Kitten Care

Congratulations on your new kitten! We want to make sure your kitten is as healthy as possible and that you’re educated on what steps need to be taken to ensure that.

Any kitten that is 6-9 weeks old we like to start off with their first distemper shot, this is a contagious upper respiratory disease caused by a herpes virus, symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion, and conjunctivitis. Cats can become chronic carriers of this virus and battle with lifelong infection. This vaccination is given in combination with Calici and Panleukopenia and started at 8 weeks of age, and a booster is given every 3-4 weeks until 16 weeks of age.*Calici –a virus that also causes upper respiratory infection as well as oral ulcerations. *Panleukopenia – also known as feline distemper is caused by a virus that attacks the white blood cells, symptoms include loss of appetite, fever, depression, vomiting, and diarrhea.

We also like to check your kitten’s stool to detect internal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms living in the intestinal tract. Kittens commonly contract roundworms or hookworms from their mother. People are also at risk for roundworms and hookworms by coming into contact with infected soil or feces. Kittens can also contract coccidia, a protozoal parasite, from their mother’s infected feces and their immune system is not developed enough to fight it off. A fecal sample should be checked at the kittens first vet visit. If a fecal sample is positive, then the appropriate medication will be prescribed and recheck at the next visit to make sure it is clear of parasites.

At 9-15 weeks old we will do the distemper shot again and also an feline leukemia vaccine. Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is commonly spread, by saliva, usually through a bite. This virus attacks the immune system leaving the cat vulnerable to secondary infections and causes anemia and lymphoma. This vaccine will need to be boostered in 3 weeks.

Also we like to check to make sure they don’t have feline leukemia (FeLV) or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). This is an in-house blood test to check for a kitten’s exposure to either the Feline Leukemia Virus or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. This test should be performed if the kitten came from a place where the FeLV/FIV status of the mother is not known, since it can be passed through the placenta or nursing.

At 16 weeks old we will do the final booster of FVRCP and FeLV. We will also administer the Rabies vaccine. Rabies is a fatal, viral infection that is found in the saliva of infected wildlife or unvaccinated animals and is usually transmitted through a bite. Humans are also at risk for Rabies. It is a state regulation to have your pet up to date on their rabies vaccination. This vaccination is given at 16 weeks of age and is good for 1 year. After the first year, a 3-year rabies vaccination can be given as long as it has not become overdue.


Preventive Diagnostic Bundle

Dr. Stevenson believes in the importance of diagnostic testing to detect early changes in your pet’s organ functions. Pets can’t talk, so test results give pets a voice. It helps us provide longer, healthier, happier lives for pets! We recommend doing this during your kitten’s last booster appointment with us.

*Chemistry Profile and CBC - A blood chemistry profile, including electrolytes, provides information about your pet’s liver, kidneys, and pancreas as well as other functions of the body, such as blood sugar and hydration. A complete blood count (CBC) can identify infection, inflammation, and anemia.

*Fecal Test - Check for intestinal parasites, which may live in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. Since they are usually hidden from view, the only way to detect the presence of most intestinal parasites and identify them is by doing a fecal test.

At 16 weeks old we can also do spaying, neutering, and declawing. This surgery should be scheduled when your kitten is 4-6 months old. By spaying a female cat before she ever comes into heat, we are greatly reducing the risk of her ever developing mammary tumors and preventing uterine infection. We are also preventing her from ever having to go through the never-ending heat cycle female cat’s experience which can be painful on the cat and owner. By neutering a male cat at this age we are preventing unwanted behavior from developing such as roaming to find a mate, marking territory by spraying, and some forms of aggression. We can also prevent testicular cancer when neutering by 6 months of age. They will go home the day of the surgery, but if you choose to get them declawed they would stay over the night and will be ready to be picked up during business hours the next day. For declawing you have the option of doing the front two or all four paws.

We do recommend for every surgery, to do pre-anesthetic blood work. This group of testing is important to run prior to anesthesia and surgery, so that we can be best prepared to take care of your kitten. We can make adjustments to our anesthetic techniques and follow up care if there are any abnormal findings in the blood work. This also gives us baseline values for your kitten that we can compare to in the future if he/she were to get sick. This is completely optional to you as long as they are under 1 year of age and are aware of the risks.

Microchip is a permanent ID if your pet is lost or stolen. A collar or tag can be lost, but a microchip is permanent and can identify your pet when scanned and be linked back to you. We use AKC Reunite microchips, and can easily implant these at the time of your kitten’s spay or neuter. We will take care of setting up the life-time enrollment, which is included in the price of the microchip, so that your kitten leaves our office registered.


If you have any questions or would like an estimate on your pet’s first visit with us, or about any of these services, please call us at 319-277-7675 or email us at [email protected]. We would be happy to assist you.

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