Feline Preventative Care
Pets are like kids–it’s a never-ending job to keep them safe and happy. Routine preventative health care such as vaccinations, viral testing, and internal parasite screenings are very important to minimize certain diseases.
Below are the different types of vaccinations and preventative health screenings that we offer and recommend to our feline patients at Dalton Animal Care South.
Vaccinations and Routine Screenings for Cats
- Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
- Viral (FeLV) Testing
- Fecal (Stool Sample) Testing
- Internal and External Parasite Prevention
Rabies vaccinations are required by law and meant for the protection of both people and pets. Rabies is a fatal disease for which there is no cure and our pets tend to be the carrier to humans, due to their tendencies to come into contact with our animals that may be carrying rabies.
- A Rabies vaccination is given as early as 12-16 weeks of age and is good for one year.
- Subsequent Rabies vaccinations are every 1 to 3 years for cats depending on the type of vaccine used.
Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia, or FVRCP, are life-threatening and hihgly-contagious viruses. Kittens need to be properly vaccinated in order to fight off any exposure to these viruses.
- Typically, kittens will receive their first FVRCP vaccine at 8 weeks and receive additional boosters at 12 and 16 weeks.
- The minimum number of boosters for a cat of any age who has never been properly vaccinated for FVRCP is a series of two vaccines, given 1 month apart, followed by an annual booster.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
Feline Leukemia is a non-curable virus that is contagious to other cats. For indoor-only cats, the risk of contracting FeLV is very low. Outdoor cats and cats in multi-cat households are more at risk, especially if they share water and food dishes and litter boxes. Exposure to infected cats raises your cat’s risk of contracting FeLV, especially for kittens and young adult cats. Older cats are less likely to contract the infection because natural immunity increases with age.
- The FeLV vaccine series consists of two vaccinations, 1 month apart and boosted 1 year later.
- After their annual booster, we will re-evaluate your cat’s lifestyle with you to determine if continuing annual vaccination for feline leukemia is necessary.
All cats must be tested for Feline Leukemia prior to vaccination. This is a quick 10-minute test that requires only a small blood sample. More information about testing is below.
Viral (FeLV) Testing
Feline leukemia (FeLV) is a disease that is passed from one cat to another through saliva, blood, and to some extent, urine and feces. Kittens can contract the disease in utero or through an infected mother’s milk. The disease is often spread by apparently healthy cats, so even if a cat appears healthy, it may be infected and able to transmit the virus.
- We recommend all kittens be screened for FeLV as well as any adult cats who have not been tested before, regardless of lifestyle.
Fecal (Stool Sample) Testing
Fecal testing screens your cat for various intestinal parasites such as Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, Tapeworms, Coccidia and Giardia. These parasites are contracted through fecal-oral ingestion by a number of ways including grooming, contaminated soil, and contaminated water. Other ways they can be contracted is ingestion of rodents or fleas.
Intestinal parasites can cause diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, inappetence and weight loss. Kittens are especially sensitive to intestinal parasites and they can make them very sick very quickly.
- All kittens should have their stool tested for parasites when they first come in to see us along with a second follow up test at some point before completing their kitten vaccination series.
- Prophylactic deworming for common parasites in kittens is also performed even in the event of a negative fecal test.
- We recommend all adult cats have their stool tested at least once yearly even for indoor-only cats.
Internal and External Parasite Prevention
Cats are just as susceptible to internal and external parasites as dogs are such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, giardia, coccida, fleas, ticks, ear mites, and even heartworm.
To schedule an appointment for routine preventive care and screenings, contact Dalton Animal Care South at 706-278-1113.