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A thorough yearly physical examination is one of the most important means of early detection of disease. Based on your cat’s age and physical examination findings, age-appropriate blood screening may be recommended.
a. FVRCP vaccination (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia): This vaccine protects against three highly contagious viral infections that can cause serious illness in cats. This vaccination is a series of 2 injections 3-4 weeks apart, followed by boosters every 3 years (or as deemed appropriate based on your cat's risk of exposure).
b. Rabies vaccination: This vaccine is mandated by state law, even for indoor cats, as Rabies is a prevalent and fatal disease. The first vaccination is given at 3 months of age and yearly thereafter. The Rabies vaccine that we recommend for cats is given yearly since it does not contain adjuvants (vaccine additives) and is not associated with the health problems (e.g. cancer) linked to traditional 3-year Rabies vaccines.
c. Feline Leukemia and FIV viruses: All cats should be tested for both viruses before entering your household. Cats that test negative and go outdoors should then be vaccinated against Feline Leukemia Virus. This vaccine is an initial series of 2 injections 3-4 weeks apart followed by yearly boosters. A new vaccination is available for FIV, but we are not recommending its routine use at this time.
Monthly flea and tick preventative (Frontline Plus, Revolution) is strongly encouraged for outdoor cats and those households with other pets who go outside. Fleas and ticks carry many infectious diseases that are harmful to both humans and cats. Preventing exposure to these agents helps protect the health of both your cat and your family.
Although traditionally considered a "dog-only" health problem, heartworm disease is now also considered a health threat to cats. Our vets will discuss monthly heartworm preventative, as deemed appropriate, based on your cat's lifestyle.
Spaying/neutering at 4-6 months of age is strongly recommended to prevent unwanted pregnancies as well as to prevent multiple health problems as your pet ages (e.g. mammary, uterine, and testicular cancers, uterine and prostatic infections).
One litter box per cat plus one extra is strongly recommended. Keep the boxes away from high-traffic/noisy areas. Scoop boxes daily and change the litter weekly. Clumping litter is acceptable but some cats prefer traditional clay litter. Avoid cleaners that have a strong odor.
At least two fecal examinations are recommended for kittens. Stool analysis is recommended at least once a year for adult cats to screen for intestinal parasites (worms) that may otherwise not be detected.
Cats of all ages should be provided with a variety of toys and scratching posts to provide exercise and to help prevent behavioral problems.
Surgical declawing is discouraged. Our veterinarians and staff would be happy to discuss the many alternatives available to help prevent inappropriate scratching. We recommend that you to consider declawing only as a last resort.
Straining to urinate, vocalizing during urination, and frequent visits to the litter box without adequate urine production are EMERGENCIES. These signs may be easily mistaken for constipation. If you note this behavior, please seek veterinary attention immediately as he may have a urinary obstruction which is a life-threatening emergency.