Skip to main content
New Kitten


Mark Hale, DVM

1661 E. Mt. Gilead Rd.

Bolivar, Missouri  65613





Here are some recommendations to keep your companion healthy!


VACCINATIONS should start at approximately six to eight weeks of age.  These "kitten shots" include protection against rhinotracheitis (feline distemper), calici virus, panleukopenia, and Chlamydia. Kittens should be boostered every three weeks for a total of three doses.  The second and third doses should also include feline leukemia protection.  Leukemia is one of the leading causes of death among felines.  The feline leukemia vaccinations are 80-90% effective in preventing this terrible disease.  After this initial series, boosters should be administered annually.


FELINE INFECTIOUS PERITONITIS VACCINATIONS are especially important for cats that go outside.  FIP is a deadly viral disease that has no known cure and varying symptoms. It is spread by contact with other cats or exposure to infected feces.  It is slowly becoming more common in the feline population.  The vaccination may be administered at 16 weeks of age and boostered annually.


RABIES VACCINATIONS should be administered at three months of age.  The City of Bolivar requires this vaccination.  The City also requires that an inexpensive license be obtained at City Hall.  You must take proof of vaccination by a licensed veterinarian.  We will print you out a certificate for your convenience.  Annual boosters are required.


FEEDING a good quality growth formula is important until your kitten is one year old since this time of development is critical for your pet.  We recommend Hill's Science Diet, Iams and Purina.


DEWORMING should be done every three weeks with a product safe for felines (such as Nemex).  This may be started as early as three weeks if necessary.  After 12 weeks of age, deworming may be done as needed.


FLEAS AND TICKS are a continual problem in this area.  Fleas can be life-threatening to young kittens.  Fleas also carry tapeworm larvae.  Ask us about specific treatment for kittens under eight weeks of age.  We have many types of control products available at our clinic.  We will be happy to help you find one that will work in your situation.

v     Frontline Plus and Frontline Spray:  A highly effective monthly topical flea and tick treatment for kittens who are at least eight weeks of age.

v     Advantage:  A monthly flea treatment for kittens eight weeks of age and older.

v     Adams Flea Mist:  Kills fleas and ticks on kittens over 12 weeks of age.  May be repeated in nine days.

v     Dips and Shampoos:  Be sure to read label directions for age requirements and frequency of use.  Products labeled for dogs only will not be safe for your felines.


NEUTER/SPAY surgeries may be performed after your kitten weighs at least three pounds.  Young animals recover quickly from these surgeries.  Most owners will benefit from having their family pet spayed or neutered for behavioral reasons.  If you have any questions regarding these procedures, please visit with us.


DECLAW surgeries, when needed, may also be performed when your kitten weighs three pounds.  Some kittens are easily trained to scratching posts, thus eliminating the need for declawing.


DENTAL CARE should begin early in life.  Tarter accumulation and gum inflammation affect most pets.  Dental problems are among the top three pet owner concerns.  Eighty percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats over age three are showing signs of periodontal disease making it the most prevalent disease in both dogs and cats.  If left untreated, bacteria from the teeth and gums can spread through the bloodstream and affect other body systems such as the liver, kidneys and heart.

            Prevent disease with regular dental care, beginning at home by brushing or cleaning your pet's teeth with animal toothpaste or oral cleansing products.  Starting when your kitten is young will get it familiar with this procedure.  We have several oral care products available for your companion.  Your pet's teeth will be checked during its annual exam/booster vaccinations.