Your Guide to Spring Wellness Care for Cats

Now is the time to prepare for spring wellness care for your cat and schedule an appointment with your vet in Cannon Falls, MN. Even your indoor cat requires preventative care, as cats are excellent at masking illnesses and often do not show symptoms until it’s too late. Here are the vaccines and physical exams to schedule this spring:

  • Comprehensive exam: As mentioned, cats mask illness and hide symptoms. A complete physical exam is the most important part of this appointment. During the exam, we weigh your cat and determine their body condition score, check for pain and note any behavior changes you noticed recently. Once we receive this information, we can determine if your cat requires further testing.
  • Vaccines: Cats may receive core and non-core vaccines. Core vaccines include rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and panleukopenia, also known as FVRCP, HCP or upper respiratory vaccine. Cats who spend time outdoors require a rabies vaccination, although we recommend it for outdoor and indoor cats alike due to the deadly nature of rabies. Feline leukemia is a non-core vaccine, normally reserved for high-risk cats who receive unsupervised outdoor time. Talk to your vet thoroughly about vaccines, as the schedule depends on your cat’s lifestyle and vulnerability to illness.
  • Parasite testing: Cats are vulnerable to roundworms and hookworms, which are contagious to humans. Many cat owners have caught them from cleaning litterboxes. Vets deworm cats every spring, and check for giardia or coccidia, as they are not covered by standard dewormers. We follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Companion Animal Parasite Control guidelines to keep pets and people safe from parasites. You may want to check for heartworms, too, or start a year-round flea prevention program.
  • FLV/FIV testing: We recommend these tests for cats who spend unsupervised time outdoors. There is a vaccine for FLV, but no vaccine is 100 percent effective, and sometimes a cat can be an asymptomatic carrier. FIV has no vaccine, and infected cats should stay indoors to prevent spreading FIV to other cats. If you have one indoor cat and one outdoor cat who interact with each other, test both cats every year.
  • Blood testing: Annual blood testing detects hidden conditions and ensures long-term health. Young adult cats benefit from annual blood testing, but senior kitties do better with blood tests once every six months. As your cat grows older, we expand the blood panel to check for more conditions. Early detection and treatment prevent these conditions from becoming crises later.
  • Blood pressure: Just as in humans, high blood pressure can be dangerous in cats. Older cats who face hypertension often become blind or develop hyperthyroidism, chronic kidney disease and heart disease. Simple annual blood pressure checks can go a long way toward ensuring problems are caught early and these chronic diseases are avoided.

Cannon Veterinary Services Ltd. is a cat vet in Cannon Falls, MN. We offer complete feline healthcare for all cats, from kitten to senior kitty. Call us today to schedule a wellness and vaccination appointment.