General Health Information For Cat Health
Did you know that cats age 5 – 7 years faster that you? When you think about it, an annual vet check is equivalent of a human heading to the doctor’s office once every 5 – 7 years! A lot can happen in this time. We recommend a yearly check-up to help us detect any health issues early. This will also ensure that cats are able to maintain a healthy life. However, for senior cats, it is recommended they visit at least twice yearly. Like people, their health problems increase in severity and frequency with age.
Getting your kitten off to a healthy start is very important for their long-term health.
- At Pet Doctor, we offer FREE first kitten checks for new kitten owners with kittens under 6 months of age (breeders excluded).
- Please call us to discuss and organise a FREE kitten check at either Woodville or West Lakes Pet Doctor.
On your kitten’s first visit, one of our veterinarians will complete a full physical examination. Our friendly nurses will offer advice on parasite control, desexing, microchipping, and provide a complete nutritional plan to ensure your kitten gets everything they need during their critical growth and development phase.
Vaccinations are an essential part of keeping your pets happy and healthy. Vaccines help prevent the spread of many deadly and highly contagious diseases.
In cats, we offer routine protection against diseases such as:
- Panleukopenia: also known as “feline parvovirus”, highly contagious and can be fatal. Contracted through contact with infected cats and bodily fluids, attacks the intestinal tract and severely suppresses the immune system.
- Calicivirus: highly contagious respiratory disease, spread through contact with infected eye, nasal, and oral discharges; along with feline herpesvirus, one of the most common causes of “cat flu”.
- Herpes: highly contagious upper respiratory disease. Once your cat becomes infected with the feline herpesvirus, they will have it for life and may experience recurrent episodes when stressed.
Other illnesses such as Feline Aids (FIV), Tetanus, Feline Leukaemia Virus, and Chlamydia can also be prevented by vaccination.
Kitten vaccinations can start as early as 6 weeks of age, however if you have an older kitten, we can start a vaccination schedule at any time during kittenhood. A course of three injections is recommended at the following intervals:
- 6 – 8 weeks
- 12 – 14 weeks
- 16 – 18 weeks
- Annually for life
Vaccination requirements can be discussed at your cat’s regular wellness examination.
Intestinal parasites, or worms, are a common cause of illness in cats. They can cause inappetence, vomiting, diarrhoea, malnutrition, and in extreme cases, death. The most common worms that affect cats in Australia are: roundworm, tapeworm, and hookworm.
Kittens should be given an all-wormer tablet every 2 weeks from 2-12 weeks of age, then every 3 months for life.
Desexing is probably one of the most important health measures you can do for your pet and offers both long-term and short-term benefits. Kittens should be desexed at approximately 5-6 months of age as this is when your pet is approaching sexual maturity, and in the case of female cats, before they come on heat.
- In female cats, it eliminates the risk of unwanted litters and uterine diseases.
- In male cats, it significantly reduces the risks of urine/territory marking and roaming/fighting, which can lead to critical illnesses.
A microchip is a permanent form of identification and is the only form of identification/ownership accepted in legal situations. It is a tiny chip (about the size of a grain of rice) that is implanted under the skin, usually between the shoulder blades. We register our microchips with Australasian Animal Registry, which is a nationally recognised database.
Microchipping can be done as early as 6 weeks of age, although many owners prefer to have it done when their pet gets desexed at 5-6 months of age. It is important to keep your contact details up to date on the microchip registry, and this can be done online at home for free.
As of 1st March 2017, our microchipping costs $51.85 and comes with lifetime registration.