Kitten Health Issues

As a responsible pet owner, there are many things you should be concerned with when it comes to the safety and welfare of your kitten. Kitten health issues are one major concern

One of the worst diseases your little kitten could get is feline leukemia. Kittens rarely live a few weeks after this disorder has been contracted. It is therefore of optimal importance for you to get your kitten checked for FeLV as soon as you get it. Note that feline leukemia is very contagious as well, so if one of your kittens has it, it is a good idea to bring the whole litter to the vet as well. If your kitten tests negative for FeLV, then you should vaccinate it when it’s of the right age, which is usually around six weeks old. If your kitten tests positive, however, then appropriate treatment and medication should follow right away.

Respiratory infections are also very common in small kittens. The feline herpes virus and feline calicivirus are two causes of upper respiratory tract infections that readily attack kittens that are just a few weeks old. Symptoms of respiratory infections include sneezing, difficulty breathing, eye discharge, and a runny nose. Prevention is the best idea in this case, and getting your kitten vaccinated is once more the solution to this problem. If your kitten already has one of these infections, then the only thing you can do is take it to the vet to get treated. Upper respiratory tract infections are hard to treat, but usually, with proper medication, your kitten should recover within 5-7 days. Sometimes, this virus may linger in the kitten’s body only to resurface in the later part of the kitten’s life to once more cause another infection.

Another thing you should be watching out for when it comes to your kitten’s health issues is worms. Hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms usually find their way into your kitten’s stomach through the ingestion of another cat’s feces or contaminated soil. These cause diarrhea and noticeable weight loss. This is a very common health issue with kittens, and therefore, once your kitten has reached the age of around eight weeks old, it should receive regular deworming treatments. If your kitten already has worms, then your vet will most likely give your kitten proper medication for the kind of worms it has. Your pet will fully recover in around two weeks. Note that your kitten will easily become re-infected, through ingesting the eggs of the worms in the kitten’s own feces. Therefore, all of your kitten’s feces must be disposed of immediately and be kept away from other cats and soil until it is fully recovered.

Ticks and fleas are another kitten health issue pet owners need to concern themselves with. The most common symptoms of these are hair loss and itching. Unlike the other health issues discussed, ticks and fleas are much easier to take care of. Simply purchase flea powder or over-the-counter medication and give it to your kitten as indicated. Recovery time is less than 24 hours.

Another parasite that is transmitted in much the same way as ticks and fleas are ear mites. If your kitten has ear mites, then you will notice it scratching its ears and shaking its head. You may also notice a crumbly, whitish product in your pet’s ear, which is the leftover of the digested blood the ear mites have already sucked. Thankfully, ear mites are easy to take care of as well through liquid drops. 1-2 weeks is all it takes for the ear mites to be completely killed.

There are several things you have to keep in mind to keep your kitten safe and healthy. Check it for fleas, ticks, and ear mites daily and get it vaccinated when it is around 8 weeks old. It is also important to keep your eye out for any strange behavior that may point to signs of illnesses. Many kittens die because owners brought them to the vet too late. Always bring your pet to the clinic whenever you notice something wrong regarding kitten health issues. Remember, it’s ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry.