Chat Rooms

By Samantha Drake

Timely vaccinations are an important part of ensuring the health of your kitten. Kitten owners should bring their new pet to the veterinarian for its first round of shots, which will be followed by another set of vaccinations a few weeks later.

Vaccines stimulate the kitten's immune system to make antibodies against infection. The diseases a kitten is vaccinated against are either potentially fatal or carry a high risk of infection, according to PetWave. Previous vaccinations, age, and whether the kitten will go outside or not all factor into which vaccinations your kitten should receive.

EARLY START

Kittens younger than eight weeks should not be vaccinated because they are already being protected against disease by the natural antibodies in their mother's milk. Therefore, vaccinations may start as early as eight weeks old and are then given every three to four weeks until the kitten reaches 16 weeks old, PetWave says. Kittenhood is the time when cat owners are the most conscientious about vaccines. “We see excellent compliance for kittens in their first year of life,” notes Dr. Sara Sprowls, a veterinarian at Glenolden Animal Hospital in Glenolden, Pa. But compliance with the vaccine schedules “declines dramatically after that. Responsible kitten owners must be sure to fully comply with the applicable vaccine regimens to ensure the health of their pets.

CORE VACCINES FOR CATS

American Association of Feline Practitioners(AAFP) divides vaccinations into “core” and “non-core” groups. Core vaccines are necessities for most cats and include:

FELINE PANLEUKOPENIA (FPV) - Also known as feline distemper, the vaccine is typically given in two doses, three to four weeks apart. Booster shots are given a year later and then no more than every three years thereafter.

FELINE HERPESVIRUS-1 (FHV-1) - This is administered at the same time and frequency as the FPV vaccine.

FELINE CALICIVIRUS (FCV) - Also given at the same time as FPV and FHV-1 vaccines and boosters.

RABIES - The rabies vaccine can be given to kittens as young as eight weeks old, depending on the product. Vets must follow state or municipal laws regarding the frequency of rabies boosters, which may be annually or every three years.

NON-CORE VACCINES FOR CATS - The administration of non-core vaccines largely depend on the whether the kitten will go outside or not. Non-core vaccines for cats include:

FELINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS (FELV) - The vaccine is typically given in two doses, three to four weeks apart. Booster shots are given a year later and then annually for at-risk cats. The AAFP highly recommends the FeLV vaccination for kittens. There is a debate over the necessity of leukemia vaccinations for all kittens. It used to be recommended only for outdoor kitties, and Dr. Sprowls says. But it will also protect indoor cats in the event they get out, she adds.

FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (FIV) - The first dose is given as early as eight weeks with two more doses given at two- to three-week intervals. Annual booster shots follow for cats with a sustained risk of infection. This includes cats living outdoors and cat not infected with FIV that live with FIV-infected cats. The vaccine does not protect against all strains of FIV, however.

Other non-core vaccinations include Feline Infectious Peritonitis, Chlamydophila felis, and Bordetella bronchiseptica are recommended only for kittens that may be at risk.

For a more complete undersstanding of cat vacination visit petwave's cat vacination guide

Yourcat's ears may be able to pick up the sound of a bag of treats being opened across the house, but they could still use a little help staying clean. Monitoring your kitty's ears once per week for wax, debris and infection will help those sensitive sonar detectors stay perky and alert to your every move.

Outer Ear Check

A healthy feline ear flap, or pinna, has a layer of hair on its outer surface with no bald spots, and its inner surface is clean and light pink. If you see any discharge, redness or swelling, your cat's ears should be checked by a veterinarian.

Inner Ear Exam

Bring kitty into a quiet room where there are no other pets. Gently fold back each ear and look down into the canal. Healthy inner ears will be pale pink in color, carry no debris or odor and will have minimal if no earwax. If you find that your cat's ears are caked with wax or you detect an odor, please bring her in for a veterinary exam.

Ear Cleaning 101

Place a little bit of liquid ear cleaner (ask your vet for a recommendation) onto a clean cotton ball or piece of gauze. Fold kitty's ear back gently and wipe away any debris or earwax that you can see on the underside of her ear. Lift away the dirt and wax rather than rubbing it into the ear. And do not attempt to clean the canal-probing inside of your cat's ear can cause trauma or infection.

Signs of Ear Problems

Watch for the following signs that may indicate your cat's ears should be checked by a veterinarian

Persistent scratching and pawing of the ear area

Sensitivity to touch

Head tilting or shaking

Loss of balance and disorientation

Redness or swelling of the ear flap or canal

Unpleasant odor

Black or yellowish discharge

Accumulation of dark brown wax

Hearing loss

Bleeding

Know Your Ear Disorders

Ear mitesare common parasites that are highly contagious among pets. Telltale signs include excessive itching of the ears and debris that resembles coffee grounds.

Ear infections are usually caused by bacteria, yeast or foreign debris caught in the ear canal. Treatment should be sought immediately as ear infections can cause considerable discomfort and may indicateallergies, hormonal abnormalities or hereditary disease.

Blood blisters (hematoma) are the result of blood accumulation in the ear flap. They're often caused by infection, ear mites,fleasor trapped debris that causes your cat to scratch her ears or shake her head excessively.

How to Administer Ear Drops

If your veterinarian has recommended ear drops for your cat, please ask for his advice on how to properly administer them, and please follow these guidelines:

Read the label instructions carefully for correct dosage before administering.

Using a vet-recommended solution, clean the external ear thoroughly with a moist cotton ball or piece of clean gauze.

Gently pull the ear flap back, squeeze out the correct amount of solution and apply it to the lowest part of the ear canal.

Gently massage the base of the ear to help work the medication deeper into the canal.

Administer the full dosage indicated by your vet or the instructions on the bottle. Stopping short of a full dosage may prevent your cat from healing.

Reward your cat with a treat afterward.

I also posted this on the 'cat behavior' thread: I have been care-taking a rural home with two cats since early Feb. '14, a female and a male. A few weeks ago, a raccoon got into their living space in the garage, which meant that from then on, there was a lot of disruption around getting the cats safely into the garage in the evening. Five nights ago, after trying and trying to get her to come in, at about 12:30 AM I gave up and left her out for the night. She didn't make it. I found her the next morning. It's been devastating. I don't know these folks well, and I know she'd been in their family for most of their kids' childhood. Aside from the tragedy, I am at a loss as to how to handle the surviving cat. I can't let him in the house because the family has allergies. When I go out to get him in the morning, he's frantic, hoarse and trembling from grief, confusion, disruption, etc. I try to make a point of spending some serious comforting time with him. There's been so much disruption for him already. Just when they'd acclimated to me, I had to leave for a funeral, and get used to yet-another cat-sitter, and now this. The man of the house will be returning for a spell in a week, but meanwhile, I would very much appreciate any suggestions or advice.

I have been care-taking a rural home with two cats since early Feb. '14, a female and a male. A few weeks ago, a raccoon got into their living space in the garage, which meant that from then on, there was a lot of disruption around getting the cats safely into the garage in the evening. Five nights ago, after trying and trying to get her to come in, at about 12:30 AM I gave up and left her out for the night. She didn't make it. I found her the next morning. It's been devastating. I don't know these folks well, and I know she'd been in their family for most of their kids' childhood. Aside from the tragedy, I am at a loss as to how to handle the surviving cat. I can't let him in the house because the family has allergies. When I go out to get him in the morning, he's frantic, hoarse and trembling from grief, confusion, disruption, etc. I try to make a point of spending some serious comforting time with him. There's been so much disruption for him already. Just when they'd acclimated to me, I had to leave for a funeral, and get used to yet-another cat-sitter, and now this. The man of the house will be returning for a spell in a week, but meanwhile, I would very much appreciate any suggestions or advice.

Hi there. I have a Canadian sphinx that gave birth a month ago. 
The kittens are cute and energetic (already walking, jumping and climbing).
I the few last days I have noticed that all the kittens have purple/black tongues.
I didn't look or payed any attention to that before so I can't tell if the color was different before.
Is it normal for cats from this breed to have dark tongues ?
The kittens are breastfeed only.
Thanks with advance for your answer.

Here is a good composite for your cat’s food: Protein 32%, Fat 18%, Fiber 3%. Sound good right? Well what if you were told that this in the composite from a pair of old leather boots, used motor oil, and a scoop of sawdust? Wow. Not that appealing after all. Especially for our cats.So what makes a good quality cat food? Well for starters, cats (unlike humans and dogs) are carnivores. They absolutely need meat and better cat foods will have real meat as the first ingredient. You want muscle meat rather than by-products, little to no grains, and WATER. Due to this water requirement (ESPECIALLY important during a cat’s senior years) a high quality canned food is better for cats because it has considerably more water.Beware of starches as some companies will use them to substitute for the grain.There are some great brands out there that offer high quality cat food – the trick is to research these brands, or simply refer to this forum link for great information onquality pet food for your cat.

Our two cats are siblings that we have had since they were kittens.  Maud had to go to the vet for dental work and was gone all day.  When I brought her home and let her out of the carrier, her sister Molly began hissing and growling at her, as if she did not recognize her.  I thought she might be reacting to the smell of the vet office, but two days later and she still hisses menacingly. I am at a loss about how to fix the problem.  Any help is welcome.

My partner and I have a cat who will be a year old in April. A friend found her in a warehouse at work when she was about 10 days old and we had to bottle feed her. She sucks on my shirt at night which I know is common for bottle fed cats but not on my boyfriend (maybe thinks I'm her mom?) anyways, she was friendly as a younger cat but now she hates anyone who is not me or my boyfriend. Our friends don't believe us that she's the biggest sweetheart anymore. With us she lets us hold her and she snuggles all the time. I'm not sure if started happening after she was spayed or when we got our dog (they like each other) but now she'll hiss and bite anyone else who tries to touch her and even attacked our friend out of the blue. We moved her food and litter box to a separate part of the house away from where guests mingle and also put a pheromone diffuser in the living room. She has only lived in our house since we got her. Is she being territorial? Help!

I'm smitten with the ragamuffin breed!! I hope to get one soon, but my they are expensive!!!.. anyone else here have one?

Hello everyone,

I have had a small dog that has been using a litter box (specially made for dogs) for almost 10 years. The litter is made of recycled newspaper (like "Yesterday's News", but a little bigger).
A few months ago I started fostering a cat (she is almost 2 years old now), and she had been very good using her little box. I clean it several times a day, and the litter is very good quality (Nature's Miracle clumping litter).
Lately, though, the cat has been using the dog's litter box. It is a problem because it does not have a dome, filter, etc, and the smell goes all over the apartment (I live in a studio). Besides, now the dog does not want to use his own box, which is a problem, since he is not used to "holding it" until I am back from work.
I would like to have the cat using her box again. Any suggestions?
Thanks!
Eliana

prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | next
Submit your own photos!
Dog Breeds Selector

Find your perfect match based on activity level, size, intelligence and more!