Kitten Wellness Care: The Kitten Plan at AMC
By meeting the special needs of your growing kitten, you can protect your kitten against illness and parasites and establish good wellness habits for a lifetime of health, good behavior and friendship.
Congratulations on your new kitten! A kitten is a joy and a treasure and a whole lot of work! Thank you for allowing us to help you care for your kitten. There is nothing more fun for us than a new kitten visit! We are happy to help you figure out your new family member's needs and we have lots of hand-outs and information on every aspect of kitten care. Please don't hesitate to ask us for help as you and your kitten make your way through kittenhood. Enjoy!!!!!!!!
Be Overprotective for 16 Weeks
Kittens are very vulnerable to contagious diseases during their early weeks. Until your kitten has completed his or her series of kitten visits and vaccines, please keep him or her at home as much as possible and do not allow your kitten to go outside if at all possible.
Avoid taking your kitten places where your kitten will encounter other pets or their droppings. Don't take him or her to the pet store, groomer's or to visit friends with animals. Going to a Kitten Kindergarten class is fine as long as they screen participants carefully for health (as we do at AMC).
And, of course, make sure that any other pets in your home are up to date on their wellness care!
Comprehensive veterinary exams are the foundation of good health. Your kitten's first exam should take place as soon as possible after adoption. If possible, schedule a stop by AMC on your way home from the adoption center (or breeder). Your kitten should have exams every three weeks until he has completed his kitten wellness series at 16 weeks of age (or older). * Up to four exams may be needed if your kitten is very young at the time of adoption.
FIV & FeLK Testing
All kittens should be tested for the deadly Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Viruses before or at the time of adoption.
Fleas & Ticks
Fleas and ticks are a year-round problem in Morgantown. In addition to being gross and irritating, they also spread serious diseases as well as parasites. NEVER use over-the-counter flea and tick products as they can be extremely poisonous as well as ineffective. Flea protection (using a monthly topical or a 6 month injectable) should begin at 8 weeks of age.
Every cat should be on monthly heartworm preventative (HWP) to protect against heartworms as well as intestinal parasites, beginning between 8 & 12 weeks of age. We recommend Advantage Multi as it is a monthly top-spot that controls heartworm disease as well as fleas, round and hook worms and ear mites.
Dewormings: Virtually all kittens are born with intestinal parasites because of transmission of parasites from mother to kitten during pregnancy and nursing. Every kitten should be dewormed every 2 weeks until 3 months of age, starting as early as possible. Monthly deworming (usually starting at 3 months) is needed after the series of biweekly dewormings. In our heartworm endemic region, we take care of the need to deworm for intestinal parasites monthly by using a Heartworm Preventative (like Advantage Multi) that also controls common intestinal parasites.
Fecal Exams: Because many different intestinal parasites infect kittens and no one dewormer controls every parasite, we need to check your kitten's stool for parasites. Since parasites are evident on fecal exam only at certain stages of their lifecycle, a "negative" fecal does NOT mean that your kitten is clear of parasites but just that we weren't lucky enough to catch them today. If a fecal is "negative", your kitten will receive a dewormer that is effective against the most common parasites. A "positive" fecal allows the veterinarian to choose a dewormer that is effective against the parasites we know your kitten has. Your kitten needs at least two fecal exams during the first few months (usually at the first and last kitten visits). After the kitten series, fecal exams are needed every 6 months.
RCP Vaccine: RCP (Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia combination) vaccines should be administered every three weeks starting as young as 6 weeks. At least two boosters are needed, ending at 16 weeks or older. *Up to four boosters may be needed depending on your kitten's age at adoption.
Feline Leukemia Vaccine: Two FeLK vaccines are needed 3 weeks apart starting at 12 or 13 weeks. The need for annual revaccination will be determined based on risk factors at your cat's annual wellness visits.
Rabies Vaccine: One rabies vaccine is needed at 12 weeks of age.
FIV & other Non-Core Vaccines are needed only in exceptional circumstances.
Spay or Neuter
Every kitten should be spayed or neutered between 4 & 6 months of age unless you are planning on breeding your pet. Timely spay or neuter prevents many serious medical (cancers, infections, etc.) and behavioral problems (spraying, etc.) and adds years to your pet's life expectancy.
Protect your kitten's pearly whites and good health with daily tooth brushing! Fluoride & OraVet Sealant help strengthen & protect the teeth.
Permanent identification with a microchip helps ensure that your kitten will be returned to you if he or she is ever lost or stolen. A microchip can be implanted at any time, but we usually do it at the time of spay or neuter. Also use an ID tag!!! Recommended, but not required for Kitten Plan.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call us at (304) 292-0126 or request your pet's appointment online!