580 West Main Street
Hendersonville, Tennessee 37075
Phone: (615) 824-0580

New Kitten Care Info

What To Do In An Emergency

If you have an emergency after hours, call:
Rivergate Pet Emergency Clinic: 615-859-3778

Please do not hesitate to call with your questions or concerns. We would rather you call early than have your pet suffer needlessly or worsen overnight. Often the staff can advise you on what to do or a medication to give at home to keep your pet comfortable until our office is open. Please do not give human medication to your pet without checking with a veterinarian first. For instance, Tylenol and Advil are toxic to dogs and cats.

First Aid Tips

  • Vomiting: Withhold food and water for 12-24 hours. If vomiting has stopped, then offer a small amount of water first and observe if pet keeps it down. If your pet holds down the water, then offer a small amount of food and observe for any vomiting. Call your veterinarian if the response to treatment is not good or if vomiting persists.
  • Diarrhea: Withhold food for 12-24 hours. Observe symptoms and if diarrhea persists contact your veterinarian.
  • Severe Bleeding: Apply pressure with a cloth, bandage, and/or your hand. Contact your veterinarian.
  • Choking: Try to remove the object from the animal’s throat especially if it is unconscious.
  • Fracture: Signs of a bone fracture include the inability to stand on the leg, limping, intense pain, and/or bone appearing to bend where it shouldn't. If there is signs of a fracture then bring your pet to the veterinarian as safely as possible.(i.e. muzzled, gently restrained) Do not attempt to reset the fracture yourself.

Caring For Your Kitten

  • Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS testing: Your kitten should be tested for these potentially communicable/fatal diseases before you introduce your new kitten to other cats and/or vaccines.
  • Deworming: Most kittens have intestinal parasites and needs to be dewormed at least 2 times between 3 and 9 weeks of age. We will recommend having a fecal exam performed to rule out the various intestinal parasites that kittens could potentially carry.
  • Vaccinations: Vaccinations are given at both 9 and 12 weeks of age.
    • FVRCP: This is a combination vaccine that includes feline distemper, and a variety of airborne feline upper respiratory viruses.
    • FeLV: Feline leukemia vaccine. This vaccine is recommended if your kitten has the potential of going outside, or is exposed to other cats.
    • RABIES: Given at 12 weeks of age or older. Rabies vaccine is required by law in all states.

All Vaccines Are Repeated Yearly

  • Spaying / Neutering: We recommend spaying/neutering between 4 and 6 months of age. Female cats will come into heat for the first time between 6 and 9 months of age. Male cats will have the potential of mating as young as 6-8 months of age. Male cats could start fighting and wandering off in search of females during this time.
  • Declawing: Typically declawing can be provided after your pet is spayed/neutered. Your veterinarian will discuss the option of declawing if you so choose to. Please think about the decision thoroughly and keep in mind that a declawed cat MUST be an indoor cat its’ entire life.
  • Flea and Tick Protection: Ask us about the different options of flea and tick protection.
  • Diet: All kittens should be fed kitten food for the first 9-12 months of their life. Ask your veterinarian about a recommended diet for your cat.
  • Toys and Interactive Play: Cats are predators. Using interactive toys and playing with your cat twice a day can satisfy those predatory instincts (i.e. laser pointers, balls with bells, etc.).
  • Indoors: If possible, we recommend your cat to stay indoors. Studies have shown that indoor cats can live 70% longer than outdoor cats. Cars, dogs, and other cats are a constant danger to outdoor cats.

Recommended Kitten Vaccine Series

Your kitten will need a series of vaccines starting around 9 weeks of age, and continuing every 3 weeks for a total of 3 visits.

Visit #1 (6 to 7 weeks old)

  • Complete physical exam
  • Feline Leukemia / Feline AIDS test
  • Fecal floatation (checks for intestinal parasites)
  • Deworming #1

Visit #2 (9 to 10 weeks old)

  • Follow-up physical exam
  • Fecal floatation (if necessary)
  • Deworming #2
  • FVRCP #1
  • FLV #1

Visit #3 (12-14 weeks old)

  • Follow-up physical exam
  • FVRCP #2
  • FLV #2
  • RABIES