For the purposes of covering the bases properly, we have focused on the 6 most frequently asked questions regarding having a new kitten in the home. This first article focuses on the following FAQís:
* Is it necessary to have my kitten vaccinated every few weeks as they are growing?
* My kittenís fecal samples are negative (clear), so why to I need to keep paying to have them dewormed?
Is it necessary to have my kitten vaccinated every few weeks as they are growing? My suggestion here is that you rely on the information that you will find at the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). The AAFP differentiates between two categories of vaccines Ė specifically, ďCoreĒ and ďNon-CoreĒ vaccinations. The Core vaccinations include the following:
* Rabies Ė Check to see if your state or county requires this as most states do. This vaccine is typically administered when the kitten is 3-4 months old.
* Distemper (a.k.a. panleukopenia) and upper respiratory viruses (e.g. calicivirus and herpesvirus) Ė These vaccinations are normally administered as a series and given to the kitten every few weeks until they are between the ages of 12-16 weeks
* Feline leukemia (a.k.a. FeLV) Ė The FeLV is a critical vaccination for your kitten if they are going to be going outdoors with any regularity and could possible come into contact with an infected cat or a cat whose health status is unknown.
My kittenís fecal samples are negative (clear), so why to I need to keep paying to have them de-wormed? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that your kitten be de-wormed beginning at three weeks of age, and done several times despite negative fecal samples. Hookworms and roundworms have the tendency to infect your kitten through the mother catís milk. Additionally, the environment is a breeding ground for contaminants as well and can also make your kitten quite sick. The typical signs of infection are diarrhea and vomiting.
Several weeks can pass once your kitten has been infected before the worms mature in your kittenís intestinal tract. Fecal tests conducted by the veterinarian look for eggs that are passed from the adult worms. The tests can also be negative even when the infection is already present. This is the main reason to de-worm your kitten more than once - to ensure that worms are no longer present.
In the next article, we will focus on the topics of grooming routines for you kitten as well as their energy levels.
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Article Added on Thursday, January 8, 2009
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