Common Kitten Health Questions

Getting a kitten is a great choice. However you need to get informed about a few kitten health issues. The kitten should get a special diet to be able to grow and develop at a normal rate and he should also be protected against viruses and parasites.

What Common Health Issues Affect Kittens?

Kittens are most commonly affected by parasites (i.e. fleas, ear mites, tapeworms, ringworms, hookworms) and respiratory infections. To prevent the infections, the kitten should be vaccinated.

The kitten may also vomit and have diarrhea, but these are typically not serious. However, you must ensure the kitten doesn't get dehydrated.

The kitten should be tested for the feline leukemia virus and the feline immunodeficiency virus, as these may have been transmitted from the mother.

How Do I Eliminate Parasites?

Parasites may be eliminated through dewormers, which will get rid of the worms that are present in the kitten's intestines.

External parasites such as fleas can be eliminated with insecticides, shampoos and powders. Get products that are safe for kittens.

Get rid of ear mites through the administration of topical ointments and ear drops.

When Should the Vaccines Be Administered?

The vaccines can be administered staring from the age of 6 weeks. The vet will let you know about the best times to do so.

The cat should receive vaccinations against:

  • The viral rhinotracheitis
  • The calicivirus
  • Feline panleukopenia
  • Rabies (typically at 12 weeks)

The vet may prescribe other non core vaccines, depending on the cat's health and genetic predisposition.

What Should the Kitten Eat?

The kitten should be fed wet food, as this is easier to absorb and digest. You should invest in quality kitten food and make sure this contains all the essential nutrients for kittens. Adult cat food is not appropriate.

Kittens require taurine, so read the labels of the foods you give the kitten; a deficiency of taurine can lead to heart disease and blindness.

How Often Should the Kitten Be Fed?

The kitten should be fed more often when he is younger (4 to 6 servings per day). As the kitten gets older (2 to 3 months old) he may get 2 to 3 servings per day. When the kitten is 9 to 12 months old, you can give him 1 food serving per day (but larger amounts of food).

Can I Neuter the Kitten?

Ideally, the kitten shouldn't be neutered/spayed until he/she reaches sexual maturity (6 to 12 months old). If the spaying is performed before this age, the kitten may have growth abnormalities.

However, the spaying may be performed earlier, but it needs to be after the kitten is 6 weeks old. The neutering may have a lot of benefits and the cat will be calmer and will not spray in the home.

What Products Should I Buy for the Kitten?

You should invest in a litter box and try to train your kitten to use it as early as possible.

You may also purchase some scratching posts, as kittens like to scratch and sharpen their claws.

Get a few toys, which can prevent boredom and keep your kitten active and mentally stimulated.