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Neutering or Spaying Your New Kitten

There are just too many cats that are either homeless or feral, and people are starting to notice that it is important to neuter their pet cats. Cats mature quickly and can reproduce several times every year, so two feral cats can soon produce twenty or more.

Most feral cats are often pet cats who were not neutered or spayed, and released by their owners when they couldn't take care of them any longer. Feral cats live in colonies, and they can spread diseases to any pet dogs and cats in their vicinity. Even if they are otherwise healthy, they may be flea-infested. When the females come into heat, the colony can disrupt the sleep of an entire neighborhood with their crying and fighting. Cats who are hungry enough will raid garbage cans. Feral kittens can destroy landscaping and soil your yard or outdoor furniture. Neutering or spaying your new kitten in the long run can obviously reduce the number of unwanted kittens that are produced, but it also can provide other benefits. A female cat in heat is very loud. Her crying is quickly drowned out by the fighting and yowling of any local tom cats in the vicinity. Toms that are not neutered tend to roam far away from home if they are allowed outdoors and may get injured or killed. Unaltered tomcats that are kept indoors or outdoors will tend to mark all objects in their territory with urine, which is extremely strong-smelling.

Cats who are unaltered may come down with some types of cancers more frequently than altered cats. These cancers affect the reproductive organs. They are extremely rare in cats that have been altered by the age of one year. Unaltered cats may also catch any of several contagious diseases of the reproductive tract.

Stretching Kitten

Stretch

Unlike some animals, neutering or spaying your new kitten can be done at a very young age. Some humane societies and rescue groups recommend altering kittens at the age of eight weeks. Many veterinarians, however, suggest you wait until five or six months of age in most cases. The exceptions may be feral kittens who are trapped and then taken to be altered before being re-released to their colonies. By the time they are five or six months old, they may already be pregnant.

However, that doesn't mean that you can't alter your adult cat, it is just better to do it as young as possible.

If you have both male and female kittens in your home, you may want to neuter the males at a younger age, and wait until the girls are around six months old. This is recommended in many cases because the procedure is more difficult for females than males.

Most cats rarely have any problems after neutering, but sometimes incisions can become infected. Be sure to check your cat daily to make sure the incision is healing well. Symptoms of infection are puffiness and redness around the incision site. If your cat is licking or chewing at the stitches, you may need to have the cat wear an Elizabethan collar. This will prevent them from being able to reach the stitches. Male cats can go about their business quickly after the surgery, while females should be kept indoors for up to five days afterwards as they may injure themselves.

As with any type of surgery, there are some risks. In very, very rare occasions, cats might be allergic or have a fatal reaction to the anesthesia. However, statistically, the risk is minimal.

Neutering or spaying your new kitten is really a rather simple procedure. With a little extra care during recovery, your pet will have a happy, healthy life without worrying about unwanted litters and reproductive health.

Vaccinating Your New Kitten

March 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Vaccinating Your New Kitten

Your veterinarian will recommend that your kitten come back in two to four weeks for a second dose of FVRCPC and a second FIP and FLV vaccine. If he was wormed at his first visit, he will receive a second treatment. If your kitten is at least 12 weeks old, he will also get his first rabies shot at this visit.

Your kitten needs to come back a third time between the ages of ten to sixteen weeks. He will get a third FVRCPC shot at this time. If your kitten was too young to get a rabies vaccine at the last visit, he will get one this time.

When your kitten has gotten his third set of FVRCPC inoculations, he is home free until he reaches a year of age. At one year old, he will need another FVRCPC vaccination and another rabies. If he gets his second rabies shot within a year of the first, he will then be safe for three years. The FVRCPC needs to be given every year, however. If your kitten got vaccinations for FIP and Feline Leukemia, he will get booster shots for them at his one year visit to the veterinarian.

Vaccinating your new kitten is safe, but some cats do have side effects on occasion. Feline Leukemia vaccinations can sometimes be the cause of a form of cancer that may develop at the site of the injection.

Marco

Marco

This is the main reason many veterinarians do not recommend the vaccine if cats are not at risk of contracting it. Some vaccines may create tumors at the injection site. Most of the time, these tumors can be surgically removed before they spread through the cat's system. This is a very rare side effect; the risk of your cat catching the disease the vaccine prevents is much higher than this side effect. If you notice a small lump forming at the injection site, let your vet know. These lumps are usually a sign of a simple reaction to the vaccine, but in rare instances, they can develop into a tumor.

Vaccinating your new kitten will help keep him or her healthy by preventing many diseases that may be debilitating at best or fatal at worst. It is easy to protect your cat against these dangers to their health with a few short trips to the vet. Do yourself and your cats a favor and protect them with vaccinations.