Kitten & Adult Cat Care: Keeping the Felines of Southeast Houston TX Healthy
There's nothing quite like the joy of bringing home a new furry family member. Whether it's an adorable little kitten or a frisky adult cat that has captured your heart, we will work with you to ensure that your new pet is healthy and happy for many years to come.
It's important to schedule a thorough check-up for your kitten as soon as possible, especially if you have other cats at home. Kittens often have intestinal parasites, which can be transmitted to humans as well as other pets. During the initial exam, our veterinarians will administer an oral dewormer to help eliminate these dangerous parasites. Your kitten also will be screened for feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). While these diseases are not contagious to humans, they can be transmitted to other cats within your household, even if your kitten isn't exhibiting symptoms.
When you come for the initial exam, you will want to bring any veterinary medical records you may have along with a small stool sample (about the size of a quarter). Our veterinarians will begin by conducting a complete physical exam. They will inspect your kitten's eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, ears, hair, coat, skin, paws, abdomen, heart, lungs, and more.
Your kitten also will receive the first in a series of vaccinations. "Kitten boosters" are a critical part of building your kitten's immune system so that he or she is able to fight off viral diseases. The pet vaccinations we administer in our veterinary hospital have been carefully chosen for their effectiveness, safety, and minimal side effects. The vaccinations most kittens will receive include distemper and upper respiratory complex, feline leukemia, and rabies. We typically begin the series of immunizations at 6–9 weeks of age, and repeat every 3 weeks until he or she reaches 4 months of age.
During your kitten's initial exam, our veterinarians will also discuss heartworm prevention, as this deadly disease is on the increase in our region and even indoor cats are at risk. Thankfully, it can be easily prevented. The once-a-month product we recommend, Revolution©, also controls fleas, intestinal parasites, and ear mites.
As you are getting to know your kitten, you will likely have questions about nutrition, toys, and various behaviors such as play biting. Our veterinarians are happy to take the time to discuss these pet care issues with you. We are passionate about felines and want our patients and their families to enjoy a lifetime of happiness together. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about your new pet.
When to Spay and Neuter Kitties
Once your kitten reaches 5–6 months of age, it's important to get him or her "fixed." Not only will this prevent unwanted pregnancies, but there are other health benefits as well. For female cats, if you spay before the first heat cycle, it reduces the risk of mammary tumors and prevents uterine infections. In the case of males, neutering decreases aggression and fighting, spraying or marking, and removes the urge for them to want to roam in search of females.
Adult Cat Care
At The Feline Medical Center, we understand that it can sometimes be difficult to bring a cat to a veterinary hospital. The sights, sounds, and smells can be disturbing to a kitty even under the best of circumstances. That's one of the reasons we opened our unique, feline-only veterinary hospital. We wanted to provide a special kind of facility where cats and their owners would feel comfortable and be able to receive the quality veterinary care they deserve in a calm, quiet, and supportive environment.
Preventive Care Exams
All adult cats should be examined at least once each year, regardless of whether vaccinations are due. It's also important to note that even if kitties spend all of their time indoors, they need regular check-ups, too. By bringing your feline companion in for a wellness exam, it enables our veterinarians to obtain a baseline measurement of your pet's weight, internal organ function, and other vital information that is beneficial in early detection of any potential health problem. Once kitties reach the age of 7 years, they are considered to be seniors and should be seen at least twice each year.
During your cat's physical evaluation, our veterinarians will conduct a nose-to-tail exam. Your feline's weight and physical condition will be charted and, if needed, changes in diet will be discussed. We will evaluate your cat's mouth and teeth to see whether a dental cleaning or other oral care is required. In addition, a small blood sample will be collected for a blood profile to assess liver, kidney, pancreas, thyroid, and other organ and system functions. Your kitty also will be screened for internal and external parasites, including fleas and intestinal worms, and preventive measures will be discussed.
At The Feline Medical Center, we believe in carefully evaluating our patients' lifestyles to determine which vaccines are appropriate based upon their specific risk factors. We use the guidelines established by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and recommend that all adult cats be immunized with these core vaccines: feline distemper, rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and rabies. While feline leukemia is considered a core vaccine for young kittens, it may not be necessary for some adult cats. Our veterinarians will recommend the vaccinations that are appropriate for your kitty to ensure his or her optimal health.