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Must Know New Pet Owner Information

Congratulations on becoming a first-time pet owner! Along with the excitement and happiness that a new pet brings into the home, a new pet also comes with a huge responsibility. Whether you recently got a new kitten or adopted a pet in-need of their forever home, Killarney Cat Hospital is here to help you navigate your experience as a cat owner. On this page, you will find everything you need to know to keep your new pet happy, healthy and, most importantly, safe!

Pet Services Your New Pet Will Require in the First 12 Months

Veterinary Exam (First Appointment, Ongoing)

Not only do we want to meet your furry family members, but it’s also important that they get to know us too! During an examination, we spend the time getting to know you, your pet and their lifestyle. In addition, we will complete a head to tail assessment to ensure your pet is healthy. This is also a great time to ask us any questions you may have.

Kitten Vaccinations (Week 8, Week 12, Week 16)

Getting your pet started on a proper vaccination program early will help keep them healthy for life. It is important to time the vaccines properly so that as the immunity their mother has provided them starts to wane, their own immune system is prepared to protect them from exposure to disease. 

Cat Vaccinations (Every 1-3 Years)

Vaccines help protect against common infectious diseases seen in cats. They stimulate the body’s immune system to attack the infectious organism and ‘remember’ it so that it can fight against the infection again in the future if necessary. Without vaccines, many cats will become seriously ill due to the virus that their body is unable to fight on its own effectively. The use of vaccines has prevented death and disease in millions of cats. Vaccines also protect people from diseases, such as rabies, that can be transmitted from pets to humans.

Cat Deworming (Multiple times as a kitten, then annually)

Deworming is an important part of your pet’s preventative health care program. Intestinal parasites can occur in cats, especially those who venture outdoors. Parasites can deprive your pet of essential nutrients and cause digestive upset. Some can also be transmissible to other animals and humans. The veterinarian will talk with you about your cat’s risk level for parasitism and set up a schedule for deworming that is tailored to your pet’s needs.

Cat Spaying & Neutering (Around 6 months)

One aspect of responsible pet ownership is having your pet spayed or neutered. Not only are you helping to control pet overpopulation, but spaying and neutering can also help eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of developing certain health and behaviour issues.

Cat Microchipping (Anytime)

A microchip is a small piece of metal that is implanted between your cat’s shoulder blades with an identification number unique to them. The ID number is then linked to your contact information. Therefore, if your cat is ever lost and taken to a shelter or veterinary clinic, a microchip provides the information necessary to reconnect you. Microchips are important for both indoor and outdoor cats.

Cat Flea and Tick Control (Year-round)

It is important to take your pet in for their annual exam to be prescribed a flea and tick prevention medication to protect them from dangerous parasites. This is especially important from the spring to fall season and for cats that love to spend time outdoors. Call us to discuss the importance of year-round parasite prevention.

Although the risk of external parasites in Calgary tends to be quite low, there are some cases where flea and tick medication is recommended. It is also important to use if your cat travels to other areas of the country or the world. We welcome you to give us a call and we can discuss whether or not your cat would benefit from external parasite prevention.

Cat Diet (Anytime)

Although your pet may be more interested in what you are eating, cats have specific dietary needs based on their age, lifestyle and current state of health. Our veterinarians provide nutrition advice to ensure your pet is properly nourished.

Cat Training (As young as possible)

As a kitten, it is a great opportunity for you to teach your pet healthy habits to maintain as they grow older. Whether it’s teaching them not to paw at your food or feline enrichment games, our team can provide you with different techniques and options for your pet’s behaviour and lifestyle. 

Pet Health Insurance and/or Veterinary Savings Account

The investment of a pet is always something to be considered even before adding a new member to your family. In addition to ongoing preventative care and annual check-ups, we encourage our clients to be prepared for any unexpected emergencies that may happen. We recommend looking into health insurance options, such as Trupanion, or opening a ‘Veterinary Savings Account’ and contributing some money each month. This way, you’ll be prepared for anything your pet may need in the future without the additional stress!

Our Optimum Care Program is a wellness plan and another opportunity for you to save some money for your pet’s veterinary needs.

What to Expect On Your First and Future Appointments

At Killarney Cat Hospital, we are here to help you feel confident as a newfound pet owner! Our compassionate and expert team of veterinary professionals can answer any questions you may have, as well as provide the necessary information you didn’t know you needed. We will assess the health of your pet and provide recommended treatments as needed. From their early days to their golden years, we are here for all of your pet needs.

You can count on us to provide superior care and excellent service every single time you walk through our doors. Call 403-246-1115 to schedule an appointment and ensure your pet gets the proper care to live a long and healthy life as your right-hand companion.

Additional Important Information for Pet Owners

Below are some helpful tips for new pet owners from our blog:

Blog

The Importance of Microchips

A microchip is a small chip that is placed under the skin between the shoulders. The needle we use is larger than a typical blood collection needle, though other than the initial poke does not cause any ongoing pain. Each microchip has a unique number that is retrievable with a special scanner that all veterinary clinics and rescue associations have. When a found cat is brought to a clinic or rescue facility, it is checked for a microchip by running the scanner over the body. The number populates off the scanner which can then be put into a search system which will tell us which company it is registered with. There are many different microchip companies out there, so it is important to know which one your cat has so you can keep your contact information up to date. We can then call the company linked to the chip, who can then give us the contact information that you provided when it was registered so we can get in contact with you! The companies are instructed to only provide your contact information to an animal professional or to the owner. Microchips are NOT tracking devices; they need to be scanned in order for your furry family member to get home to you. There is a small fee to get your cat microchipped but no monthly cost afterwards. However, some microchip companies do charge a small fee to update addresses and other contact information. What is the difference between a microchip and tattoo? Tattoos are slowly becoming a less common form of identification. Tattoo quality can decrease over time due to aging, quality of the tattoo to start, and other environmental changes that can affect the skin of the ear. What this means is that a well-done tattoo 10 years later can be difficult to read due to the blurring of the letters and numbers over time. This change can make it nearly impossible sometimes to identify the collection of digits which is a big problem since that combination is unique to a clinic and cat! A microchip does not age over time but in rare instances can travel from the shoulders, which is why we scan the entire cat for a chip before determining that they do not have one. Additionally, tattoo information is often kept on paper, while microchips are all digital. It is very important to microchip your cat! We often get comments about how indoor only cats do not require them and if anything, it’s actually the opposite! Indoor cats accidentally getting out are where most of our phone calls about missing cats come from. This is because they’re not supposed to be outside and are likely not equipped to hunt and fend for themselves. So, when a neighbour sees an unfamiliar neighbourhood cat and takes it to a clinic to have scanned, it now has no form of identification to get home to you and is taken to the city in the hopes of an owner coming forward and claiming them.

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Last updated: May 25, 2020

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we are pleased to advise that effective May 25, 2020 the restrictions on veterinary practices have been lifted. Based on these changes, below are some important updates to our operating policies.

1. WE CAN NOW SEE ALL CASES BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

This includes vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, and more!

2. SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

3. ONLINE CONSULTATIONS ARE AVAILABLE

If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.

4. NEW PET OWNERS

Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.

5. OPERATING HOURS

We are OPEN with the following hours:

Monday to Friday: 8:30 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Killarney Cat Hospital