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What To Expect During Your Kittens First Year

Owning a kitten changes your life! From the cuddling and playing to the feeding and veterinary care, your new kitten will require a lot from you in the first year of life. At Jane Animal Hospital in Toronto, we want our patients to be prepared for the kind of responsibilities they'll face when they own a kitten. We help our patients understand the scope of care that a kitten needs, so they can give their kitten the love and attention they require.

Wellness Exams

Wellness exams are an important part of every pet's life. You can think of wellness exams like doctor's checkups. During the exam, the veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of your pet's body. Your pet's veterinarian will check your pet's coat, skin, eyes, ears, mouth, teeth, feces, heart rate, breathing and more. During wellness exams, the veterinarian will look for signs of illnesses, chronic conditions, unhealthy weight gain, poor dental hygiene, parasites and other problems.

You may have many questions for the veterinarian about your kitten's care and feeding. Your pet's vet will answer these questions at your kitten's wellness checkups. Your kitten's first visit to the vet should be be at 6 weeks old. We'll advise you about future visits when you come in.


Kitten vaccines are important because they keep your kitten safe from deadly diseases and illnesses. That's why we administer the core vaccinations to all pets. If your kitten is at risk for specific diseases due to lifestyle considerations, we may advise that your pet receive non-core vaccinations. Vaccines are a safe, easy way to help keep your pet healthy, improve your pet's quality of life and increase your pet's lifespan. At every appointment with a vaccination, a full exam is performed by the doctor to ensure that your kitten is growing and developing properly.

Kitten Vaccination Schedule:

8 wk - rhinotracheitis, calici virus, panleukopenia

12 wk - rhinotracheitis, calici virus, panleukopenia, chlamydia & feline leukemia virus (FeLV)

16 wk - rhinotracheitis, calici virus, panleukopenia, chlamydia, FeLV, rabies (1yr vaccine) & feline leukemia (FeLV)

1 yr - rhinotracheitis, calici virus, panleukopenia, chlamydia, FeLV, rabies(3 yr vaccine) & leukemia for high risk pets

Spaying and Neutering

When your kitten is old enough, we'll talk to you about spaying or neutering. According to the ASPCA, it is generally considered safe for kittens as young as eight weeks old to be spayed or neutered. We recommend this procedure to pet owners for a variety of reasons. While spaying and neutering does help control the pet population, there are many other important reasons to spay or neuter your kitten. Spayed and neutered pets are at lower risk for certain diseases and may have a longer lifespan as a result.

General Care

Kittens need a lot of attention in the house as well as in the veterinarian's office. You'll have a lot to learn if your new kitten is the first kitten you've ever owned. Some things to consider include:

  • Playing and socializing. Your kitten will need to spend time playing and socializing with you. This is important for your kitten's physical and emotional health. We encourage owners of new kittens to set aside time each day for playing, petting and cuddling.
  • Feeding. Kittens have different dietary requirements from older cats. Kitten food is rich in nutrients and calories, so your kitten can get all the nutrition he or she needs from small-sized portions. Your veterinarian will help you determine how much food is appropriate for your kitten to eat, and may have brands to recommend as well.
  • Kitty litter. Kittens need a litter box just like adult cats. Keep your kitten's litter box tidy by scooping out waste at least once per day. If more than one kitten uses the litter box, clean the box multiple times per day.
  • Toys. Kittens have sharp claws. To prevent your kitten from tearing up your furniture at home, provide your new pet with toys that are specifically made for cats and a scratching post. This way, your kitten will be able to expend energy and avoid destroying your home.

Contact Jane Animal Hospital for Kitten Care in Toronto

First year kitten care can be overwhelming! For first year kitten care advice in Toronto, or for kitten shots in Toronto, contact Jane Animal Hospital. We want to help your kitten grow up strong and healthy. Call us today at 647-490-9060.

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