet stat if you see any quirks and issues with your cat. Sure, its better safe than sorry, but should it always be your first response? Rotman says to use your judgment. Some signs or symptoms may not require an immediate in-person vet visit. If the situation seems to be less serious, such as slow weight gain or mild short-term changes in behavior, monitor your cat carefully to see if the change persists. And, of course, you can always save yourself some time and worry by just calling your vet, rather than immediately taking Kitty for an in-person visit. Next, learn more things your veterinarian wont tell you.
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How Often Should Mature Adult Cats Go To The Vet
Mature adult cats are defined as cats ranging from 7 to 10 years old by the AAFP. These cats should still see a vet at a minimum of an annual basis, but some veterinarians may recommend twice a year exams. As cats age, its important to get them properly assessed by your veterinarian to try and catch age-related illnesses and disease processes early. Cats are predatory animals, but they are also a prey species. As such, cats will often hide early illness, showing no clinical signs at home. Diagnostics such as bloodwork and urinalysis can help screen for heart disease, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, and other disease processes common in aging cats.
What Diseases Can Vaccinations Protect Against
Cats are commonly vaccinated against:
- Feline infectious enteritis
- Feline leukaemia virus
Your vet can advise which vaccinations your cat or kitten will need to help protect them from infectious diseases. When you get your kitten, one of the first things you should do is register them with a local vet, who will be able to carry out the vaccinations your kitten needs.
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When To Take Your Cat To The Emergency Vet
Is your cat in the middle of a crisis, leaving you unsure of what to do next? Or are you just trying to do some research to help you better understand how to care for your feline friend if anything unexpected should happen? As a cat owner, you dont want to think about having to rush your pet to the emergency vet. However, this is sometimes an unfortunate necessity, and its good to know which conditions and situations might require a trip to the emergency vet in the middle of the night.
Check out the information below to educate yourself on cat emergencies. Understand that this list is not a comprehensive one, but it does cover most of the basics and should give you an idea of how to respond if something is going wrong with your cat. This information can help you prepare for the worst, even though you will hopefully never have to face this type of situation.
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Nutrition Tips For Kittens
As we briefly discussed above, proper kitten nutrition includes modifying the diet to ensure you are feeding kittens what they need during each stage of growth.
- The mother cat should be feeding kittens during the first 4 weeks of life, or you should use a special commercial milk-replacer formula every 2-4 hours if the kitten has been separated from its mother.
- From 3-5 weeks of age, feeding kittens involves offering the milk-replacer formula in a shallow dish to encourage weaning from a bottle. You can also add a moist, easily chewable diet consisting of a mixture of warm milk-replacer and high quality canned or dried kitten food 4-6 times a day.
- After 6 months of age, kittens should be fed 2-3 times per day.
Feeding kittens the right food in the right amounts, and at the right times throughout the day is essential for happy, healthy and growing cats. Our veterinary staff would be happy to discuss the proper feeding schedule for your kitten at your next veterinary appointment.
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Scheduling A Vets Appointment For Your Kitten
Once you know which veterinary clinic you would like to use, its worth calling them to register as soon as possible, even if you dont need an appointment yet. This will ensure that your kitty has veterinary care if there is an unexpected emergency or injury.
When registering, make sure you ask about the clinics opening times and what to do in case of emergency if the practice is closed. When calling to book your kittens first vet visit appointment, make sure you give plenty of notice to secure an appointment that suits you and fits in with your kittens vaccine and parasite treatment schedule.
Arriving To The Veterinary Appointment
It may be that you are very familiar with the practice or maybe its your first time at a veterinarians office. Here is what will likely take place:
Youll be asked to complete paperwork, which isnt a big deal unless you dont have or dont remember anything about your new friend. We will want to know things like vaccinations given, the type and manufacturer of the vaccines, and even where on the kittens body the vaccines were injected. This is why you want to bring any records you have to the appointment.
I tell my students all of the time, No one knows the pet better than the owner. So, do everything possible to make sure the primary caretaker goes with the kitten. If thats not possible, be sure to get the registration paperwork done beforehand.
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Do All Kittens Have Worms
Intestinal parasites or worms are very common in kittens. Symptoms of intestinal parasites include generally poor condition, chronic soft or bloody stools, poor appetite, a pot-bellied appearance, loss of luster to the coat, and weight loss. Some parasites are transmitted from the mother to her offspring either in utero or through her milk, while others are carried by fleas or other insects. The eggs and larval forms of some parasites are transmitted through the stool of an infected cat.
Intestinal parasites or worms are very common in kittens.
What Will A Veterinarian Look For During My Initial Kitten Care Visit
We’re going to look at things like behavior and temperament, so we can have a conversation with you to make sure that that’s consistent with how they’re being handled at home. Sometimes I’ll have a family come in with young kids, and we need to make sure that the kitten’s being handled properly. So we’re also going to give the kitten a complete physical. Eyes, ears, and nose are important in kitties. We see a lot of upper respiratory viruses in kittens. We’ll listen to the chest to make sure that the lungs and the heart are good, so it’s an overall exam.
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Signs Your Cat Needs To Go To The Veterinarian
Regular check-ups are important for your cats health. These regular pet examinations keep your cat caught up on vaccinations and catch early signs of disease. There are times, however, that your cat may exhibit certain symptoms, and you arent sure whether they require a trip to the veterinarian or a wait and see attitude at home. While it is always a good idea to error on the side of caution and take your cat to the veterinarian if you are concerned, here are ten symptoms that should never be ignored.
What Are Some Early Signs And Symptoms Of Health Issues In Your Kitten
As I said, kittens have a fair amount of upper respiratory infections, so sneezing, watery eyes, and clogged up noses can be signs of health issues. And many kittens can get through these fine, but they quite often will need help and supportive care from the veterinarian to help them through that because some of them get severe. They can have high fevers they can get dehydrated, and they might not want to eat. And so we need to stay on top of things because kittens are tiny, and we need to support them through this. Also, diarrheas are common. And there are some terrible viruses that kittens perhaps have been exposed to before you’ve gotten them. Anything out of the norm should warrant a trip in here right away for us to have a look.
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In The Examination Room
A veterinary technician is most likely the first person your kitten will meet. Technicians are certified in veterinary care and document the primary assessment information about your kitten. That information will include any paperwork and information you have about your kitten, taking vital signs of temperature, heart rate, weight, lung sounds, and general observations of your kittens health status.
They may ask you about other information concerning your kittens health history such as:
- Diet: Know the specific brand and product you feed , food form , amount and frequency of feedings.
- Environment: Are there any other pets in the home, and are they vaccinated? Will your kitten be an indoor, an outdoor cat, or a blend of both?
- Travel: Did you get your cat from an out-of-state breeder? Was air travel or ground travel used?
- Medications and treatments: This should be on any paperwork you received during the adoption process. If you dont have any information on your kitten, your vet will want to know this as well
- Set up vaccination schedule: Setting appointments up ahead of time ensures your kitten wont miss any vaccinations or treatments when they are due.
Tip: Kittens often carry intestinal parasites, even if they seem totally healthy, which is why vets test all kittens for parasites by running tests on stool samples. You can either bring a fresh stool sample from home with you, or a vet tech will get one from your kitten. The sample should be less than 24 hours old.
Veterinary Preventive Care & Early Detection
The best way to help ensure your cat stays in optimal health their whole life is to prevent serious diseases or detect them in their earliest stages when they are easier to treat.
Taking your cat to the vet regularly gives your vet the chance to monitor your kitty’s overall health, check for the earliest signs of disease, and provide you with recommendations on the preventive products that would be best for your feline friend.
Our vets realize that you may be worried about the cost of your cat’s routine checkup especially if they appear to be healthy, however, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your furry friend’s care can save you the cost of expensive treatments later on.
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What Should I Ask My Veterinarian In My First Kittens Appointment
I think its important that you know what to be feeding your kittens, how much water to expect them to drink, how to play with the kitten, how to pick up a kitten, when the next vaccines are due, why were giving the vaccines, and why its mportant to kjnow when to have your kitten spayed or neutered. Those things I think are good questions to ask your veterinarian.
Puppy & Kitten Vet Information Packs
Bringing home a new kitten or puppy comes with lots of new responsibilities.
In order to help you to navigate your kitten or puppy’s first year, our team will be able to provide you with plenty of guidance, support and helpful information.
Our Kitten and Puppy information packs contain everything you’ll need to know about your pets early development, including:
- Nutrition information
- A vaccination and medical care schedule
- Information on spaying and neutering your pet
- Information on common medical problems such as heartworm disease, feline leukemia, and zoonotic diseases
- Tips for how to socialize your puppy or kitten with animals and people, including pets already living in your home
Our vets will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and put any concerns or worries to rest. We want to make sure that you and your puppy or kitten have everything you need to begin a wonderful life together!
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Worm & Parasite Treatment
At least two treatments of de-wormer followed by heartworm and parasite prevention treatment.
Worms and parasites are very common in kittens, who can become infected through their mothers milk. When you bring in your kitten to meet us, we recommend a fecal exam to determine whether he or she has worms. If possible, please bring a stool sample. The sample will be examined under a microscope to detect worms and other gastrointestinal parasites.
Even without a fecal examination, we also recommend that your kitten is given a safe and effective deworming product at least two times, three weeks apart. The de-wormer has no side effects and treats several of the common worms found in kittens.
In addition to checking for and treating any worms throughout your cats life, it is also extremely important to provide preventative treatment for heartworms. At Animal Medical Care, well help you determine the best way to both prevent worms and treat them should your cat become infected.
Taking Care Of Kittens The First Six Months
Taking care of kittens just needs a little bit of attention. Lets break it down by weeks to make this easier to follow:
- 4-6 Months:This is your cats teenage years. This is when they start to get sexually mature. With beginning of puberty, you will see some typical behavioral changes similar to human adolescents. Keep playing with your kitten. Any hands-on play will be a bonding experience. Monitor and stop any behavior that is inappropriate. Environmental enrichment is important. Indoor kittens need toys and stimulation. We can advise you of ways of providing an enriched environment. Most kittens will be fully sexually mature by 6-8 months.We highly recommend spaying or neutering to prevent unwanted pregnancy and kittens.
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Can You Recommend Something For Pet Identification
All cats should have identification. Even strictly-indoor cats have been known to escape the confines of their safe homes and become lost. Cats often do not tolerate collars well, so ID tags are not the best option for pet identification. The best way to identify your cat is to have your veterinarian insert a microchip under the skin. A microchip, pictured to the right with pennies for scale, is a tiny device that is implanted with a needle much like any other injection. The microchip contains a unique number that you register with a database along with your contact information.
Veterinary hospitals, Humane Societies, and animal shelters have electronic scanners that detect the presence of a microchip and access your cat’s unique identification. Microchips and data registry assist the reunion of cats with their families throughout the United States and Canada. For more details, see handout Microchipping Your Cat.
Adding a kitten to your family is a lot of fun. Remember that kittens are very energetic, so be prepared to build play routines into your daily routine. Discourage play that encourages your kitten to play with your hands directly and offer kitten safe, stimulating toys. Providing your kitten with the health care she needs will set her up for a long, healthy, happy life.