12–15 Weeks: What to Expect From Your Kitten
Three Important Things to Discuss with Your Vet
As a cat caretaker, the best thing you can do for your kitten's health is to have a good relationship with your veterinarian. Your vet wants to be your ally in doing the best you possibly can to take good care of your kitten's health, and open communication is a vitally important part of that relationship.
To that end, here are three important issues you should discuss with your vet.
Spay/Neuter: All cats should be spayed or neutered unless they're being bred by a highly qualified professional breeder. If you adopt from a shelter, your kitten will be spayed when you adopt her or you will need to sign a contract stating that you will have your cat neutered before she reaches puberty. If you buy a “pet quality”cat from a breeder, you will be required to have her spayed. Talk to your vet about the best time to get your cat “fixed”and what her clinic does for pain management and post-surgical monitoring.
Special health issues: If your kitten has a heart murmur or an illness such as FIV, or if he has a disability such as cerebellar hypoplasia or blindness, talk to your vet about how to manage his condition and the best ways to accommodate for his special needs.
Be honest about your limits: If you have financial issues that might make it difficult for you to pay for your cat's spay or neuter, or to get the regular vaccinations and preventive care she needs, your vet may be able to connect you to resources that can help you. Your vet will probably be delighted that you want to be a responsible cat owner and she will do what she can to make sure you are able to do so. If you have a disability that makes it difficult for you to medicate your cat or provide care such as grooming or bathing, your vet may be able to suggest organizations that can help with in-home care. Vets are not social workers, but they do tend to be aware of resources to help with pet care.
Advice from Other Cat Owners
When to Vaccinate Your Kitten
Kittens need their combo vaccine (FVRCPC) starting at 6 or 8 weeks and it is a series of 3 shots, with 2 or 4 week intervals in between. This is essential for building a healthy immune system, so no you cannot delay them or what would be the point of vaccinating?
Rabies would not be necessary for an indoor only cat, nor feline leukemia. I do not vaccinate for these if indoor-only because of the unnecessary risk of side effects. But this does mean your cat must remain indoor only. Definitely do de-worming and stool tests for parasites.
Vaccines are -not- expensive. If you have to ask about cost concerns on here, then definitely do not get two cats. If you have to ask about whether or not you can delay vaccinations or not give them at all, please consider not getting a cat. A FVRCPC shot or a vet visit cost about the same amount as a high quality bag of cat food, so if you can't afford that, please don't get a cat and then give it mediocre care.
~Chrysee H., owner of Ragdoll