Health Care for Cats
The doctors and staff of our hospital dedicate their professional lives to the health care of your cat. We are the guardians of your pet’s health as it travels on the long and wonderful journey from newborn to adult to very old. We help you get off on the right foot and navigate the many twists and turns along the way.
The best thing we can do for a new pet is an examination. For kittens, this means checking for congenital defects, testing for intestinal parasites, the administration of routine deworming medication, testing for Feline Leukemia Virus and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, and devoting enough time to answer all of your questions. Your doctor will recommend the appropriate vaccinations for your cat and decide on a schedule to booster these vaccinations. Feline Panleukopenia, Calicivirus, Rhinotracheitis, and Feline Leukemia are all nasty diseases for cats and failure to vaccinate will lead to excessive risk. Rabies is 100% fatal to your cat and to you. Kittens should receive the full complement of boosters and vaccinated again at the 1 year anniversary date of the first Rabies vaccine.
Cats do get heartworms and your cat should start on a heartworm preventative. There are safe and effective products to keep your cat from being bothered by fleas, ticks, and mites. We recommend all pets have a Microchip identification chip implanted. Microchips are inexpensive, simple to implant, and can prevent the loss of a beloved pet. When your cat is a kitten, this is a great time to enroll in a pet insurance plan. For about $25 to $35 a month, you can have insurance for your cat that will pay for unexpected medical expenses and literally save your pet’s life. The doctor will also discuss nutrition, behavior, dental care, and spay or neuter.
We recommend that all cats get a complete physical examination at least every 6 months. The doctor listens to the heart and lungs; palpates the abdomen; looks in the eyes, ears, and mouth; examines the teeth and gums; looks at the skin and hair coat; makes an assessment of the cat’s weight; and checks for lumps and bumps. These visits include a fecal examination for intestinal parasites, and are a great time to stock up on heartworm and flea and tick preventatives.
The decision to vaccinate in an adult cat is based on assessment of the risk of the pet being exposed. Since vaccinations themselves are inexpensive, cost is usually not the issue. There are times when the decision is made to not vaccinate as a doctor choice, a client choice, or a medical necessity.
Cats that are older than a few years of age are more likely to have one of the following:
- Dental problems
- Kidney Disease
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
- Liver Disease
- Arthritis, intervertebral disc disease
- Chronic ear problems
- Chronic skin disease
- Glandular diseases – hyperthyroidism, diabetes
- Cognitive issues
- Blindness and Deafness
- Poor grooming Habits
Our pets age much faster than we do. In fact, a calendar year represents several years for your cat. In other words, your cat will actually be several years older by this time next year. It is easy to understand that something can come up or go wrong within 2 to 3 years. This is what we are saying when we recommend examination every 6 months. In addition, there are several very helpful tests we can use to be sure your cat lives as long as possible, and is as happy and active as possible. These tests include a complete blood count, a complete biochemical profile, a complete urinalysis, an electrocardiogram, blood pressure measurement, x-rays, and ultrasound examination. We want to make it as easy as possible to afford the kind of testing your cat really needs. We have put together the more useful screening tests and discounted the fee. Take advantage of these inexpensive General Health Profiles since they tell us a great deal more about the behind the scenes health of your cat. We have had many patients where we found something wrong and were able take simple measures to prevent or reduce the severity of the problem. We believe it would be terrific if we could do that for your cat.