Preventative care is something that should be at the top of the mind for every responsible and conscientious kitten owner. Our animals aren’t able to protect themselves from infectious diseases and instead are completely reliant on us to keep them safe. Fortunately, thanks to the wide variety of preventative medications now available, doing just this is now easier and more affordable than ever before.
While many people think that their kitty only needs visit her vet in Birmingham AL when she is unwell, these professionals are actually a valuable resource when it comes to ensuring our felines remains as happy and healthy as possible. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure and by keeping illness at bay you can save your furbaby from unpleasant, painful and debilitating symptoms, potentially irreversible damage to her body and body systems, and even premature death. This is especially true when your cat is still a kitten, with an immature immune system and significantly more vulnerable to illness and disease.
There are many different aspects to preventative care, and exactly what your feline will be offered will depend on your individual veterinarian. However, most offer fairly comprehensive preventative care plans that include:
- Blood, urine and fecal testing
- Annual or semi-annual physical examinations
- Ongoing education on health and wellness for your cat
- Parasite control and prevention
Parasites are a common problem facing many animals, and if your cat is left unprotected, she will almost certainly experience at least one parasite problem during her lifetime. If you live in Birmingham, AL and you have an outdoor kitten, chances are she will come across and be bitten by a tick.
What are ticks?
Ticks are small, wingless parasites that look a lot like very small buttons. They vary in color from grey and brown to the darkest black and are most often found living outdoors in wooded areas, tall grasses and other environments where they can easily hide. Here they lurk until an animal, in this case your kitten, passes by. Then they drop onto her body and burrow into her coat, looking for a blood source that is close to the skin, but well protected. Here the tick bites into your kitten and starts drinking her blood. Ticks can feed for as long as 72 hours before feeling sated, dropping off and beginning the cycle all over again.
Dangers of ticks
Unfortunately, ticks are well known for carrying diseases, with the most prevalent affecting felines being known as mycoplasma haemofelis. Ticks also carry Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis, but these are rarely seen in cats. When an infected tick bites your kitten, it will pass some of the disease that it is carrying into her body, causing her to become unwell. In some cases, tick bites and the subsequent contraction of illness can prove fatal for your kitten.
How can a preventative care exam keep ticks away from your kitten?
When your kitten goes for a preventative care appointment, your vet will almost certainly speak to you about the importance of parasite prevention. He/she will probably examine your furbaby to ensure that there are no ticks present on her body. These can usually be seen with the naked eye and picked up on fairly quickly if you check your kitten over from nose to tail daily. Your kitten vet in Birmingham AL will check whether your feline has a tick preventative in place, and if not, will be able to provide a recommendation for this during your appointment. In most instances, tick protection comes in the form of an oral medication, collar, spray or other topical treatment. It is often combined with flea treatment to enable you to protect your pet from ticks and fleas with just one solution.
If your kitten has not yet had a preventative care exam, our dedicated and professional vets would be delighted to help. Please don’t hesitate to contact our veterinarians in Birmingham, AL at 205-236-2100 to arrange her appointment with our experienced kitten vet.