Adult Cat Wellness
All adult cats should receive a health examination at least annually, even those that don’t go outside. Many health problems may go undetected without a thorough physical exam, and we’d rather catch problems early when we are more able to intervene. We will help evaluate your cat’s lifestyle and health risks and determine which vaccinations are appropriate for your pet. Cats may need vaccinations for rabies, FVRCP (feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia), and leukemia. A routine fecal examination should be performed on all cats at least annually. Cats that go outside who are not on a monthly dewormer, such as Revolution, should also receive a broad-spectrum dewormer at least annually.
Comprehensive Health Evaluation
Comprehensive annual health evaluations are critical to the long-term health and well-being of your cat, especially since cats are masters at hiding illness. Annual visits can help us find small problems before they adversely affect your pet’s health. This evaluation will also include a nutritional and weight assessment, discussion of any behavior issues, and a dental health evaluation.
Vaccinations protect against preventable infectious diseases and help your cat live a long, healthy life. Your kitten will need a series of vaccinations in order to boost their immune system and develop a full year of immunity. After the initial kitten series, these vaccines should be boosted one year later. After that, some vaccines can provide protection for up to 3 years. We take your pet’s lifestyle and risk into consideration when developing a vaccination schedule so that your pet does not receive any vaccinations that he or she doesn’t need. Once your pet has received the initial series of kitten vaccines, and boosters one year later, we prefer to schedule vaccine boosters on a rotating schedule for most patients, providing a lighter burden on the immune system with each annual exam.
FVRCP: This vaccine protects against several highly-contagious upper respiratory viruses, including rhinotracheitis (feline herpes virus), calicivirus, and life-threatening distemper. Feline herpes and calici virus infections can be life-long. This is a core vaccine recommended for all cats. Once your cat has received the appropriate initial booster series and an FVRCP vaccine one year later, we then recommend vaccination every three years.
Rabies: This vaccine protects against a fatal disease that can be transmitted to humans. Rabies has been detected in foxes, coyotes, and bats in Oregon. Since cats are very curious and most cat interactions with bats happen inside of our houses, we recommend rabies vaccination for all indoor and outdoor cats. We use a non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine in cats that provides protection for one year.
Leukemia: The feline leukemia virus is the leading viral killer of cats and is spread through bite wounds, mating, from an infected mother to her kittens, or through casual contact with an infected cat, such as sharing food bowls or litterboxes. We recommend feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) testing for all kittens and new cats. Following a negative test, we recommend an initial two-dose feline leukemia series for all kittens (since even indoor-only kittens may inadvertently get outside or may become indoor/outdoor cats later in life), and then risk should be revisited one year later. At-risk cats should continue to be vaccinated on a 3-year schedule. We use a non-adjuvanted feline leukemia vaccine.
We follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations for at least annual deworming of all cats, both to protect cats, and also their owners from internal parasites that can cause severe disease, including blindness in children and adults. We use an oral medication called Drontal which treats roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. The monthly preventive Revolution treats most of these internal parasites, except tapeworms and whipworms. Your veterinarian may recommend annual deworming even if your cat is on monthly Revolution based on his lifestyle or if he has a history of having fleas (which are part of the tapeworm lifecycle).
Annual Intestinal Parasite Screening
We recommend annual internal parasite screening for all cats. We test for hookworm, whipworm, roundworm, plus protozoa coccidia and giardia, which commonly infect standing water in our wet weather (and which our routine dewormers don’t treat). When we also recommend annual deworming, we wait two weeks to have you submit a fecal sample for analysis, so we can ensure the effectiveness of deworming. Cats with heavy loads of internal parasites may test positive for hookworms, roundworms, or whipworms, even after receiving a broad-spectrum dewormer. Learn more about internal parasites in cats at PetsandParasites.org.
Just as our physical exam is used to evaluate your pet’s health, blood and urine testing provide an exam of your pet’s internal organs and can help uncover underlying medical problems that may not be obvious from the physical exam. Depending on your cat’s health status and use of prescription medications, your veterinarian may recommend annual or semi-annual screening labwork to monitor your pet’s organ function.
Monthly Flea Prevention
We recommend monthly flea prevention for at-risk cats year-round. We offer a variety of preventives and can make a recommendation for a product that will best suit you and your pet based on lifestyle and preferences. We carry the following products:
Cheristin—over-the-counter topical flea preventive that kills fleas within 4 hours of application. The main ingredient is labeled for use in organic farming.
Comfortis—oral prescription flea preventive that kills fleas within 4 hours of administration, and the main ingredient are labeled for use in organic farming. It is a flavored pill that must be given orally with a full meal.
Frontline Gold—over-the-counter topical flea preventive that kills fleas within 12 hours of administration.
Revolution—topical prescription preventive that kills fleas within 48 hours, and also treats ear mites, and several internal parasites.