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CAT / new pets

What to Expect When You Take Your Cat to the Vet

A healthy cat is a happy cat, so vet visits are crucial, even if your kitty thinks otherwise.

Overview

Your cat’s checkup

Expect the veterinarian to spend at least 30 minutes on a nose-to-tail exam, including listening to your cat’s heart and lungs and a thorough feel of the belly region. The vet will ask you about your cat’s behavior and mood, and whether you’ve noticed anything unusual.

Don’t be shy about mentioning any odd-seeming behavior or physical symptoms. The time to ask questions is now, when there’s a pro in the room.

The vet will probably suggest tips to correct your cat’s behavior and/or diagnose and prescribe treatment as well as a follow-up plan for any physical health problems.

An ounce of prevention…

The best way to keep vet visits to a minimum is to maintain your cat’s health. Try these simple preventative tips:

  • Feed your pet high-quality food in appropriate portions. Read more here about feline nutrition.
  • Guard against harmful diseases by seeing to it that your cat gets vaccinations and regular booster shots.
  • Protect your cat against parasites including ticks, worms and fleas; your vet can advise you on the best treatments.

Routine shots for adult cats

Kittens should receive a number of vaccinations during their first year. After that, the American Association of Feline Practitioners has endorsed the current vaccine guidelines for cats:

1. FVRCP – a three-in-one vaccine that protects cats from feline distemper (panleukopenia) and upper respiratory diseases (feline herpesvirus and feline calicivirus).

2. Rabies—a vaccine for a fatal infection that affects the central nervous system. Rabies can be passed to humans and other pets, primarily through the bite of an infected animal. Usually required by law, the vaccine it is recommended based on local regulatory guidelines.

3. Feline Leukemia (FeLV)—a vaccine for a virus that decreases immune system function and can cause serious illness and death. Infected cats may show no symptoms and can spread the disease to healthy unvaccinated cats; therefore, it is recommended that all cats under one year of age be vaccinated against FeLV and receive a booster vaccination one year later. After one year of age, the need for subsequent vaccination is determined by risk factors.