Including worming, flea treatment & vaccinations
It's extremely important to provide preventative care (such as worming, flea treatment and vaccinations) for kittens, to not only help prevent disease/illness in one particular kitten, but to also help prevent the spread of potentially contagious and fatal diseases to other kittens and cats.
Vaccinations are done at 8, 12 and 15 weeks (depending on the brand of vaccine). In Australia, the main vaccine used is the F3 combined with the FeLV vaccine, with an additional option to protect against FIV for outdoor cats.
The F3 + FeLV vaccination protects against:
Feline Herpesvirus (one of the causes of “Cat Flu”- an upper respiratory/pulmonary infection causing sneezing, nasal and ocular discharge, and potentially pneumonia)
Feline Calicivirus (another cause for “Cat Flu”, with similar signs, and can also cause mouth ulcers, arthritis and lameness)
Panleukopaenia (also known as “Cat Parvovirus”, which can cause severe gastroenteritis, which is often fatal, especially in young kittens)
Feline Leukaemia Virus (a retrovirus transmitted between cats via bodily fluids, that can impair their immune system and cause cancer)
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) can also be vaccinated against, and is recommended for outdoor cats. This virus is similar to HIV in people, as it attacks the immune system making cats highly susceptible to diseases and infection.
Worming & Flea Treatment
Worming and flea treatment is also important preventative care for kittens. They can be treated with an intestinal wormer at 2 weeks old, and repeated every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Worming is then repeated every month until the kitten is 6 months old, and then every 3 months for life.
Flea treatment can occur from birth with a product like Advantage spot on, or from 2 days old with a product like Frontline Spray. You can then use a spot on treatment at about 8 weeks old (depending on the product), and repeated monthly. It is important to protect kittens against fleas as they are not only uncomfortable, but in severe cases, they can cause anaemia.