Skip to Primary Content

Massanutten Animal Clinic

Kitten Looking Up

Kitten Care

Please feel free to contact us and speak with one of our Licensed Veterinary Technicians if you have any questions. Congratulations and thank you for choosing Massanutten Animal Clinic as your other family doctor!

A gray kitten sitting on a blue blanket looking out the window

Litter Box Care

Most cats prefer a fine-grained, unscented little substrate (e.g., clumping litter). Many cats also prefer a litter depth of approximately 1.5 inches. Boxes should be scooped 1 or 2 times daily.

The ideal number of litter boxes is one per cat, plus one. Litter boxes should be placed in at least 2 different locations, and preferably more in a multiple-cat household.

Locations should be private and have easy access. Boxes should not be placed next to noisy appliances.

Helpful Facts- The average cat urinates daily (+/- 2), and defecates once (up to 3-4 times for outdoor cats) daily.

A Gray Cat Lying in a Cardboard Box

Preventing Obesity

Simulate more normal eating behavior:

  • Provide cats with puzzle feeders, interactive toys, and food balls that dispense food as a cat rolls it around

  • Make homemade puzzle feeders by cutting holes into a cardboard box or 2-litter plastic jug so that the cat paws the food out

  • Hide food around the house, in different places, and in or around objects for cats to "hunt"

  • Toss kibbles and let cats chase after the food, as they would chase prey

  • If unable to do multiple feedings each day, feed a minimum of twice daily, and try to hide food in creative hiding places

Feline Recommendations


Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Aids (FIV) are common viruses in cats that suppress the immune system. We recommend a simple blood test to ensure your kitten is negative for these viruses. This in-house blood test should be performed before introducing your new cat to any other cats in the household. If the test is negative, a vaccine for feline leukemia is available for protection from exposure to other cats.


We recommend feeding a cat food with meat first listed on the foods ingredient list and with an AAFCO statement on the bag. Cats should be fed a (non-raw) meat-based diet since felines are true carnivores and require meat-based foods for optimal health. A canned and dry food combination is recommended. Please measure food in an actual measuring cup and feed twice to three times daily to prevent obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.

Comprehensive Examination

A yearly comprehensive physical exam performed by the Veterinarian is important to assess your pet's health and address possible lifestyle changes that could affect vaccine recommendations for that year.


NOTE: CORE vaccines are recommended for ALL cats. NON-CORE vaccines are given on a case-by-case basis.

FVRCP- Adult cats receive FVRCP (upper-respiratory diseases) booster vaccine after initial kitten series (given at 8, 12, and 16 weeks). It is boosted every 3 years thereafter. This is CORE vaccine. Cats are at greater risk of exposure to feline herpes virus if they are periodically housed in boarding, breeding, or shelter facilities. These cats may benefit from a booster vaccination against this virus yearly due to increased exposure.

RABIES- A 1-year Rabies is to be given to kittens 12 weeks or older and boostered 1 year later with a 3-year vaccine. This is considered a CORE vaccine and is required by Virginia state law. We use PureVax Rabies vaccines made especially for cats.

FELV- Feline Leukemia vaccines should only be given to cats at risk of coming in contact with other cats of unknown feline leukemia status. Initially, 2 vaccines are given at a 3-4 week interval and boostered 1 year later as a 3-year vaccine. This is considered a NON-CORE vaccine. The decision to vaccinate a cat with a vaccine that is a NON-CORE (e.g., feline leukemia, Chlamydia, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) or Microsporum canis (ringworm)) should be based on the realistic evaluation of all risk factors, as well as vaccine efficiency and safety. We use PureVax Felv vaccines.

Flea/Tick Prevention

We recommend a monthly topical prevention called Revolution Plus. This product prevents Heartworms, Fleas, Ear Mites, Rouchworms, and Hookworms. This product is also undergoing testing as a tick-prevention as well. Never use flea/tick products that don't say safe for cats.


A fecal (stool) sample should be examined on the first visit for intestinal parasites. These parasites can cause illness, slow rate growth, and infect other pets and humans. Approximately 90% of all kittens have roundworms even when the initial stool sample is negative. Therefore, we recommend deworming your kitten at the initial visit and again 2-3 weeks later. We recommend checking another fecal in 6-8 weeks. Coccidia, an intestinal protozoan, can also be a concern and is extremely contagious to other pets. A fecal exam can identify coccidiosis and proper medication can eliminate it. Please visit CDC for more information about parasites and human risks.


Spaying your female cat or neutering your male cat is recommended between 5-6 months of age. Spaying at an early age will greatly reduce the risk of developing mammary cancer, eliminate the possibility of a uterine infection, and prevent unwanted litters. Neutering at an early age often helps prevent behavior of urine spraying. Both neutering and spaying reduce the risk of Feline Leukemia and Feline Aids (FIV); the rate of infection is higher for these diseases in unneutered males and females.

Cat Owner Resources

The quality of your cats life starts with you!

Get Informed!