Can I Trim My Kitten’s Toenails
Kittens have very sharp toenails that can wreak havoc on cat owners and their furniture. You can trim your kittens nails with your regular fingernail clippers or with nail trimmers specifically designed for cats, but you must do so carefully. If you take too much off the nail, you will cut into the quick which will result in bleeding and pain.
Here are a few helpful pointers:
- Cats often have clear or white nails, so you can see the pink quick through the nail. This is a small pink triangle visible near the base of the nail. If you avoid this pink area, you should be safely away from the quick.
- When cutting toenails, use sharp trimmers. Dull trimmers tend to pinch or crush the nail and cause pain even if you are not in the quick. A good set of human nail trimmers are often sufficient. Many larger clippers meant for dogs do not trim cats nails well and can cause splintering of the nails.
- Have styptic powder on hand in case bleeding occurs. These products can be purchased from pet stores or your veterinarian. In an emergency, a bar of soap can be used to help stop the bleeding.
- Playing with your kittens feet and rewarding her with treats after nail trims is a good way to help encourage good behavior for future nail trims.
If you are unsure about trimming your kittens nails, ask your veterinary healthcare professionals for help. They can teach you how to make the procedure easy and painless for you and your kitten.
Are There Any Other Advantages Of Annual Vaccination
Not all vaccines provide protection for a year. In particular, vaccines that protect against non-viral diseases such as Chlamydia and Bordetella provide immunity for less than a year. Some experts also recommend annual revaccination with feline leukemia vaccine if your cat is exposed to other cats on a regular basis. You and your veterinarian should decide which vaccinations your cat receives annually based on your cats lifestyle, age, and health status.
Prior to vaccine administration, your veterinarian will perform a health or wellness examination. You will be asked specific questions about your cat’s health status, and the veterinarian will check your cat’s head, neck, chest and abdomen, muscles, skin, joints, and lymph nodes. Annual vaccines mean annual examination by a veterinarian veterinarians frequently detect infections of the teeth or ears, and sub-clinical diseases such as underlying heart conditions, metabolic problems or organ dysfunction during these visits. Early diagnosis allows more effective and successful treatment and may improve the quality of your cats life.
When Are Kitten Shots Given
Did you know a kitten’s disease-fighting ability begins with a healthy mother cat? According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , kittens take in disease-fighting antibodies from the mother cat’s milk when they nurse. Most kittens are weaned by around 8 weeks and receive their first vaccinations around the age of 6 to 8 weeks. Boosters will continue to be given every three to four weeks until the kitten reaches 16 weeks old or until the full series of vaccinations are complete.
If you adopt a cat older than that, your vet will help you identify what vaccines are recommended, what age you should begin with the shots and how long they’ll need to be given.
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Determining The Timing And Frequency Of Vaccinations
Your veterinarian can best determine a vaccination schedule for your pet. This will depend on the type of vaccine, your pets age, medical history, environment and lifestyle.
For puppies: If his mother has a healthy immune system, a puppy will most likely receive antibodies in mothers milk while nursing. Puppies should receive a series of vaccinations starting at six to eight weeks of age. A veterinarian should administer a minimum of three vaccinations at three- to four-week intervals. The final dose should be administered at 16 weeks of age.
For adult dogs: Some adult dogs might receive certain vaccines annually, while other vaccines might be given every three years or longer.
For kittens: Kittens automatically receive antibodies in the milk their mother produces if their mother has a healthy immune system. When the kitten is around six to eight weeks of age, your veterinarian can begin to administer a series of vaccines at three- or four-week intervals until the kitten reaches 16 weeks of age.
For adult cats: Adult cats might be revaccinated annually or every three years.
What Vaccinations Does My Adult Dog Need
Veterinary science, in conjunction with industry, has done a great job developing vaccines that are very safe and effective preventive measures. Vaccines keep your dog protected from serious infectious diseases. Diseases that, just a few years ago, were epidemics are now less common. It’s not just a matter of more vaccines but also better vaccines that are more specific, provide longer protection, and allow your veterinarian to make recommendations appropriate for your pet.
Not all dogs need to be vaccinated for all diseases all the time. There are two general groupings of vaccinations: those that target core diseases and those that target non-core diseases. Core vaccinationsCore vaccinations prevent diseases that are extremely widespread in their distribution and are easily transmitted. These diseases are commonly fatal or extremely difficult to treat effectively. One core diseaserabies, can be transmitted to humans with potentially deadly results. In summary, core diseases are the more contagious and severe diseases.
Core vaccines provide long term immunity, making yearly vaccination unnecessary. Core vaccines include:
These vaccines generally provide a shorter length of protective immunity, and dogs that are at risk for infection should be vaccinated every year.
How can you determine your dogs risk of infection?
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Preventive Care For Happy Healthy Pets
Vaccines are just one part of your cats preventive care. If you want your cat to be happy and healthy, start thinking about how you can be proactive about their healthcare needs so they get to enjoy a long and healthy life as best possible.
In addition to vaccinations, make sure you have taken care of parasite prevention to prevent diseases that parasites carry. Also, be sure to keep your pets annual checkups to ensure your vet can spot any serious health issues right away. Even nail clippings and dental checks are part of preventive care to keep your cat happy and healthy.
A great way to ensure your cats health needs are properly met is with a pet care plan. A pet care plan includes parasite prevention, medical checks, vaccinations, dental checks and extra member benefits. With a pet care plan, pet owners can make pet care easier while saving money as they strive to give the best possible care to their cats.
Caesarean Sections In Cats
A caesarean section or C-section is major surgery performed to remove kittens from the uterus. This is most commonly performed as an emergency procedure when there is difficulty with natural birth. Most cats recover quickly from this procedure. Most cats have fully recovered from anesthesia by the time they are discharged to go home.
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Vaccination & Reproductive Surgery Schedule
Current vaccinations are a vital component of effective veterinary care for cats and dogs, and essential when it comes to protecting your pet from serious, contagious diseases.
Over the course of their first year, kittens should have the following vaccines administered in order to protect them from disease.
What To Expect At A Vaccine Appointment
- Your vet will give your cat a full health check to make sure they are okay to have a vaccination and if they are concerned about anything they may delay the injection until they are better.
- Your cats vaccine will be an injection under the skin. You might be asked to hold him/her still while the injection is given, but if you dont feel comfortable doing so just let your vet know.
- Vaccinations arent usually painful, but they can feel cold or sometimes sting a little, and every cat reacts slightly differently.
- If you have any questions or concerns about your cat, the vaccination appointment is a good opportunity to discuss them, for example if you think they might be gaining weight, need a worming tablet, or youre having trouble with dental care.
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What Are The Risks Of Vaccination
There are very few risks to vaccination. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on specific details concerning your pet. You may notice your cat has a temporary loss of appetite or is less lively a day or two after a vaccination, but this should resolve within 24-48 hours. Very few cats may be allergic to one or more components of the vaccine and have more serious side effects such as difficulty in breathing, vomiting or diarrhea. If these signs occur, contact your veterinarian immediately.
“You may notice your cat has a temporary loss of appetite or is less lively a day or two after a vaccination, but this should resolve within 24-48 hours.”
A rare form of soft tissue sarcoma known as vaccine-associated or injection-sitefibrosarcoma has been associated with a reaction to vaccine components or medication in a very small number of genetically susceptible cats. This association is controversial, and studies are in progress to investigate whether the association is real. The benefits of vaccination greatly outweigh these small risks in most situations .
Protecting An Unvaccinated Cat
Full immunity develops around 3-4 weeks after the final injection in a primary course of vaccinations, but until then you will need to keep your feline friend indoors and away from cats outside of your household. Youll need to keep your cat entertained and stress-free during this time especially if they have previously been used to going outside.
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How Often Do Cats Need Shots And Other Preventative Treatments First The Basics
In fact, there are answers to the question, How often do cats need shots? but theyre not very satisfying. Some plausible answers to the question, How often do cats need shots? are It depends. Nobody knows.
The correct answer to, How often do cats need shots? is it varies depending upon life stage, lifestyle, geographic location and immune system function.
People who seek a simple answer no doubt will be put off at this point. Although there is no straightforward, simple answer to, How often do cats need shots? there are some guidelines that can help to make sense of cats and vaccines, as well as cats and preventative measures.
Does My Cat Need To Be Vaccinated Every Year
Although most vaccine manufacturers recommend annual vaccination for feline distemper and the feline respiratory viruses , there isoverwhelming scientific evidence that this is not necessary. The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the World Small Animal Veterinary Association have issuedspecific guidelines regarding this issue. Their recommendations state that, following an appropriate initial vaccination protocol, the FVRCP vaccine need only be given every 3 years at most. The frequency and/or requirements for rabies vaccinations in cats are dictated by local ordinances .
These guidelines were developed as a result of the observation that aggressive soft tissue tumors seemed to be developing at vaccination sites, particularly at the site of rabies vaccinations. This association was subsequently confirmed and further research showed that all vaccines were implicated. The incidence of tumor formation is estimated to be between 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10,000 per vaccine administered. Although rare, these tumors are extremely aggressive and depending on where they occur, are very difficult and expensive to treat, and carry a poor prognosis. In addition to changing the guidelines for the frequency of vaccination, it is also recommended that all vaccines be given low down on the leg.
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How Often Should We Vaccinate Cats
When asking What vaccines do cats needHow often do cats need shots is a question some cat owners have, who insist were over-vaccinating.
When it comes to duration of immunity, the Guidelines are pretty solid, as we have some pretty solid studies Dr. Nordone says.
However, sometimes there are no owners those are the cats who land at animal shelters. Dr. Julie Levy, professor of shelter medicine at the Maddies Shelter Medicine Program, University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, Gainesville, also served on the AAFP Panel. Its rewarding that the unique needs of shelters are reflected in the Vaccine Guidelines, she says. More cats are surviving shelters, and their health and welfare is an investment worth making. We know that cats will be saved when we vaccinate immediately. Cats are particularly prone to stress and illness in a shelter environment. Dr. Scherk adds, Regarding feline leukemia, testing cats prior to vaccination is essential to ensure negative status. Inadvertent use of FeLV vaccine in a cat infected with FeLV is not harmful, but it is also of no benefit.
The AAFP Advisory Panel recommends administering FeLV vaccines to all kittens but considers the vaccine to be noncore for cats after their one-year booster unless they are at risk of exposure because they have access to outdoors, live with known FeLV-infected cats or live in a multiple-cat environment where the status of all cats coming and going may not be known.
Risks Associated With Vaccination
Immunizations should mildly stimulate the animals immune system in order to create protection from specific infectious diseases. This stimulation can create mild symptoms, ranging from soreness at the injection site to fever and allergic reactions.
There are other, less common side effects like injection site tumors and immune disease associated with vaccination. That said, it is important to realize that vaccines have saved countless lives, and play a vital role in the battle against infectious diseases. As with any medical procedure, there is a small chance of side effects. In most cases, the risks are much smaller than the risks of disease itself. But it is important to talk to your veterinarian about your pets medical history before he is vaccinated.
Most pets show no ill effect from vaccination. Vaccine reactions may be minor and short-lived or require immediate care from a veterinarian. Clinical signs include:
- Pain, swelling, redness, scabbing or hair loss around the injection site
It is best to schedule your pets appointment so that you can monitor him for any side effects following administration of the vaccine. If you suspect your pet is having a reaction to a vaccine, call your veterinarian immediately.
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Importance Of Veterinary Care
Adult cats should have a complete veterinary examination at least once a year. Kittens need veterinary visits usually every 3 to 4 weeks until they are about 4 months old. Geriatric cats should see their veterinarian twice a year or more frequently because illness is more common in older pets and should be identified sooner to provide proper treatment. Your veterinarian may recommend a wellness program for your pet, such as routine blood tests to monitor for early kidney or liver disease.
Why Should I Have My Male Cat Neutered
Neutering or castration refers to the complete removal of the testicles in a male cat, and like spaying, offers health advantages:
- Unneutered males are involved in more cat fights than their neutered friends.
- Some male cats go through a significant personality change when they mature, becoming possessive of their territory and marking it with their urine to ward off other cats. Intruding cats that disregard the urine warning may be met with aggression.
- The urine of an unneutered male cat has a very strong odor that is difficult to remove from your house if he marks his territory. Unneutered males will spray inside the house and will have litter box issues.
- Fighting increases the risk of infectious diseases like feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia.
- Unneutered males may be less friendly toward their human family members too.
Male cats are usually neutered between 4-6 months of age under general anesthesia. Unless there are complications such as undescended testicles , the cat may go home the same day . Cats with undescended testicles should be neutered too. The testicles still produce testosterone and these cats still act like unneutered males. These cats are at a high risk for developing cancer later in life.
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What Vaccines Do Kittens Need As Required By State Law Rabies
Rabies is the other core vaccine your state will require your kitten to receive. Rabies is a fatal disease that causes fever, headache, excess salivation, muscle spasms, paralysis, and mental confusion. It is spread from many types of wild animals to domestic pets and can be spread to humans. Depending on your state laws and the veterinarian, your kitten can receive this vaccination at about 12 weeks old.
Core Vaccines For Indoor And Outdoor Cats
Core vaccinations should be given to all cats, as they are essential for protecting them against the following common but serious feline conditions:
- Rabies– rabies kills many mammals every year. These vaccinations are required by law for cats in most states.
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia – Typically known as the distemper shot, this combination vaccine protects against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.
- Feline herpesvirus type I – This highly contagious, ubiquitous virus is one major cause of upper respiratory infections. Spread through sharing of litter trays or food bowls, inhalation of sneeze droplets, or direct contact, the virus can infect cats for life. Some will continue to shed the virus, and persistent FHV infection can lead to eye problems.
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