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How Can You Tell How Old A Kitten Is

When Veterinary Care Costs Too Much

A kittens weight in pounds roughly corresponds to his age in months, and he will gain weight at a relatively predictable rate until about 5 months of age . As long as a kitten is in good body condition, you can safely guess that a 1-pound kitten is about 4 weeks old and a 3-pound kitten is about 12 weeks old .

Is Worming Similar To Vaccinations

While they both keep your pet healthy, worming and vaccination treatments work a bit differently. Vaccines are a preventative medicine used to provide immunity in pets to stop them from contracting certain illnesses. Worming treatments typically interrupt the life cycle of worms or other parasites to ensure they are eliminated or remain within tolerable, harmless levels.

As worming doesnt confer immunity on your pet, you will typically need to administer medication regularly as a preventative measure. There are also medications available that can deal with worms if your dog already has them, as well as other illnesses and diseases.

Basic Vaccine Schedule For Cats

Cat vaccinations can get confusing. Not only are there different schedules and needed vaccines for cats and kittens, but there are also some extra vaccines for different lifestyles.

Its difficult for pet parents to understand their cats vaccination schedulefrom which ones they need to how often they need them.

While there are certain mandatory, or core vaccines for cats, there are also noncore vaccines for different lifestyles or vaccines that are only recommended during the kitten years.

Your veterinarian is your best resource for figuring out the best vaccine routine for your feline family member, but this chart will help you understand the basics.

To help you navigate the world of feline vaccines, the chart covers a kittens vaccination schedule all the way into adulthood.

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The Cost Of Puppy Vaccinations

In Britain, we found that the average cost of the primary puppy vaccination package is £68. Most vets didn’t offer the kennel cough vaccine as part of this package. If kennel cough is included in the package, the average cost is £78.

While most clinics we asked charged extra for the kennel cough vaccine as it wasnt a core disease, some clinics offered a discounted rate for the kennel cough vaccine when done at the same time as another vaccine so its worth asking your vet about any discounts if your dog is having a kennel cough vaccine done.

Spay & Neuter Options


Spaying and neutering your pets is important to keep the population of cats down, and also for their overall health:

  • Female spayed cats are less likely to develop mammary and ovarian-related cancers and infections. Spaying before their first heat cycle is best.
  • Neutered male cats are less likely to develop testicular cancer and other health issues. They are also less territorial and less likely to spray to assert their territory.

The Toronto Humane Society offers reduced-cost options for pet owners for vaccinations, sterilization and other surgical services. If you are on social assistance, additional discounts are available. If you are from the Durham Region, the Humane Society offers subsidized transportation services.

The City of Torontos Animal Services also supports a Spay Neuter Your Pet mobile clinic to dog and cat owners in low income households.

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Frequency Of Core Vaccinations

Kittens under 6 months of age are most susceptible to infectious diseases, so they are considered a primary focus of vaccination recommendations.

Maternal antibodies passed on from the mother are meant to confer some degree of protection against diseases, but they also interfere with, or even inactivate, the bodys response to vaccination.

For this reason, initial core kitten vaccinations occur at three- to four-week intervals until the cat is 16-20 weeks old and maternal antibodies are out of the system.

For any cat over 16 weeks old whose vaccine history is unknown, the initial series consists of two doses given three to four weeks apart.

Core vaccines should be boosted one year after the initial series.

The scientific community is still learning exactly how long these vaccines last. Currently, the recommendation for indoor/outdoor cats is to administer the FVRCP vaccine annually.

For indoor-only cats, the recommendation is to administer the vaccine every three years. Cats heading into stressful situations, such as boarding, may benefit from a core vaccine booster 7-10 days before.

What Are Cats Being Vaccinated Against

All kittens are vaccinated three times by the time that they reach 4 months of age. Then, your adult cat should have their annual vaccines once a year for the rest of their lives.

There are four core vaccines and several vaccines that are considered non-core. These include:

Whether your cat is vaccinated against any of these diseases is determined by your vet on a case-by-case basis.

The core vaccines that your cat will be routinely given every year are:

  • Feline panleukopenia virus or feline distemper is highly contagious and can be fatal for cats infected with it. Its closer to the serious parvovirus that dogs catch and not distemper at all.
  • Feline calicivirus infection is a common upper respiratory disease that is also highly contagious and can potentially lead to pneumonia.
  • Feline rhinotracheitis virus infection is a contagious upper respiratory infection that can lead to an uncomfortably sick cat if left untreated.
  • Rabies almost needs no introduction. An unvaccinated cat might be quarantined for 6 months, and rabies is always fatal if left untreated.

These diseases are all quite serious, and some can be transferred to humans too, which is what makes vaccinating your cat so important.

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Cost Of Rabies Vaccine For Cats

If you’re taking your cat abroad, they’ll need a rabies vaccine to return back to the UK. We found that a rabies vaccine costs around £63.2 on average in the UK, but prices in our study ranged from £46 up to £78. Some vet practices offer a “pet passport” package which includes the rabies vaccine and costs from £125. Top tip: be sure your pet is microchipped before getting the rabies vaccine so that the vaccine can be properly traced and linked to your cat.

What Diseases Can Vaccinations Protect Against

Sullivan County Animal Shelter to offer low-cost vaccine, microchip clinics monthly

Cats are commonly vaccinated against:

  • Cat flu
  • Feline infectious enteritis
  • Feline leukaemia virus

Your vet can advise which vaccinations your cat or kitten will need to help protect them from infectious diseases. When you get your kitten, one of the first things you should do is register them with a local vet, who will be able to carry out the vaccinations your kitten needs.

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Why Should You Spay Or Neuter Your Cat

There are numerous reasons to spay or neuter your cat, including community, behavior, and health reasons. Cats are able to have four litters a year, which rapidly leads to overpopulation and, consequently, millions of euthanized cats yearly, says Dr. Meghann Kruck, D.V.M., of Kindest Cut, a low cost spay and neuter clinic in Minnesota.

Sarah Humlie, executive director of the Pensacola Humane Society in Florida, agrees that overpopulation is a problem and explains that getting cats spayed and neutered is one of the Societys missions.

Coming from the shelter side of it, we see spaying and neutering as a humane and pro-active way of trying to reduce the number of animals who are going to come into the shelters and possibly have their lives threatened or ended because of overcrowding, says Humlie.

Spaying and neutering can also prevent unwanted behavioral issues, says Dr. Adam Corbett, V.M.D., and Director of Shelter Operations and Surgery at the Pennsylvania SPCA. He says unaltered male cats tend to spray urine in the house and try to get outside more, which could lead to injury due to fighting with other cats or getting hit by a car. Unaltered female cats also have behavioral issues, such as yowling when theyre in heat and also trying to go outside to find a mate, he said.

Budgeting For The Cost Of A Cat Or Kitten

When it comes to the health and well-being of a family pet, there are certainly places that shouldnt be scrimped. But costs of cat and kitten nutrition and costs of cat fashion are two very different things. If youre looking to find ways to care for a cat that better fit your budget, here are a few simple tips:

  • Think Adoption First. Adoption fees may be more economical than buying a pet outright, and many shelters cover initial health exams, along with spaying or neutering . Plus, you get the added benefit of giving a loving home to a pet in need. If youre looking for a specific breed, you can typically even find breed-specific rescues to work with.
  • Be on the Ball with Veterinary Care. How much do cats cost to care for? It depends, and the best way to save on veterinary costs is to keep your pet healthy in the first place. Dont skip routine visits and stay up-to-date on vaccines. Emergency clinics are pricey , and regular visits to the veterinarian can keep them at bay. You can also check out pet insurance, which could help save on unexpected illnesses in the long-run. Average plans run around $10-40 per month, and can cover a variety of needs.
  • Keep it Basic. Skip the fancy collar, opt for a simple stainless steel food bowl and try to resist that robotic, self-cleaning litter box. You can even DIY your own cozy cat tent or create a cat scratching postfrom scratch .

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Read More About The Real Cost Of A Pet Cat

Anyone who owns a cat will know not only how rewarding it can be, but also the true costs involved usually much higher than might be expected.

Cats are often the preferred choice of pet for people who are out at work all day, as they are independent and, provided youve got a cat flap installed, they are usually happy to go in and out the house whenever it suits them.

However, before rushing out to buy a cat, its important to budget for all the costs that are associated with owning a pet.

Core Vaccines For Cats

Pet Vaccinations

Core vaccines are those recommended for all cats, no matter where they live or under what conditions.

The four core vaccines for cats are:

  • Rabies

  • Feline Rhinotracheitis Virus/Herpesvirus 1

  • Feline Calicivirus

  • Feline Panleukopenia

These diseases are highly infectious and found worldwide. They are highly dangerous to young cats, and the vaccines are considered highly protective with minimal risk. This is why all cats should receive these core vaccines.

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What To Know About The Costs Of Owning A Cat

Doron Wolffberg, Founder of online feline experts All About Cats, believes there are three main points to consider before purchasing your first cat.

First, it is worth appreciating the difference between giving your cat the best and buying things because they make you feel like a good pet owner.

He told Newsweek: “There’s a whole world of cat care products that are certainly not necessary and most of the time, they are more enjoyable for the human than the cat who’s receiving them.

“For example, toys are fun, but most cats are perfectly capable of finding their own toys around the house.

“Cats are just as happy sleeping in a blanket-lined cardboard box as they are snoozing in a sherpa-lined cat tunnel.

And if you can’t afford organic meats “Remember that non-organic species-appropriate food is much better than organic food that doesn’t honor your cat’s carnivorous needs.”

Similarly, when it is safe to do so, never be afraid to give cat things that do not have the word “cat” on the package.

They said: “It might seem easy to exclusively buy your cat products ‘made for cats’, but in reality, no cat has a problem using generic products that don’t have pawprints on them.

“Don’t let your love for your cat delude you into believing that any cat is happier with bowls, beds, treats, and toothbrushes sold specifically for pets.”

And finally, All About Cats suggests taking care to reduce a pet’s likelihood of getting sick or hurt can save a lot of money.

Costs Of Basic Preventative Care

Needless to say, all of these services are not part of basic preventative care. During a routine, annual or bi-annual preventative care or well-visit, your pet will have a thorough physical exam in which the vet will check your pets hearing, vision, teeth and gums, heart function, respiration, skin and coat, musculature, and more.

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Recovery Time For Spay And Neuter Procedures

After you bring your cat home youll likely want to make sure its as comfortable as possible while it recovers. Humlie recommends keeping your cat separate from other house pets, if possible, and offering your cat a quiet room to relax. Corbett notes that jumping could be painful, and suggests lifting your cat instead of, for example, letting it jump up onto the bed.

Youll need to keep an eye on your cats incision and make sure its not being bothered with . Corbett recommends examining the surgical area before even taking your cat home from the vet so you can get an idea of what it looks like and youll notice if the area gets swollen or looks worse, which could mean its not healing properly or has become infected.

Recovery time depends on a few things, like age and general health, so itll be different for each cat. Corbett says the anesthesia will stay in your cats system for 12-48 hours, which could affect energy level and appetite, and the healing of the actual incision itself takes one to two weeks, depending on the type of stitches used.

One of the most difficult parts of the recovery period might be convincing cats to rest when they think theyre already fine.

Most importantly, you should follow your veterinarians instructions for post-operative care, Kruck says.

Costs Of Cat Food And Supplies

Vet bills for dogs and cats: Are they too high? (CBC Marketplace)

When we owned our dog we used coupons any chance we could to buy his pet food as he wasnt on any special diet.

Buying cat food from the vet may be recommended for your cat or perhaps you want to feed your cat high-quality cat food.

The choice may or may not be yours but always ask about rewards programs, discounts and whether pet coupons are available.

As Dana Lynn points out below she often finds buying cat food in the United States is far cheaper than buying it in Canada.

Dana Lynn

  • Litter, 18kg bag costs $9 and lasts 6 weeks, so approx. $78/year.
  • One time purchase of cat litter box, approx. $20.
  • Food, we buy Royal Canin Indoor Adult cat food, 15 lb bag costs $84 and lasts 6 months, so $168/year.

Recently we found the same food across the border in Bellingham, Wa for less.

We live in Surrey, B.C. so its close for us.) for $45 USD, so with exchange the same 15 lb bag costs approx. $60 CAD, which is a savings of $24 for us.

It is strange that this cat food brand is made in Canada, but is cheaper to purchase in the U.S.?

Weve had our cat for 10 years, and luckily weve had minimal vet costs.

Maybe $400 total over 10 years for shots, check ups etc.

We got our cat from the Surrey SPCA, current adoption fees for kittens includes spaying/neutering and costs $244.

We paid a less 10 years ago, so fees have increased over the years.

  • Total yearly cost for our cat between food and litter: $246.
  • If food is purchased in the U.S. total yearly cost is: $198.

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If So Few People Get Rabies Why Do I Have To Vaccinate My Pets

Every year in Washington, hundreds of people must undergo the series of shots to prevent rabies, called post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP, because they are potentially exposed to the virus. If we control rabies in domestic animals, we can reduce the number of potential human rabies cases. Pets are more likely to contact wild animals, such as bats, that may have rabies. Vaccinating pets is one of the best ways to protect people and pets. By reducing the risk, fewer people will need costly, and stressful, rabies treatment shots.

How Much Do Cat Vaccinations Cost

Cat vaccinations may be core or non core vaccinations. The core vaccinations should be administered to all felines, while the non core vaccinations should be discussed with the vet and he will establishif these are necessary. The costs of vaccinations may vary according toseveral factors, including the type of vaccine administered, the vets fees and the clinic where the vaccine is administered.

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What Does A Primary Vaccination Schedule Look Like

The schedule for kitten and cat vaccinations is very similar to that required for dogs and puppies.

The first treatment is given by injection between 8-9 weeks of age.

Your pet should be kept indoors as the first treatment doesnt provide complete immunisation.

The second vaccination is again provided by injection and is usually administered 2-4 weeks after the first.

Are There Spay And Neuter Risks


Complications for spaying and neutering are rare, but there are risks, Corbett says. The risks reflect any type of anesthesia or surgery, so you always have to say that death is a risk. There are a very, very small percentage of animals who can respond poorly to anesthesia, so thats the number one worry.

Kruck says that similar to how humans can react differently to anesthesia, so can animals. The actual surgery, however, is less worrisome.

The risks from the surgery are few because the procedures are very routine, says Kruck. Possible surgical risks include ligatures slipping, contamination of the surgical field, abnormal bleeding due to a clotting disorder, bruising, and pain.

Though its not necessarily a risk, its important to know that sometimes spayed cats will still go into heat. In some cases, part of an ovary is missed during surgery because it was hidden in the abdomen, so the procedure has to be done twice, Corbett says.

Overall, the risks are real, but they are rare.

If youre still nervous heading into the procedure, keep Humlies words in mind: Every pet owner is probably nervous about a surgery, even though its very, very routine surgery most of the time. At our clinic, our doctor has literally done thousands and thousands of them.

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