Feline Preventive Medicine Recommendations
It is important to quarantine any new pet you bring home until they can be seen by a veterinarian. A kitten's recommended schedule is as follows. Please note that if the newest addition to your family is over 8 weeks old, the schedule below may be altered. Feel free to ask any questions as our staff helps guide you through the process of keeping your kitty healthy.
6-8 weeks old
First exam, Leukemia and FIV tests, first upper respiratory/distemper vaccine, a fecal test and Revolution.
12 weeks old
Recheck exam, their second upper respiratory/distemper vaccine, a rabies vaccine, a first leukemia vaccination until we know for sure they will not be an escape artist or if they are going to be permitted outside and Revolution.
16 weeks old
Recheck exam, third upper respiratory/distemper vaccine, and a second leukemia vaccine.
1 year old
Exam, upper respiratory/distemper vaccine, rabies vaccine and leukemia vaccine (if your cat goes outside).
2 years through 7 years
We are following the American Association of Feline Practitioners recommendations. Once your cat is over one year of age, they recommend cats receive the upper respiratory/distemper vaccine every three years. The rabies vaccine is a cat only vaccine and it is given every year. All cats that go outside should be given a leukemia vaccine every three years.
8 years and older
Vaccination protocols do not change for senior cats. A senior profile should be completed for cats 8 years and older to help in the detection of old age illnesses. Detecting these potential diseases early could help prolong your cat's life. The recommended blood work consists of a CBC (Complete Blood Count) which gives information on infection, anemia, hydration, blood clotting ability and immune system, Blood Chemistry which evaluates body organ functions such as kidney and liver, checks for diabetes and evaluates electrolyte levels, Thyroid test which checks for hyperthyroidism (one of the most common old age diseases causing weight loss), and a Cardiac Enzyme Level which checks for heart disease. It is also recommended that they receive an exam every 6 months as health can rapidly change in this age bracket.
Spay (female) / Neuter (male)
The ideal age for both operations is 6 months old. Theses procedures are necessary to prevent unwanted litters of kittens. They are also a great benefit to the health of your cat in preventing several types of tumors, including breast and testicular cancer. These procedures also reduce behavioral problems such as spraying.
If you are interested in declawing, this procedure can be done as early as 3 months of age. Many people wait and have the procedure done at the same time as spaying/neutering.
All cats and kittens should have a fecal exam. This requires a small, fresh (less than 24 hours old) bowel movement which is examined under a microscope for worms and other parasites. Even indoor only cats should have a sample tested yearly, as they can get parasites from dirt tracked into the house and/or from bugs that get into the house.
We recommend Revolution®, which protects against fleas, roundworms, hookworms, heartworms and ear mites. The other available product we offer is Advantage®, which protects against fleas only. Please consult your Veterinarian to determine which product is right for your cat. We do not recommend the purchase of any over the counter products purchased elsewhere! Some may cause seizures, neurological issues and even death!
Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Viruses
These viral diseases can interfere with your cat’s immune system and be fatal. There is no cure for either of these diseases; therefore; we recommend that all cats be tested before bringing them into your home. We also recommend that all cats that are at a high risk of exposure, such as outdoor cats, be vaccinated for their protection.
Recommend primarily canned food and dry food in measured amounts.
- Canned Food – Recommend meat flavors, no seafood flavors. Meat flavored canned food is as close to the cats natural diet as we can manufacture. It decreases the risk of urinary tract problems, keeps their weight down, lowers the risk of diabetes and gives them a nicer coat.
- - Seafood increases the risk of urinary tract problems and is the most common food allergy in cats.
- Dry Food – Recommend single colored, grain free dry food with meat as the first ingredient. Dry food will help keep your cat’s teeth clean, but limit the amount, as it is high in calories and can cause your cat to gain weight and increase the risk of diabetes, joint problems and heart disease. Multi-colored dry foods contain a lot of artificial colors and additives. This increases the risk of vomiting and urinary tract problems. Indoor dry food formulas may also increase the risk of urinary tract stones in some cats.
- Treats – This is like candy and cookies to a cat, so limit the amount. One treat is equal to one Oreo cookie! We recommend Greenies Dental Treats® to help prevent tooth decay.
The best foods contain no gluten, corn, soy (except soy lecithin) or dairy.
We recommend one litter box per cat plus one extra to give your cat plenty of room to go multiple times without stepping in any waste. Some cats like to urinate in one box and use the second for bowel movements. Use unscented scoopable litter and scoop the boxes daily.
The litter box is like our toilet. If you have, for example, 2 cats using 1 litter box scooped daily that is equivalent to 2 humans using 1 toilet being flushed once daily – yuk!
In the wild, cats dig into soft soil or sand to go to the bathroom, so they are naturally drawn to litter as a substitute. If the litter box is too dirty or smelly, they will choose another soft location, such as a bed, clothing on the floor or a rug.
If your cat has been using the litter box fine and suddenly starts to urinate elsewhere and you have not changed litters, added a new cat or forgot to clean the box, then have your cat checked for a medical problem such as infection, crystals or bladder stones.