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Kitten care

Vaccinate your cat here.

Ellis can give your cat its annual health check with vaccination for only $55. Find out more.

Kittens require a course of 3 vaccinations, 2 to 4 weeks apart, to be given by your veterinarian: the first one at 8-9 weeks of age, and the last one at 16-17 weeks of age, followed by yearly boosters. The vaccine protects against feline enteritis and cat flu. A vaccine against cat AIDS (FIV) is available too. The prevalence in New Zealand has dropped from approximately 14% to 10% in the last few years, a reason why not many vets offer it (any more). We feel we have to mention it, so you have a choice. If there are many (stray) cats in your area, it may be a good idea to have your kitten vaccinated against FIV, as the disease can be transmitted when your kitten gets bitten or scratched by a FIV-positive cat.

Another thing to consider when you adopt a kitten is proper worm treatment. Kittens need to be dewormed with a vet-approved product every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks of age. After this, deworm each month until your kitten is 6 months old and then 3-monthly for the rest of his life. Please make sure you get the product from your vet clinic. Good oral allwormers are Endogard, Drontal, Milbemax or Milpro. The only topical allwormer available in New Zealand (used on the skin in the back of the neck) is Profender, which can be used on kittens from 8 weeks of age. At Cat Hotel Stoney Creek we use Endogard allwormer tablets.

Also, make sure you treat your kitten/cat regularly with a proper vet-approved flea product all year round. Monthly topical flea treatments (used on the skin in the back of the neck) are Advantage, Frontline, Activyl, Revolution, Advocate and Broadline. A monthly oral flea treatment is Comfortis. Then there is Bravecto topical flea treatment, which lasts three months, and can be used on kittens from 11 weeks of age. At Cat Hotel Stoney Creek we use Advantage monthly flea treatment.

Some flea products treat (some) worms, too. Broadline is the only flea treatment which treats all worms as well, but in our experience it doesn’t work all that well against fleas. Revolution (even the new Revolution Plus), Bravecto Plus and Advocate don’t treat all the worms your cat can get, so you will still have to use a 3-monthly allwormer treatment.

Kittens should be desexed between 4 and 6 months of age. Please be a responsible owner, and make absolutely sure you want to make the commitment to look after your new cat friend for about 15 years! Apart from the things discussed earlier, make sure your kitten gets lots of tender loving care, toys, good quality cat food (kittens need special kitten food until about 12 months of age), and attention. You will find you’ll get lots of affection in return!

Links:

https://icatcare.org/advice/thinking-of-getting-a-cat/

https://icatcare.org/advice/choosing-a-kitten/

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