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Preventive & Primary Feline Care

Preventive and primary care are just as important for your cat as they are for you. This includes an annual physical exam, dental exam, eye exam and maybe even a nutritional consultation.


Annual Exams

The advantage of bringing your cat to a veterinarian annually is that they will have all aspects of their health examined in one visit -- as opposed to visiting numerous doctors as humans must do.


During the Exam

During a physical examination, we will ask you questions about your cat's lifestyle such as:

  • Whether they spend most of their time indoors or outdoors
  • Which food(s) they eat
  • How their activity and energy level are, etc.

Then we'll do a thorough physical exam, including:

  • Listening to your cat's heart and lungs
  • Evaluating your cat's vision
  • Looking in the ears
  • Palpating their abdomen
  • Checking the range of motion and assessing the health of their joints
  • Checking for any unusual lumps or growths
  • Checking their reflexes
  • Evaluating the health of their teeth and gums

For Senior Cats

If your cat is over 10 he or she is considered a senior cat and we recommend a full blood panel to be proactive in catching diseases such as cancer, kidney, heart and liver disease. The sooner these conditions are detected, the better the chance of effectively managing them. Click here to read more about senior cat health.

The Importance of Annual Exams

We recommend your cat receive a physical exam every year so that we can spot any hidden health issues, or at the very least, obtain a health history and baseline information we can compare to and review in the coming years. For example, this will help us spot any changes in:

  • Blood work
  • Weight changes and eating habits
  • Behavior
  • Note any growths that may have developed


Routine examinations give us an opportunity to develop a picture of your cat's overall health and for you to ask general or specific questions about your cat. Examinations are also essential in spotting problems before they become serious health issues and are also a good time for your cat to get up-to-date on his or her vaccinations.

Microchipping

Each year, thousands of cats go missing, and many never find their way home. Implanting a microchip in your cat is a simple and virtually painless way to help avoid this tragedy.

A microchip is about the size and shape of a grain of rice. It is implanted beneath a cat's skin between the shoulder blades, and stays there for the cat's entire life. This procedure is as easy and as painless as a vaccination.

Each microchip emits a unique number when a hand-held scanner is brought near. This number, along with information about the owner and cat, are added to a national pet registry. Most veterinary hospitals and animal shelters have electronic scanners for detecting and reading these implanted microchips. If a lost cat is found and a microchip is detected by scanning, the registry is called and the owner can be contacted.

Talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of microchiiping your cat. And while we recommend having your cat microchipped, we still advise that your cat also wear a collar with current identification tags.

National Database
When was the last time you checked the national databases to be sure the information listed for you cat was current? Here are two links to get you there:

www.savethislife.com
www.public.homeagain.com
www.avidid.com

Nutrition

You do it every day, but how much do you know about the food you feed your cats? A healthy diet for your cat is an essential part of their overall health care — just as it is for you.

Feeding your cat the proper diet is one of the easiest and most effective ways to help keep them healthy and active! Your cat's dietary and nutritional requirements will depend on their age, weight, lifestyle, and individual health concerns.


The two most common problems cats have as a result of their diet are obesity and food allergies. Obesity can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and many forms of cancer. Cats with food allergies often suffer from itchy skin (around the face, feet, ears, armpits and anus) and can develop chronic ear infections, hair loss, "hot spots" and skin infections.

At Feline Medical Center, our veterinarians will help you develop a nutrition plan that is right for your cat, providing balanced diet consultations. We also carry a variety of specialty and prescription pet foods in our hospital.

Parasite Prevention

Any cat who spends time outdoors can become infested with internal or external parasites during their lifetime. If left untreated, parasites can affect your cat in a variety of ways, ranging from simple irritation to life-threatening conditions. Failing to give regular monthly preventive medications can expose your entire family to disease and subject your cats to potentially life-threatening conditions.

Important Facts About Parasites:

  • 1 to 3 million people are infected with hookworm by their cats each year.
  • Tick bites can give your cat infections like Lyme disease which is transmittable to humans.
  • Raw meat can give animals parasites and carry bacteria that can make animals and humans sick.
  • The most common parasites transmittable to humans are roundworms and hookworms.
  • Year-round prevention is the most effective way to control cat parasites and the diseases they carry.

Parasite Prevention Recommendations
We are able to run complete parasite screenings every day of the week, and can determine if you cat has parasites. If you suspect your cat is carrying intestinal parasites (due to intermittent vomiting, diarrhea, or poor appetite), we also recommend you bring in a fecal sample at the time of your visit.

We recommend that all cats who go outdoors be screened for intestinal parasites annually.

Fleas & Ticks
In addition to monthly parasite preventive medications, we also recommend your cat be on a monthly flea and tick preventive medication. We suggest talking with your veterinarian about an integrated flea and tick program to help you decide which medications are right for your cat.

Parasite Prevention Resources
What Every Pet Owner Should Know About Roundworms & Hookworms

Pet Insurance

Feline Medical Center accepts and works with all pet insurance companies. We have forms available so that submitting claims is quick and easy. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind, so in the event of an emergency, or if any other unforeseen medical conditions arise, a portion of your cat's veterinary bill will be covered.

We are such vocal advocates of pet insurance for a simple and powerful reason:  time and time again we've seen the relief on the faces of the families we serve when they know they can make the best decision for their beloved pet without having to worry about finances. That is the benefit of being insured - the knowledge that you can pursue exceptional care for your best friend because there is a support system in place. We want all our pet owners to feel this secure!

We know that insurance can be confusing so we want to help answer any questions you might have and make the process as easy as possible!

First, a brief explanation about how pet insurance works. It is different from human health insurance in that you pay the veterinary costs up front and then, depending on your coverage, the pet insurance company will reimburse you. Pet insurance works with all licensed veterinarians. We will work hand in hand with you to help process paperwork and insurance claims to expedite the process.

While there are many pet insurance companies to choose from and we recommend doing your research, there are three companies that FMC endorses. They are: Embrace, Petplan, and Trupanion. Our doctors feel that these companies offer the best coverage for our patients as well as excellent customer service for our clients.

Click here for a brief synopsis of what each company offers. Visit their websites, explore the different plans and prices, and decide what kind of coverage will be right for you and your pet. Please feel free to contact us anytime with any questions you might have – we are here to help! 


If you are interested in pet insurance, but are still not sure whether it is right for you, go to: www.Petinsurancereview.com to find out more.


Spay & Neuter

Sadly, thousands of cats are euthanized every year in our local shelters, and nationwide the estimates range as high as 10 million dogs and cats euthanized in the United States annually.

Unless you have a pure-bred  cat specifically intended for breeding, your cat should be neutered or spayed before they have a chance to reproduce, which occurs about six months of age.

Spays and neuters are outpatient procedures, meaning your cat comes into the veterinary hospital for surgery and goes home the same day. Most cats return to their full activity level within a few days. The relative quickness and simplicity of the procedure, and the rapid recovery of most cats within a day or two means there is no reason a healthy cat or kitten should not be spayed or neutered.

Benefits of Spaying Your Cat (females)

  • No heat cycles 
  • Reduces the risk of mammary tumors and eliminates the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer
  • Reduces the number of unwanted kittens

Benefits of Neutering Your Cat (males)

  • Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer and reduces the risk of certain prostate diseases
  • Reduces urine marking and spraying
  • Reduces undesirable sexual behavior, such as roaming and mounting
  • Reduces the number of unwanted kittens


Altering your cat will increase his or her chances of living and enjoying a longer and healthier life. Spaying or neutering your pet will increase a cat's life by 3 to 5 years!

Vaccinations

Vaccines are critical in preventing Feline Leukemia, Feline Distemper, Rabies and Upper Respiratory Infections in cats. Our staff can assist you in deciding which preventative measures are necessary for your cat.

Up-to-date vaccinations play a large part in keeping your cat healthy and free from disease. However, not every cat requires the same series or frequency of vaccines. Our veterinarians will tailor a vaccine protocol that's specific to your cat based on his or her lifestyle. Vaccine schedules are balanced to provide needed protection while not over-vaccinating your cat.



Important Information on Vaccinations

Kitten Care

Whether you have just become a new "parent" to a kitten for the first time, or you're adding another to an already full house of pets, we're excited about helping you learn about raising your little one!

At Feline Medical Center we'll do far more than simply administer vaccinations. Throughout your kitten's first few months you'll be able to see the same doctor at every visit who will monitor your kitten's development, and you'll have an opportunity to ask questions about what behaviors are normal for a kitten (and how to keep them out of trouble!), or how and when proper training should begin.

We'll discuss with you which foods are best suited to your cat's breed and lifestyle, answer questions about how you can avoid common household hazards for kittens, suggest simple ways to keep your kittten's teeth clean (and breath fresh!), how to prevent "worms", and just pass along common-sense tips about raising a kitten that can only come from years of experience.

Providing the right "shots" for a kitten is important, but it is only one small part of raising a happy, healthy, and well-behaved pet and we pride ourselves on being an important resource for information on raising a kitten during this important, formative time in their lives.