Cats benefit from an annual wellness exam. Even if your cat does not go outside, many cat diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease or hyperthyroidism can sneak up on the cat. These are just a few of the things that can be caught on a wellness exam. It also gives you an chance to ask your vet all your questions about weight loss, litterbox issues, or that crazy thing your cat does.
As part of the annual wellness exam, your cat will receive a full physical exam and have a fecal sample checked for internal parasites.
There are several vaccinations, depending on lifestyle, that your cat will receive. A complete vaccination schedule can be seen here:
Feline vaccines are commonly referred to by acronyms and it may get confusing to interpret exactly what your cat is being given. Below is a list of vaccines offered to your cat. Combination vaccines are administered every three years for cats older then three years old.
- Rabies - this vaccinates against the virus that causes rabies. Rabies can affect all warm-blooded animals, as well as humans. Rabies attacks the brain and is always fatal. Vaccination is the key to controlling this deadly disease. Two vaccines are offered for cats for rabies. One vaccine will last for three years and one will last for a year.
- Rhinotracheitis - this is part of a three year combination vaccine (RCP) that vaccinates against a common viral infection that affects the respiratory system. It is most severe in kittens, and will cause sneezing, high fever and usually a thick discharge from the nose and eyes. Ulcers may develop on the eyes as well.
- Calicivirus - this is part of a three year combination vaccine (RCP) that vaccinates against another respiratory disease that has symptoms fairly similar to rhinotracheitis, but calicivirus can also cause painful ulcers on the mouth or tongue.
- Panleukopenia - this is part of a three year combination vaccine (RCP) that vaccinates against a highly contagious disease that causes severe depression, vomiting and diarrhea. Adult cats may recover, but it can be fatal, especially in kittens. Also called "feline distemper".
- Feline Leukemia - this virus affects the immune system and the cats become more susceptible to infection and to developing cancer. This virus is transmitted from cat to cat, so if your cat goes outside or if you have a multi-cat household, early vaccination can be very important in prevention of this fatal disease.