What does my adult cat need for good health and to prevent medical problems?

All cats need yearly vaccines to boost their immune systems against potentially deadly disease and to protect the public against a rabies outbreak. Rabies is present in the Texas wildlife and there is a potential risk of exposure to your pet. Because of the risk of rabies being spread to the public, it is law that all cats receive rabies vaccinations. The Centers for Disease Control also recommends that all pets be dewormed on a regular basis to prevent the spread of parasites to people, especially children and immune compromised individuals. All cats should receive a yearly “Distemper shot” to protect from diseases they will commonly come in contact with. These include rhinotracheitis, calici, and panleukopenia – all may cause serious respiratory diseases. Cats that spend time outdoors, or come in contact with outdoor cats, should also receive a feline leukemia vaccine – a fatal disease of the immune system. All cats should be screened for leukemia and FIV before receiving a leukemia vaccine. All cats, which spend time outdoors, should be tested for leukemia and FIV.

All cats should receive heartworm preventative on a monthly basis. Cats acquire heartworm disease from mosquitoes, and the preventative will also keep cats free of most intestinal parasites. Topical parasites (fleas, mites and ticks) cause stress, irritation, anemia, tapeworms, skin infections, and potentially fatal diseases. There are numerous veterinary products that are excellent in preventing heartworm, flea and tick infestations.

Dental disease can cause problems with food consumption, and is a major source of infection to the heart, kidneys, and bloodstream. Dental cleanings and a proper dental diet (Hill’s t/d) can reduce or eliminate these conditions. The use of t/d food also reduces bad breath, hairballs, GI upset, and decreases shedding.