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New Kittens

Congratulations on the appointment of the new head of your family! We hope you have many enjoyable years of subservience with your new feline dictator! Our role along the way is to, not only treat or care for your pet in times of need, but to hopefully guide you with any advice you need, whether it be medical, nutritional or otherwise. The best way we can do this is to encourage and provide preventative health care. As the saying goes, Prevention is better than cure!

Some information to get you started with your kitten:

Vaccinations

Your kitten requires two rounds of vaccinations to prevent acquiring certain diseases. There are a couple of different vaccination protocols which can be used. We can discuss these with you during the initial consultation.

Vaccinations are ideally started at 9 weeks old when maternal antibodies are waning and the second vaccine is given 3 weeks later. During these consultations the vet will conduct a full health check and will offer advice on the correct care for your kitten. Around a week after your kitten gets their second round of injections, they are safe to explore this big new world and everything which comes with it.

In order to maintain this protection, an annual ‘booster’ vaccination is needed. This is also an ideal opportunity for us to assess the overall health status of the animal and address any problems you may be encountering with your pet.

Preventative Parasitic Treatment

Even if your pet spends the majority of time indoors, they are still prone to picking up parasites from the environment. These can be internal , such as worms, or external, such as fleas and ticks. A burden of either can have a serious effect on your pet’s health and can sometimes be fatal if left untreated. Some of these parasites can also be dangerous to us, humans especially our children.

Again the easiest cure is prevention. Keep up to date with treatments and you should have no problems with parasites. There are numerous options available, whether it be a topical treatment or tablet form. The form of action, the targeted parasite, and the duration of these treatments vary so please call or drop in to discuss the best option for your pet. Our products are licensed and require a Specially Qualified Person to dispense. We do not recommend any parasitic treatment available in supermarkets or pet shops

If you suspect your pet has a parasitic burden, call us or drop into the clinic to discuss the best method of treatment.

At BVC we offer a postal scheme where we will post out your parasite treatments when your pet is due. This will ensure your pet stays covered and is one less thing for you to worry about in your already hectic lives!

Neutering

Females/Queens – Unneutered female cats can have multiple litters annually and can start having these litters from about 7 months old. To avoid this we recommend getting your kitten spayed at 6 months of age. Spaying will also reduce the likelihood of your cat developing mammary tumours later in life.

Males / Toms – We recommend getting male cats castrated at 6 months of age. The main benefits of getting a male cat neutered is to reduce unwanted behaviours developing such as spraying, wandering and aggression. Spraying indoors involves marking furniture, curtains etc. and even electronics with urine to mark their territory. This can be an extremely difficult habit to break once established, not to mention the pungent smell of an unneutered male’s urine itself. Wandering is where male cats will travel distances looking for a possible partner where they can be in danger of unknown territories (traffic etc) and also fighting with other male cats. Cat fights can often result in painful abscesses forming which often require surgical intervention.

Diet

Feeding a high-quality diet will help your kitten develop and maintain a healthy body condition. Kittens kept at an ideal weight are more likely to maintain this condition through adulthood. A good quality food will also mean that most of the composition is utilised by the body which results in less stools coming out! At Beaufield we stock Royal Canin and Hills Prescription kitten food. These are high quality products which will ensure your kitten is getting the correct amounts of essential nutrients.

If you have any questions call our nurses here at the clinic to discuss.

Training

Training kittens is relatively straightforward as long as you are not expecting too much! House training involves putting down a clean litter tray with plenty of litter. Keep it away from food and water bowls and out of direct foot traffic (not the middle of the floor). Keep the tray clean to avoid accidents as kittens are unlikely to use a used tray. Keep a scratching post inside to avoid furniture being scratched instead. Never use your hands to play with your kitten, always use toys. If you plan to keep your cat indoors permanently you will have to find ways to stimulate them mentally to avoid behavioural issues arising.

Insurance

Unfortunately there may be times during your pet’s life where they become ill or hurt. As we see too often, these times are stressful for pet owners. Worrying about the expenses involved can also add to this already horrible time, thus we recommend taking out insurance for your pet to avoid this additional worry

As our pets get older, they may begin to experience problems much like us such as arthritis, heart problems and with cats, renal or kidney disease is prevalent. Other pets may suffer from conditions for the majority of their lives such as skin problems or neurological problems amongst others

Most conditions can be managed successfully but may require ongoing medications. There are numerous medicines available to help your pet live a comfortable and enriched life. We, as pet owners, can make a significant difference to their lives. An insurance policy can help with the financial aspect of ongoing medications

Most insurance policies differ from company to company. Most will not cover routine procedures, such as neutering or dental work, or preventative treatments, such as worm treatments or vaccinations

Pre-existing conditions will not be covered thus it is important to take out the policy when they are still a kitten. Whichever provider you choose, check what is covered and what you are paying for.