Your New Kitten
As cat owners ourselves we’ve experienced the joy, concern and commitment a new kitten brings. Getting off to a good start with a new kitten will hopefully lay a solid foundation for a lifetime of mutual friendship and good times.
Creating the positive experience for our cats starts with their very first visit when we provide our kitten starter programme.
We encourage you to come and see us as soon as possible after acquiring your new kitten and even if that means an extra visit, that is fine for us and adds no cost. You will have an extra long half hour appointment that first time, so we can meet and examine your kitten and discuss all of the aspects of kitten care, such as the vaccinations, worming, microchip, diet, training, insurance and parasite control. Please bring with you any questions you have and we’ll be happy to answer them. We’ll outline what your kitten needs, customised for your kitten, you and your family’s situation. You won’t be exposed to a rigid scheme nor railroaded into purchases you don’t need.
It is likely you will see us two or three times and for a well kitten we charge you only a single routine examination for all of our time, plus the materials used. Routine appointments at Oak Tree are twenty minutes so we can do a good examination, explain things and you will always have time to ask questions right there and then.
If you are new to Oak Tree Vet Centre, you can also take advantage of our special offer, by filling out the voucher from opposite. That’ll save you £15 from our already modest fee.
Take a tour of the practice here: http://www.oaktreevet.co.uk/online-tour/
We look forward to seeing you soon!
There are lots of things to check in a new kitten and we take care to be thorough but also friendly and gentle and encourage you to repeat some of the things we do at home so looking at the mouth, ears, eyes and feet are part of daily handling and create no fear or resentment.
- the mouth and the alignment of the teeth and jaws and make sure the internal structures are alright.
- the eyes for developmental problems and for eyelid issues such as extra eyelashes and in-turning lids
- the ears for infections and parasites. That often involves taking a small sample of earwax with a cotton bud for examination under the microscope.
- the chest to listen to the lungs and heart sounds
- the abdomen to feel the internal organs and check for hernias. We look to see if the testicles are properly descended in male puppies.
- the skin to check for disease, parasites and whether there are any issues with the claws.
- the weight to advise of feeding and worming.
- The key is to be gentle and patient and make the whole thing seem like extended play.
Weighing your kitten
The best vaccinations
What is vaccination ?
Vaccination is the process by which we can protect your cat against some of the most serious cat diseases, by giving injections as a kitten and by “topping up” the cover with the all important annual boosters.What diseases can be prevented?1) Cat ‘flu‘Flu is a respiratory disease causing conjunctivitis and discharge from the eyes and nose. The mouth can be ulcerated and the cat becomes fevered and depressed. As you will know the smell of food is important to your cat and ‘flu cats often stop eating and drinking completely resulting in rapid weight loss and dehydration. Prompt and aggressive treatment is required to support the animal whilst the cat’s defence mechanism tries to get rid of the virus. Fortunately the majority of treated cats do survive and some manage to rid themselves completely of the virus. However, a sizeable number are left unable to clear the virus and although they appear to recover, they carry the virus for the rest of their lives being potentially infectious to other cats. The carrier cat tends to exhibit ‘flu symptoms again and again, when under stress or ill for another reason.Cat ‘flu symptoms are usually as a result of one of two viruses, Rhinotracheitis or Calicivirus.2) CalicivirusCalicivirus is the possibly more difficult to deal with as there are many strains, most causing ‘flu but others cause joint pain and lameness. Rhinotracheitis is caused by a virus from the herpes family and once your cat has herpes, it can be present for life.Vaccination is the only preventative measure that we have but even vaccinated cats can, on occasions, show Calicivirus symptoms from these more unusual “wild” strains. Research is constantly ongoing to incorporate extra strains within the vaccine.Calicivirus is one of the major causes of the distressing mouth problems (stomatitis) we see in cats. The virus attacks the edges of the gums causing redness and ulcers. This leads to pain when eating and usually a loss of appetite and weight. Repeated and fastidious dental cleaning combined with long term medicines are usually required to help these cats. In extreme cases, all the teeth need to be extracted to allow healing of the gums.3) EnteritisThis is a dysentery disease characterised by profuse watery and sometimes bloody diarrhoea, vomiting and profound dehydration and depression. Many affected cats are dead within 24 hours.4) Leukaemia Virus (FeLV)This is a sinister viral disease which destroys the immune system allowing the cat to fall victim to all sorts of infections and certain tumours. It has been shown that 80% of diagnosed cats succumb to one of the consequences within three years. Cats can contract leukaemia before birth, or from mating or being bitten by infected cats. In addition saliva exchange during mutual grooming in multi cat households can spread the disease over time.Unfortunately there is another immune destroying virus called Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). There are many parallels with HIV in people and there is, as yet, no vaccine against this disease.Which vaccines does my cat need?If your cat lives exclusively indoors, then protection against ‘flu and enteritis is sufficient, as they will not come into contact with other cats to contract leukaemia (FeLV) but are protected from infectious ‘flu and enteritis virus that can be brought home by people having had contact with infected cats.If your cat goes out or has contact with others we advise the ‘flu and enteritis vaccine plus a leukaemia vaccine. This gives your cat the best protection we can give you.When do I vaccinate my cat?Normally, we vaccinate kittens from nine weeks of age. In addition, we offer a free check up to apparently healthy kittens under vaccination age and we can discuss all the routine matters such as feeding, worming, grooming and litter training as well as deciding which vaccination course is most appropriate.Kittens receive two vaccinations, three weeks apart. Adult cats who have had no vaccines or where their boosters have been neglected receive what we call an “adult starter”. This comprises two injections three weeks apart and this will bring the protection up to scratch.As part of any vaccination, we include a full clinical examination and discussion of any matter arising. At Oak Tree Vet Centre, we shall make a 20 minute appointment for your cat’s vaccination, giving you ample time to talk about any aspect of your cats’s care.Boosters are given twelve months after the starter course and every twelve months thereafter.
Why you should vaccinate your cat.
As you will have read, vaccination is the only way to protect your friend from these serious or fatal diseases. Your cat depends upon you and only you for all his or her needs and this is not limited to feeding, exercise and companionship.
Part of being a responsible guardian is arranging preventative measures such as vaccination and worming as well as seeking help when accident or illness strikes.
Even if you choose not to vaccinate your cat, we shall support you and offer prompt and conscientious treatment should your cat suffer from any of these serious diseases. We can organise hospitalisation for sick pets that provides round the clock care, should that be necessary.
However, we can assure you that from our experience, the most pain the owners feel comes from the fact that the illness or loss of their pet could have been so easily avoided.
All kittens are actually born free of worms but the Ascarid (round) worms that infests cats are so sophisticated that the worm larvae know to head to the mother’s breast tissue to give the kittens a dose of worms as they feed. Therefore we recommend worming young kittens at 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 9 weeks and 12 weeks and then 6 months of age. We look at what worming has been done for your kitten and adapt this programme accordingly.
Your kitten’s individual vaccination certificate and health check record.
Your kitten's individual vaccination certificate and health check record.
We are firm supporters of microchipping and indeed it will be a legal requirement soon.
We have reunited hundred of owners with their pets through reading their chip.
We offer the newer mini-chips meaning a smaller needle and more comfortable insertion.
There’s a specially reduced price for the service if done at a vaccine visit.
Free bag of food and coupons, advice on feeding and dental care
Advice on neutering and/or breedingFor the majority of our new kittens there is a decision to be made about neutering and we shall run through the pros & cons and timing to best suit your individual circumstances. For those hoping to breed at some point with your new kitten, we can guide you through this process when the time comes and provide a full veterinary service regarding mating and all aspects for pregnant mums and beyond.
An information pack to enable you to get the best service from us
We provide you with a crisp plastic folder in which to keep all of your kitten’s paperwork including your personalised vaccination card, information about our service for you and leaflets specific to your needs.
We have a well stocked reception with many interesting and necessary items for your kitten.
We provide our kitten starter service at a very attractive price. Please telephone us on 0131 539 7539 for further details. We look forward to seeing you.