Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to have an appointment?
Yes, unless it is an emergency.
How often should my cat be seen?
- Kittens should be seen within three days of being acquired. If they are healthy, they should be seen every 3-4 weeks until 4 months of age for kitten vaccinations and kitten exams. Please bring in a stool sample.
- Adults should be seen annually.
- Senior and geriatric cats (older than 8 years) should be seen every 6 months.
- Any cat with an illness or medical condition should be seen as recommended by your veterinarian.
Where is the best place to get a new cat?
- Because of the need for homes for so many cats, shelters are a good place to start your search. Make sure the shelter is clean. Where many cats are brought into the same environment, infectious disease can be a concern. These cats often have basic initial care started.
- It is usually not difficult to find someone with strays or abandoned kittens. These cats are not exposed to a large population, but may have little preliminary care and testing.
- Another option is to purchase a cat from a breeder. We do not recommend any particular breeds, but do recommend that you do extensive research and questioning of a breeder before purchasing a cat. You can also contact the Cat Fanciers Association for more recommendations about purchasing a cat from a breeder.
Should I get a kitten or an adult cat?
- Adopting a kitten versus an adult cat is a personal choice. Talk with the veterinarian about individual concerns. There are many cats of all ages that need good homes.
What should I feed my kitten? My adult cat? When should I switch from kitten food to adult cat food?
- Kittens should be fed a high quality kitten or growth formula until they are 6-9 months of age. Many veterinarians feel that canned food is more appropriate because it mimics the wild diet better than dry. Each feeding situation, home and cat is different however, so please discuss this with your veterinarian.
When should I vaccinate my kitten?
- Kittens should be seen within 3 days of acquiring them. The veterinarian will determine the vaccination requirements based on the kitten’s age and health.
- If the kitten’s mother is not known or of unknown vaccination status, more vaccinations will be needed for adequate protection.
When should I vaccinate my adult cat?
- Adult cats are vaccinated yearly for rabies. County law requires that all animals be vaccinated against rabies.
- Adult cats are vaccinated for PCR (panleukopenia/calicivirus/rhinotracheitis) at one year and then every 3 years.
When are kittens weaned?
- Kittens are typically weaned between 6 and 10 weeks of age and this is typically the age they are separated from the mother. They are often weaned younger and transitioned onto weaning formula for earlier adoption and earlier socialization.
Can cats catch “human colds”?
- Cats cannot catch “human colds”, but cats can suffer from feline viruses that cause an upper respiratory tract infection with clinical signs similar to what we associate with a “cold”. If you think your cat is showing such clinical signs, please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
What diseases can be passed from cats to humans?
- There are numerous zoonotic (animal to human transmission) diseases, however, most are fairly rare. The most commonly seen or known are ringworm, rabies, toxoplasmosis, and fecal parasites such as ascarids and hookworms.
- You can find more information about zoonotic diseases at AAFP Zoonotic.
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