210 Pinebush Rd., at the corner of Pinebush & Franklin.

Kitten and Cat Care Information

Vaccinations:

All kittens and cats need preventative care, including regular check-ups. Vaccines are required to protect cats from contagious disease, even if they never go outdoors. Your cat might get exposed to other cats through window screens, if it escapes, or when it needs hospitalization. Or, you might bring germs home with that bag of food someone with a sick cat touched before you brought that bag home.

We recommend your kitten receive its first set of vaccines at 7-8 weeks of age.

A typical vaccine series is:

8 weeks of age: Panleukopenia (Distemper), Herpesvirus and Calicivirus (cat “flu”)
12 weeks of age: Panleukopenia (Distemper), Herpesvirus and Calicivirus (cat “flu”)
16 weeks of age: Panleukopenia (Distemper), Herpesvirus and Calicivirus (cat “flu”) and Rabies

The timing of the boosters is very important. If they are given too far apart, the vaccine will wear off and you’ll need to start the series all over again. The duration of immunity with the first vaccine is relatively short-lived, only a month or so. That’s partly due to the kitten’s age, due to the effect of antibodies from the mother’s milk that can interfere with vaccines, and due to the tendency of the immune system to “forgive and forget”.

In addition to the diseases listed above, at Hespeler Animal Hospital, we also vaccinate for Chlamydia, a bacterial-like organism that causes painful eye infections in cats.

If your cat will be going outdoors, or if you own several cats, we also recommend vaccinations against Feline Leukemia virus.   Important Note:  If you are planning on introducing a new cat to your household, please quarantine the newcomer until it has been tested for this AIDs-like virus.  You don’t want to expose your other cats to this disease, so play it safe!

After the kitten innoculations, your cat will need a physical exam once a year and booster vaccinations at prescribed intervals. 

Information on Kitten (and Puppy) Vaccines

Some cats are timid about going to the vets. Click on this link to get some tips on Making Vet Visits Less Stressful and How to Make your Cat like its Carrier

Deworming

Most kittens (up to 95%) have roundworms, acquired either via the placenta before they were born or from the mother’s milk. Roundworms can be a potential health hazard to humans. Hookworms are less common but are voracious blood-sucking parasites that can cause serious health problems! For those reasons, we routinely de-worm all puppies and kittens for roundworms and hookworms.

We follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention:
They recommend deworming puppies and kittens every 2 weeks until they are 3 months of age, then once monthly until 6 months old.

Fecal Testing

We also test your pet’s feces for worm eggs of other parasites. These parasites, such as Giardia and coccidiosis, are not as common as roundworms. That’s why we don’t just dispense medication for them as well. However, if the test is positive, then we’ll also prescribe medication as required.

Fecal testing involves examining your animal’s feces under the microscope for worm eggs.
Why is fecal testing important for your pet and family?

The test for Giardia is similar to a pregnancy test. We use a special kit that shows a blue colour change if there are Giardia organisms in your pets’ feces. It’s a lot more sensitive than looking for cysts in the feces; the cysts are very small and therefore easy to miss.

giardia snap test

 
Deworming for Cats that go Outdoors

Cats that hunt can pick up worms by eating mice. They can then pass these worms on to humans. Children are especially at risk. Even if you don’t have children, your neighbours do. You want to protect them by ensuring your cat is on a deworming medication. We’ll discuss this with you when your cat is an adult.

Fleas

We all hate fleas and no-one wants them breeding in their house. You can use an intestinal preventative medication that also contains something to prevent fleas. Or, there are excellent “birth control” type products that stop these pests from breeding on your cat and getting into your carpets. We do not recommend over-the-counter medications for your cat, since most don’t work well and since reports of toxicity are common.

Spaying and Neutering

Spaying and neutering not only helps prevent unwanted kittens, it also provides many health benefits for your pet. Spayed and neutered pets live longer than intact dogs and cats. They can’t get infections or cancer of the ovaries, uterus and testicles. Spaying helps prevent breast cancer, if done early in life. Neutering eliminates the urge to roam, so the animal is less likely to wander away from home, get in fights or hit by a car.

Benefits of Spaying
Elle’s experience at Hespeler Animal Hospital
Benefits of Neutering
Safe Anesthesia
Pain Management for Spays and Neuters
YouTube video showing the surgery

We recommend you have your dog or cat spayed or neutered at 5 months of age. There’s a much lower chance of bleeding during the surgery when the animal is young.
Click on this link for an article about the questions you should ask when choosing who should spay or neuter your pet and how we compare to other clinics.

There is a way you can save money and still get optimal care for your cat. Read about our Start Me Right Plans to find out how.

The Ontario Veterinary Medical Association’s article on the costs of puppy and kitten ownership will show you that our Start Me Right Plans are a great value!

Check out the following links on our web page for more information on these topics:

Feline Leukemia (cat AIDS) virus
Feline Urinary Tract Disease
Keeping Indoor Cats Happy and Stress-Free
Boarding Kennels and Groomers
Tips on Medicating Pets

Pet Insurance

We recommend pet insurance. Unexpected accidents and illnesses happen and modern veterinary medicine can be . It’s nice to have the peace of mind that you will get reimbursed for much of the cost your veterinary bills, should your pet get sick. You win, and your pet wins.

Here are a few of the companies that provide pet insurance in Ontario:
Pet Secure
Trupanion
Purina Care
Pet Care Insurance
P.C Insurance
OSPCA Insurance

Twenty questions to ask when shopping for pet insurance