Dupont Veterinary Clinic’s
We wish to welcome you and your new cat to our clinic! We understand how important your cat is to you, and we are committed to providing you and your pets with excellent care.
The material in this packet is oriented toward kittens, but most of it applies to older cats as well, so you may find it useful if you have a new cat of any age. The information here is an overview. Please click the links in the sections below for more detailed information. Visit this page to learn more information about adopting a new cat.
We are a multi-doctor practice, and are made stronger by the differences in training and background between our veterinarians. As a result, some of our doctors may differ slightly with regard to the practices outlined in this packet. Please feel free to ask us questions about these or any other issues you have involving your pet!
Click this link if you would prefer to download PDF versions of our Kitten Packet
KITTEN HEALTH CARE
Physical exams are as important as any vaccines we give!
Every new kitten should have a full physical examination after adoption and then with each set of vaccines, to make sure that she/he is in good health, and to discuss preventive medicine, and any questions you may have. Thereafter we recommend checkups at least every year. These exams are as important as any vaccines we give!
Kittens require a series of vaccines in their early months to protect them from serious disease. After the kitten reaches adulthood, its vaccines are updated at intervals to ensure continued protection.
Rabies: A core vaccine required by DC law at 12 weeks of age, 1 year later, and then yearly. Rabies vaccination is vital for the health and safety of your cat, your family and the community.
FVRCP: (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia) The other core vaccine given every 3 to 4 weeks until the kitten is at least 16 weeks old. It is boostered a year later, and then given every 3 years.
FELV: (Feline Leukemia) may be appropriate for your kitten if it has contact with other cats. We can discuss this optional vaccine during your first visit.
Vaccines can (rarely) cause reactions, such as swelling, fever, lethargy, vomiting, itchiness, difficulty breathing and collapse. Vaccines have also been known to cause tumors in cats at the location of the injection. These tumors are rare, but can be fatal. For this and other reasons, we are careful not to over-vaccinate, and we use the safest possible products. Please check your cat regularly for any lumps on or under the skin, and call us if you find any.
This test is a check for various intestinal parasites, and is recommended for all kittens, and then every 6 to 12 months for older cats, especially those that go outside.
A small, fresh stool sample can be brought in a plastic bag or other container. It is checked for various intestinal parasites. Tapeworms and roundworms may also be seen in the stool or on the kitten’s anal area. Intestinal parasites can be harmful to kittens, and sometimes people, so it is important to bring in samples regularly and give any deworming medication as directed. Also, encourage children to wash their hands, keep them away from areas that may be contaminated by feces, and wear gloves or wash hands after cleaning the litter box. Detailed information about the more common types is available on our website here.
Heartworms are blood parasites that can be carried by mosquitos to cats (even indoor-only cats). They literally live in the heart and can cause heart failure and death.
They are difficult to diagnose in cats, and very difficult to treat. A monthly topical (applied on the skin) medication is recommended year-round to kill heartworm larvae and common intestinal parasites. It is started at 6 to 8 weeks of age and is recommended life-long. More information about heartworms is located here.
FLEA AND TICK PREVENTION
DC is unfortunately home to a thriving population of fleas and ticks, which can cause discomfort and anemia and transmit other diseases. We have several products that are very effective in eliminating fleas and preventing re-infestations.
We recommend this procedure for our patients for health and behavioral reasons as well as population control.
It is usually done when the cat is around 6 months old. Spaying female cats before their first heat cycle prevents pregnancy and uterine infection, and minimizes the risk of future mammary (breast) cancer. It also prevents them from going into heat, which is very stressful for female cats that are restricted from mating. Neutering a male cat prior to 6 months of age generally prevents urine marking in the house and greatly decreases the cat’s desire to roam and to fight with other males. Please discuss these procedures and the best time to perform them with your veterinarian.
If your cat is lost and is taken to a shelter or clinic, it will automatically be checked for a microchip, and if it has one, you will be called.
We inject this tiny transponder under the skin and register your cat for life with a 24-hour hotline. We strongly recommend this safe, easy method of permanent identification. You must keep the registry informed if your phone number changes! Check out our microchipping webpage for more information.
THE DREADED VET VISIT
These tips will hopefully help make your feline companion’s visit not so terrifying.
Most cats run for their lives the moment the cat carrier appears! They associate it only with vet visits, and it fills them with horror. We would prefer the carrier to be your cat’s “safe place” when you take him to our hospital. Get a cat carrier that opens on top, or that you can remove the top of. Cats really hate being pulled out of carriers or being dumped out of them. Put something clean and soft in the carrier, such as a soft towel or a fleece throw. At home, leave the cat carrier out all the time, with the door open! Try putting food, toys, fleece blankets, catnip and treats in it (not all at the same time), or lure your cat in with the laser pen. If your cat gets comfortable in the carrier, try closing the door for a couple minutes – not for long!! The day of the vet visit, don’t give your cat much to eat. If he is hungry he may take our treats as “comfort food”, in the exam room.
When you come in with your cat, please ask for a towel to cover his carrier with. Avoid putting the carrier on the floor, and speak to our receptionist if there are noisy or boisterous dogs in the lobby. They can put your carrier up high or take it to a quieter area.
If your cat has a pattern of getting so stressed at the vet that we cannot handle him or her, please give us a head’s up about this. We are often willing to give you a mild sedative that you can mix into your cat’s food 90 minutes prior to leaving home.
Please visit this page for more advice about bringing your cat to the vet.
HOME CARE FOR CATS
Visit this page to learn more about diet, enrichment, behavior, litterbox recommendations and more.
A doctor or technician can discuss routine home-care of nails, teeth, and ears. Visit this page to learn more about brushing your cat’s teeth. Please call us if you have any further questions!