A yearly physical exam is one of the most important tools we have in maintaining your cat’s health. It allows us valuable face-to-face time to discuss behavioral issues, nutritional concerns, and the general well-being of your feline. It also gives us an opportunity to weigh your cat and perform a complete physical exam including evaluation of the oral cavity and teeth, auscultation of the heart and lungs, palpation of the abdomen, and examination of the coat and body condition. All of this allows us to better identify early problems and tailor our health recommendations to your unique cat.
Vaccinations can be a very important part of preventative health care and public health as well. In general, we recommend that all cats be vaccinated yearly with a rabies vaccine. While risk is low, rabies is a preventable disease and impossible to treat. Something as simple as a bat in the house can put your feline at risk of contracting rabies. The risk is only amplified if your cat has access to the outdoors. It is also Cook County law for all cat’s to be currently vaccinated for rabies. It is our recommendation that all cats be vaccinated with a PCR vaccine as well. This vaccine, commonly called the distemper vaccine, helps to protect your cat from panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis virus. Lastly, if your cat does go outdoors or has contact with any cats that go outdoors we strongly suggest the cat be vaccinated against feline leukemia virus. This is an immunocompromising virus that can be spread through contact with an infected feline. We are happy to tailor vaccinations to the individual needs of your cat.
Intestinal Parasite Screen:
A yearly fecal examination for common intestinal parasites is part of a well-rounded wellness approach to your cat’s health. While this is obviously an important measure for cats that have access to the outdoors, it is also an important part of keeping your indoor cat healthy. While indoor cats may have less risk of contracting intestinal parasites, it is not uncommon. We can perform an intestinal parasite screen for common parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. We also have the ability to run additional fecal tests should your cat be having intestinal issues. Some intestinal parasites can be spread to humans, so having your cat’s feces evaluated is important to public health and the health of your family.
According to the Home Again website, 1 in 3 pets become lost in their lifetime. Out of those pets, 90% will never be reunited with their owners. This is a sad reality and a very troubling thought to imagine your cat lost and never reunited. We offer implantation of a microchip that will help bring your cat back to you should they ever be lost. We all know that even indoor cats have a tendency to try to escape sometimes. The process of implanting the microchip is quick, hurts just for a second, and can be an invaluable tool should your cat ever be lost.
Nutritional and Weight Management Counseling:
Obesity is a growing problem in the feline population with up to 40-50% of cats being overweight or obese according to the Winn Feline Foundation. Obesity can predispose your cat to diabetes, joint disease, and skin issues, to name a few. Nutritional recommendations can be a great tool in maintaining your cat’s good health. Cats are carnivores and require high protein, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate foods. It may be surprising to learn, but feeding 10 extra kibbles of dry food per day over what is needed for an average sized cat can lead to a weight gain of 12% in just one year according to a recent article in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. Special nutritional needs are also required for some senior/geriatric cats or cats with disease processes such as food allergy, inflammatory bowel disease, or renal disease. We are more than happy to assess your cat’s nutritional needs and make recommendations at your visit.
Flea and Heartworm Preventative:
Flea prevention is necessary for all cats that have any access to outdoors or live with cats or dogs that have any access to the outdoors. Even indoor-only cats can get fleas. Prevention is always easier than treatment and involves applying a monthly preventative topically. Flea infestation can lead to complications such as skin disease, tapeworm infection, and anemia in severe cases. Heartworms are a type of parasite that are contracted from the bite of an infected mosquito. They are small parasites that live within the vessels of the heart and can cause respiratory disease and even death. It can be very difficult to diagnose heartworm disease in cats as they are usually infected with very few heartworms. Unfortunately, no current treatment exists for curing heartworm disease in cats so prevention in this case is the key!