what is routine vetting? 

Routine vetting for kittens is the basic medical care they should receive to keep them healthy and safe. Every kitten should have their routine vetting done before adoption. This includes vaccines, FIV/FELV testing, spay/neuter surgery, microchip, deworming, and flea treatment.

On this page, we will discuss what each of these things are and why they are important.

vaccines

Vaccines protect your kitten from diseases caused by viruses and bacteria as well as strengthen their immune systems. Whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, your veterinarian can help you determine which vaccines are best and how often your kitty should get their shots. This usually depends on their age, overall health and lifestyle.

Your kitten should receive their first vaccines starting at 6 to 8 weeks of age and repeated in two to four weeks. Adult cats will need their vaccines less often, usually every 1 to 3 years, depending on how long a vaccine is designated to last.

what core vaccines do they need?

  1. Panleukopenia (also known as feline distemper)

  2. Feline Calicivirus

  3. Feline Rhinotracheitis

  4. Rabies

If your cat or kitten is spending a lot of time outdoors, your kitty may need extra vaccines such as chlamydia, feline leukemia, and bordetella. These vaccines will also depend on their exposure to other cats and which diseases are most common in your area.

Keep in mind that core vaccines are still necessary even if your kitty is spending all their time indoors. Your cat can still catch airborne germs that can come through a window or door and even the most docile kitties can get out and get lost. If this were to happen, you want to make sure your cat is as protected as she could possibly be.

fiv/felv testing

Although two submicroscopic organisms — the feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) — differ from one another in a number of significant ways, they have one very important characteristic in common: Infection with either of them can cause a cat’s premature death. These diseases can be spread very easily by sharing food and water, litter boxes, or even fighting or playing with a positive cat.

Between 2-4% of feline population in the U.S. harbors one or both of these potentially fatal viruses. Many clinics use an in-house test, called a combo or snap test, that checks for both viruses at the same time, but a blood test can also be sent out to the lab for a more accurate diagnosis.

spay/neuter surgery

Spaying or neutering your kitten is one of the most important items on your to do list for kitten vetting and should always be done before adoption. You can spay or neuter your kitten starting at 8 weeks old and 2 lbs in weight.

By spaying or neutering your kitten, you are preventing more homeless kittens from being born while simultaneously preventing more needless deaths in the shelter system. Spaying your kitten also helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors, which are malignant or cancerous in about 90 percent of cats. Spaying your cat before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases while neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer and some prostate problems.

microchipping

Microchipping is important and is usually done during the kitten’s spay/neuter surgery to prevent any excess stress. When your pet is microchipped and registered, it offers a form of protection in case she gets lost. If your cat gets lost and is picked up, whether it be by Animal Control or a good samaritan, they will contact you immediately to get your fur baby back home safely.

dewormer

Every kitten should be treated for the common gastrointestinal parasites at 2, 4, and 6 weeks of age.

To deworm a kitten at home for common parasites such as roundworms and hookworms, you'll need to first weigh the kitten and treat with the Pyrantel accordingly. You can purchase this online or at pet supply stores.

Many kittens also carry parasites such as giardia or coccidia that will require a prescription from your vet.

flea treatment

Fleas are small parasitic bugs that can cause severe itching, discomfort, and even anemia. No animal is immune to fleas - even a newborn kitten can get fleas, but because kittens' bodies are so small, they are at a high risk of flea anemia due to the loss of blood from fleas feeding. For this reason, flea infestations should be taken seriously and should be treated immediately.

For kittens under 4 weeks of age, you should comb off the fleas or carefully pick them off with tweezers. Once the kitten is older and able to be bathed safely, you can wash fleas off using Dawn Dishwashing Liquid or another safe medicated flea shampoo.