Yearly Recommendations for your Cat

cat-and-vetMountain View Humane is able to provide spay/neuter services as well as a limited amount of additional services at the time of surgery. Unfortunately, in order to keep our costs as low as possible for our clients, we are not able to provide appointments for booster vaccines or for your pet’s other regular health care needs. For all of your pet’s annual health care needs, we recommend that you and your pet have a good relationship with your local full-service veterinary clinic in order to ensure your pet a long, healthy life. Here is a list of the annual recommendations for your cat that we recommend you receive at a full service clinic of your choice:

  1. Physical Exam: This is the most important aspect of your cat’s annual visit. Vital baseline information, such as weight and exam findings, help aid your veterinarian in noting any changes which may be early signs of future problems. If your cat later becomes ill or injured, your vet will then be able to compare the previous exam findings to his/her current condition. Often problems are found in apparently healthy cats which, when treated, prevent irreversible damage or simply produce a happier pet. Common examples are painful dental conditions, abnormal growths, or inflammation deep inside the ear canals. In addition, your vet may need to discuss preventative measures such as weight loss or flea prevention, which will save both future suffering for your cat, and later, treatment costs for you if allowed to progress. Annual exams are very important for your cat to assess his/her current health and to provide appropriate preventative care. Remember that one year in your cat’s life is similar to five to seven years in a human life.
  2. Vaccines: To maintain high levels of immune protection from common infectious diseases, booster vaccinations are recommended each year. Your vet will review your previous vaccine history and will provide boosters accordingly.
    1. FVRCP: Includes Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia (also called the feline distemper vaccine). Since these serious infections are easily spread, boosters are recommended yearly for all cats. Kittens need to have booster vaccines every 3 weeks until they are at least 4 months old.
    2. Rabies: This vaccine is required by law in Virginia. The initial vaccine is given at 12 weeks old, and then again one year later. After that, the vaccines are required every 3 years, regardless of whether your cat is only indoors.
    3. FeLV (feline leukemia vaccine): This is highly recommended after your pet has received a negative FeLV/FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) test. This is an important vaccine for any cat that goes outdoors or has contact with other cats that go outdoors. FeLV is a fatal, incurable and common disease in cats that can be passed from mother to kitten and can be in your cat’s system for years before illness is noted.

 

  1. FeLV/FIV (Feline Leukemia/Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) test: FeLV causes diseases other than leukemia including other cancers and immunodeficiency. The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus causes a condition in cats that is similar to the one in humans caused by the AIDS virus. FeLV and FIV are not infectious to people, but they can be spread from cat to cat. If you decide to keep a kitten or cat that tests positive for Feline Leukemia Virus and/or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, you should consult with your private veterinarian about the disease and how it may affect your animal.
  2. Fecal Exam: A fecal exam is recommended each year in order to detect many types of intestinal parasites. If your vet does find parasites on a fecal exam, they will prescribe appropriate medication to get rid of the parasites.
  3. Flea/tick prevention-This is best addressed before an infestation invades your house! We recommend you treat your pet monthly with flea prevention product that you can purchase at your full service vet clinic.
  4. Heartworm prevention: This is available to avoid a fatal parasitic disease, which is spread by mosquitoes. Indoor cats are at risk as well as outdoor cats, even though cats are less likely than dogs to become infected. If used, it is best to keep your cat on heartworm preventative 12 months a year in Virginia due to inconsistent cold weather, allowing the survival of mosquitoes.
  5. Dental Care: Your veterinarian will check your cat’s teeth during his/her annual visit. Many cats will need a full dental cleaning multiple times throughout their lives in order to prevent serious dental disease and serious systemic disease that can result from dental disease. You can also use a feline toothpaste and toothbrush at home to brush your cat’s teeth 3-4 times a week to prevent further tartar buildup.
  6. Grooming: This may be necessary if your cat has a thick undercoat or easily matted hair. Some longhaired cats need to be clipped by a professional to rid them of closely adherent mats. Early introduction to gentle brushing is best for all breeds and can minimize hairball and matting problems. Cat’s nails are easily trimmed to cut down on furniture destruction or snagging.
  7. Diet: Quality food is excellent for nutritional balance and good tooth and gum health. Try to minimize calories from treats and canned food.
  8. Behavior Topics: This is very important to address with your veterinarian. Unpleasant behavior problems are the number one cause of euthanasia for pets. This includes the thousands of cats brought to shelters due to problems that are often both preventable and treatable. Start early, seeking advice when the problem is most correctable. Examples include house soiling, marking, scratching furniture, rough play, biting and aggression (with people/animals). Remember some behavior problems are actually a medical problem that can be treated (bladder infections, hiding due to pain, etc.).
  9. Microchip: A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is implanted between the cat’s shoulder blades under the skin with a needle and special syringe. Once in place, the microchip can be detected immediately with a handheld device that most vet clinics and shelters carry. Once the microchip is placed, your pet must be registered with the microchip company. Then, if your cat runs away or is lost, he/she can be traced back to you if they are found.
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