Routine Care for Kittens 

If you're caring for kittens, there are a few routine veterinary needs that you should know about. The following care should be given to every kitten you rescue, and in a timely fashion so that the kitten has the protection they need and can stay on track for adoption!

Vaccination

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The FVRCP vaccine is an important standard vaccine that keeps kittens safe from the feline viruses rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. These viruses can be easily transmitted to a young kitten and can cause upper respiratory infections and even death--so it's crucial to protect kittens through vaccination. The FVRCP vaccine can be given at 4-6 weeks of age, and is boosted twice in 2-3 week intervals. FVRCP vaccines are generally administered by a veterinarian, or if you're working with a local rescue or shelter, they may administer them for you. 

The rabies vaccine is given at 12-16 weeks of age and must be administered by a veterinarian. It is required by law in many states and should be boosted after one year, then every three years. Because this vaccine cannot be given until 3 months of age, a kitten can be adopted without one, so long as the adopter gets a rabies vaccine at the appropriate age.

DEWORMER

All kittens should be treated for common gastrointestinal parasites at 2, 4, and 6 weeks of age. Some parasites can be treated at home, while others will require a prescription from a veterinarian. 

To deworm a kitten at home for common parasites such as roundworms and hookworms, you'll need a digital scale, a 1cc syringe, and a bottle of oral dewormer which can be purchased online or at pet supply stores. You'll want to purchase Pyrantel pamoate 50mg/ml suspension which has a doasge of 1ml per 10 lbs of body weight--this measures out to .1ml per 1 pound of kitten. Regardless of the age you deworm, always follow up with at least one more dose 2 weeks later.

Many kittens carry other parasites such as coccidia or giardia that will require a prescription from a vet. For this reason, many rescuers and rescue groups choose to treat kittens with prescription drugs Panacur and Ponazuril, which offer a more broad range of protection against parasites.

SPAY/NEUTER

Spay/Neuter surgery should occur before adoption, and can be performed at 8 weeks of age and at 2 pounds. 

MICROCHIPPING

Microchipping is advised for cats at the time of spay/neuter. Most importantly, make sure that the microchip is registered online to the adopter and/or the rescue organization.