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Protecting your kitten's health:

There are two major diseases of cats, which can be prevented by vaccination (see: Vaccination). These are Feline Enteritis and Cat Flu. Feline Enteritis is a killer disease and tends to strike quickly. Within just a couple of days affected cats become very ill, refusing food and drink and treatment is seldom successful.

Cat Flu is a complex condition that can cause severe suffering, with the cat unable to breathe properly, problems with eating and drinking and general depression. Many cats never fully recover and some may well be chronic snufflers with frequent sneezing and a dirty nasal discharge. Others may show no symptoms but remain carriers and pass on infection to other cats.

All good Catteries insist upon proof of vaccination against disease before they will admit a cat; but exposure to infection can be in your garden or wherever else your cat may roam, so there is a genuine need to vaccinate.

The young are particularly susceptible to disease and it may well be that your kitten will already have started its vaccination course before you acquire it. If so, the breeder should give you the vaccination record card provided by the Veterinary Surgeon who administered the vaccine. If not, once the kitten has settled in, make an appointment with your own Veterinary Surgeon and remember, it is essential to give a dose of vaccine at 12 weeks of age or over, even if a dose has been given earlier than that. An annual booster vaccination will be necessary to maintain your cat's immunity. Contact your Veterinary Surgeon for advice anyway.

Worming: It is prudent to assume that your kitten has roundworms, although the breeder may have wormed it. Your Veterinary Surgeon will advise you on the frequency of worming required to control infestation.

Teething: The milk teeth are usually all up by 8 weeks of age. At about 5 - 6 months of age the permanent teeth erupt, pushing the milk teeth out. Usually this presents no problem but sometimes there is difficulty in eating for a few days.

Broadly speaking Health is any state of optimal functioning, well-being, or progress.

REMEMBER: Never give your cat medicines designed for humans.

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