Special Vet Care for Kittens

It’s important to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible after adopting a new kitten. After all, you’re bringing a new family member into your home. You should arrange a thorough health check to make sure your kitten is healthy but also to ensure they aren’t bringing any infectious diseases or parasites with them that could affect other pets or people.

The First Check Up

Your kitten’s first check up will start with a comprehensive physical exam. This will involve a visual check on the health of their eyes, ears, fur and teeth, as well as measuring your cat’s temperature and weight. Your vet will listen to their heart and lung health and feel for any abnormalities in other internal organs to make sure kitten’s life gets off to the best possible start. Faecal and blood tests may also be taken at this time.


Kittens are particularly at risk of contracting a number of diseases as they gradually lose the antibodies passed on by their mother and are left with no protection. There are three essential ‘core’ vaccines for your kitten – rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia. These vaccines can begin to be administered around 6-8 weeks of age and then boosted over the following few months. Your vet will provide you with a schedule of vaccinations to follow in order to ensure your cat gets the best possible protection against infectious disease.


Microchipping is a legal requirement in Western Australia and should be completed in the first few months of your kitten’s life. The process is as simple as a small injection in the back of the neck and it means your pet has a very high chance of being returned to you if it gets lost.

Flea Prevention

All pets will be exposed to fleas at some stage once they are outside and interacting with other animals. Kittens can begin to receive preventative treatment against fleas from 2 months of age, and all pets in your household must be treated at the same time.

Worm Prevention

Kittens need to be treated to protect against heartworm and intestinal worms regularly from a very young age. When you purchase our kitten wellness package, this includes 12 months of protection against these harmful parasites.


All male cats outside of breeding colonies must be desexed and it is highly recommended to desex females as well. Pets who have been spayed or neutered are healthier, more relaxed, less likely to roam or fight, and ultimately better to live with. Your kitten should be desexed before 6 months of age at the latest.

Total Wellness

All of the treatments listed above are available in the Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital kitten wellness package, designed to give the best possible chance of preventing, detecting and managing any illness your pet may develop. The wellness package provides an excellent start to your kitten’s long life of health and happiness.

If you’d like to purchase one of our popular wellness packages for your kitten, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital now on 08 9524 6644 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

Important Vaccines for Cats

Preventative treatment is a vital part of your pet’s health. By ensuring your animal gets all the vaccines they need at the right times, you can prevent them from contracting common diseases and maximise the quality and longevity of their life. Below we provide more information on the necessary and recommended vaccinations for your kitten or cat.


Core Vaccines

At Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital, we offer a set of three core vaccinations. The feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus vaccines both prevent a common respiratory disease, often simplified as ‘cat flu’. This disease is easily spread between cats through coughing or sneezing and can affect cats of any age, but kittens are particularly susceptible. This vaccine should be boosted annually to prevent re-infection.

The third vaccine in our core set is for feline panleukopenia, which is a highly contagious and deadly viral disease. Fortunately, the vaccine is very effective at providing immunity and the disease is no longer very common.


Additional Vaccines

We also offer optional vaccines for feline leukaemia – which suppresses your cat’s immune system leaving them susceptible to infections – and feline immunodeficiency virus, which is a very slow-acting infectious disease, also affecting the immune system.

When Should My Pet Be Vaccinated?

Kitten vaccinations begin at between 6-8 weeks of age and will be boosted regularly during their first few months. Young kittens will inherit maternal antibodies to give them protection against disease, but this fades as they grow so it’s vital to arrange vaccines at the right time. For adult cats, your vet will advise you on how often they need to receive vaccinations as this will depend on their age and lifestyle. To make sure your pet is fully covered for all preventative care, you can purchase one of our wellness packages, which include vaccinations and other preventative treatments in one simple, affordable bundle.


Does My Indoor Cat Need Vaccinations?

While it may seem counterintuitive, indoor kittens and cats will still require vaccines, especially the core vaccinations against feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus and feline panleukopenia.

It’s important to remember that these diseases can be fatal, making complete protection absolutely necessary. If your curious cat wanders outdoors, ends up in a shelter or comes into contact with another cat, they may be exposed to dangerous diseases. Many kittens also contract diseases at a young age before you meet them or even in utero, meaning the possibility of a disease recurring in unprotected cats is always possible.


What Are the Risks of Vaccination?

In general, there are very few risks associated with common vaccines. It’s possible for your pet to experience a mild reaction at the site of the injection, but more serious side effects are unlikely. When caring for a kitten, it’s important to keep them inside until ten days after their final vaccination to ensure they are fully protected. Vaccines are only effective when necessary boosters are given annually.

If you’d like to arrange vaccinations for your pet, call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital now on 08 9524 6644 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

The Importance of Health Checks

Regular health checks give pets and their owners the best chance of preventing, detecting and treating any possible illnesses, both immediately and in the future.

A full exam allows your vet to take a closer look at your pet and gives you the opportunity to ask about any unusual behaviour. Below you’ll find more information on the importance of health checks and how to manage your pet’s veterinary care.


Early Disease Detection

A key benefit of regular health check-ups for your pet is the potential to detect illnesses early on. There may be subtle changes in your pet’s behaviour that you don’t consider remarkable, but your vet may pick up on these as warning signs of something more serious. If your pet is diagnosed with a disease, the earlier the treatment starts the better the prognosis will generally be. This treatment could involve anything from surgery and medication to a simple change in diet, but whatever it is, you’ll want to get the ball rolling.


Preventative Treatment

There are many animal illnesses that can be easily prevented with treatment from your vet. Younger pets, in particular, will need a variety of vaccines to combat preventable diseases, along with treatments to deter parasites and worms. Your vet will help you construct a preventative healthcare plan for your pet over the next few years with scheduled treatments over time. At each check-up, the vet will also examine your pet’s weight and be able to warn you if they are becoming overweight, enabling you to make the necessary changes to avoid obesity.


Important Checks

During an annual health check, your vet will complete a thorough nose-to-tail examination of your pet. They will check ears for mites and infection, and examine eyes to make sure your pet has no issues with vision such as cataracts or glaucoma, which can lead to more serious issues. Internal organs will be checked using a stethoscope and physical manipulation to make sure there are no abnormalities. Another essential area of investigation is your pet’s mouth. Tooth or gum decay can cause your pet pain without you even realising it. This can lead to more serious abscesses or even tooth loss.


Total Wellness

At Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital, your pet’s health is our primary concern. In order to give you the best possible service and value for money, we’ve developed a range of wellness packages to provide excellent preventative care for your dog, cat, puppy or kitten. The plan includes regular health checks as well as parasite treatments, essential vaccinations, deworming and discounts on further consultations. Explore either our dog and puppy or cat and kitten packages to find out more, and keep your pet healthy for less.

If you’d like to purchase a wellness package for your pet then call Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital now on 08 9524 6644 or visit our contact page for more ways to get in touch.

What Happens When You Don’t Vaccinate Your Pet?

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital Vaccinations

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital VaccinationsMany Australian pet owners have misconceptions about vaccines, which significantly impacts the health of our pets. If you’ve made the decision not to vaccinate your canine or feline friend, it’s important that you have a full understanding of what this may mean for their health and wellbeing.

We’ve put together some helpful information for pet owners who are still confused about pet vaccinations and are unsure about whether to book their cat or dog in for their shots.

Read on to find out more about the importance of vaccinating your pets and some practical information on the most common core vaccines.


What You Need to Know about Vaccinations

Vaccines work by exposing your pet’s immune system to an infection. This causes the animal’s white blood cells to start producing antibodies. The antibodies bind to the infection and neutralise it, working to kill off cells that have been infected.

Your pet’s body will remember this process and if their system is ever struck by the same infection, they’ll automatically produce the same strong immune response to fight it off.

Why is it Important to Vaccinate Your Pet?

Vaccinations are a very important part of your pet’s preventative health care. To provide them with the best possible protection, both cats and dogs need to be vaccinated while they are still young. By making sure your puppy or kitten is vaccinated early, you provide them with the best chance at a long and healthy life.

Diseases such as rabies, hepatitis, parvovirus, feline leukaemia and FIV can be very serious and even fatal, especially in puppies and kittens. It’s important to take preventative healthcare measures to make sure your cat or dog is protected against these diseases in the first place, rather than attempting to treat them at a later date.

Important Vaccinations for Cats

Feline Enteritis (also known as Feline Panleucopenia)

Feline Enteritis is very contagious, with symptoms of depression, loss of appetite, uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhoea, often with blood and severe abdominal pain. The disease has a high death rate, especially in kittens.

Feline Respiratory Disease (Cat Flu)

90% of cases of cat flu are caused by the feline herpes virus or feline calicivirus. Cat flu affects cats of all ages, but especially young kittens and Siamese and Burmese cats. It is highly contagious and causes sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, nasal discharge, loss of appetite and tongue ulcers.

Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)

Feline Leukaemia virus attacks the immune system, causing lack of appetite, weight loss and apathy, pale or yellow mucous membranes, vomiting, diarrhoea, reproductive problems and tumours.

Chlamydia (also known as Chlamydophila)

Feline Chlamydia causes a severe persistent conjunctivitis in up to 30% of cats. Kittens are at particular risk of Chlamydia when also infected with Cat Flu.

Important Vaccinations for Dogs

Canine Parvovirus

Canine Parvovirus is a serious and potentially fatal disease that attacks the intestines, causing bloody stained diarrhoea, uncontrollable vomiting and severe abdominal pain. Dogs often die from severe dehydration and overwhelming infectia through this disease.

Canine Distemper

Distemper is a serious and highly contagious viral disease that causes fever, coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and depression. Muscle tremors, fits and paralysis usually occur later in the disease.

Canine Hepatitis

A viral disease that’s extremely contagious amongst dogs and often fatal. Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, and acute abdominal pain.

Canine Cough

A highly infectious disease most commonly spread through puppy schools, boarding kennels or dog parks. Dogs develop a dry hacking cough which can persist for several weeks and they may be at risk of pneumonia as a consequence of infection.

Canine Leptospirosis

A serious disease that is spread by the urine of rats, leptospirosis is usually transmitted to dogs by contaminated food and water or rat bites. It can cause high death rates in dogs and t can be passed to humans, who may then suffer a persisting flu-like illness.

Include Dog or Cat Vaccinations in Your Pet’s Wellness Program

Make sure your pet’s vaccinations are always up-to-date. Talk to your vet about creating a wellness package that covers all the necessary core vaccines that they need to stay healthy.

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital offers a range of affordable wellness packages for cats, dogs, kittens and puppies that provide regular preventative care for the health of your pet.

Why Pet Vaccinations Are Important

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital Vaccinations

Vaccinations are extremely important for the health and wellbeing of your pets, particularly cats and dogs. Kittens and puppies begin vaccinations early, to protect them from infectious diseases while their immune systems are still developing.

Diseases such as rabies, hepatitis, parvovirus, feline respiratory viruses and feline enteritis can be very serious and even fatal, especially in young animals. Therefore, it’s important to take preventative measures to ensure dogs and cats are protected against these diseases in the first place, rather than reacting to them later down the track.

Read on for more guidelines on how to make sure your puppy or kitten is properly vaccinated, giving them the best chance at a long and healthy life.

How Do Vaccines Protect Your Pet?

First of all, how exactly do vaccines work?

Vaccination exposes your pet’s immune system to an infection, causing its white blood cells to produce antibodies to start fighting it. These antibodies then bind to the infection and neutralise it, and work to kill off cells that have been infected.

Our bodies remember this process, and if the same infection comes into our system again we quickly produce a strong immune response to fight it off again. Today’s pet vaccinations are very safe, tested and common place.

Vaccinations for Dogs

Puppies must receive their first vaccination between 6-8 weeks of age. This is then repeated monthly, or at 4 week intervals until your dog is at least 4 months old.
Booster vaccines are then maintained annually – your vet will be able to advise you of the exact timeframes for scheduled vaccinations for your pet.
Speak to your vet about ensuring your dog is vaccinated against the following:
• Canine Distemper
• Canine Infectious Hepatitis
• Canine Parvovirus
• Canine Parainfluenza
• Bordetella Bronchiseptica

Serology testing is now available – speak to your veterinarian in Rockingham today!

Vaccinations for Cats

Cats are generally vaccinated at 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks and then once a year, to protect them from diseases such as feline enteritis, cat flu, feline chlamydia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which can be very serious and even fatal, particularly for kittens.

Your cat should be vaccinated against the following infectious diseases:

• Feline Panleukopenia
• Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
• Feline Calicivirus

Why Pets Insurance ?

It’s a pet owner’s nightmare when your pet has taken seriously ill or in an accident and you are facing a bill you hadn’t budgeted for. Pet Insurance is separate to Wellness Packages but there are all kinds to suit your budget and needs. Pets are much more than animals, and having a pet insurance helps take the financial stress out of emergencies and bring happiness into the family.

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital is offering its clients medical cover through Petplan.

Preventative Healthcare for Your Pet

Vaccinations are just one aspect of proper pet care. Remember, becoming a pet owner is a long-term responsibility, requiring an investment of time and money as well as love – all animals deserve caring homes, so make a commitment to your pet’s healthcare.

Port Kennedy Veterinary Hospital offers a range of affordable wellness packages  for pets in Rockingham and its surrounding suburbs that provide regular preventative care for the health of your cat and/or dog. Regular check-ups ensure the ongoing good health, and by preventing illness and disease in the first place you’ll also be saving money on potentially expensive vet bills.

Monthly payment plans will take a lot of the financial stress out of owning a pet, giving you 100% peace of mind that you’re looking after them properly, and have somewhere to turn to in case of emergency. You’ll also have compassionate and skilled vets always on hand to offer you guidance and support at any stage of your pet’s life.