Feline Health and Wellness
Feline: Frequently Asked Questions
1. How often does my pet need to be examined by a veterinarian?
We recommend a minimum of an annual wellness exam for all cats. If your cat is of a "senior" or "geriatric" age, we recommend an exam every 6 months instead.
2. How old is my cat in human years?
See attached Human/Pet Age Analogy Chart
3. How often do I need to bring in a fecal sample for examination?
We recommend testing a fecal sample annually for all cats. If your cat is having soft stool or diarrhea, we should perform an additional fecal flotation at that time. A fecal flotation commonly helps identify roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and coccidia. It may also diagnose tapeworms and giardia.
4. Does my pet need flea or tick preventative?
Any cats that go outside or live with another pet that goes outside are at risk. We recommend using Frontline Gold or Revolution during all non-winter months.
5. Should I spay/neuter my pet?
- Decreased Risk for Developing Mammary Cancer
- Females spayed before the onset of their first heat have less
- than 0.5% chance for developing mammary tumors. This incidence increases to 8% if a female is allowed to have one heat cycle and 26% after two heat cycles. No preventative effect for mammary tumors is seen if a female is spayed after the age of 2 1/2 years.
- Eliminates the Risk of Pyometra
- This life-threatening uterine infection may develop in any unspayed female dog or cat. The uterus fills with a pus-like fluid and emergency surgery is necessary in most cases.
- Eliminates the Risk of Ovarian and Uterine Cancers
- The uterus and both ovaries are removed during the spay rocedure.
- Eliminates Unwanted Heat Behavior in Felines
- Female cats will vocalize and actively seek males for breeding.
- Eliminates Unwanted Visits to Your Residence From interested Males
- Eliminates Unwanted Pregnancies Contributing to the Pet Overpopulation Problem
- Hundreds of thousands of pets are euthanized every year due to lack of homes.
- Eliminates the risk of Testicular Tumors
- Decreases Roaming Behavior and Intermale Aggression
- Decreases the Risk of Urine Spraying in Cats
- Eliminates Contributing to the Pet Overpopulation Problem
- Neutering or Spaying Causes Obesity
- Research has shown that neutering or spaying your pet does not cause your pet to become overweight or obese. Over-feeding and lack of exercise contribute to weight gain. At 6 months of age (when most veterinarians recommend spaying and neutering) most pets are growing less rapidly and becoming less active. If pets are fed the same amount of food, weight gain results.
- Neutering or Spaying Changes My Pet's Behavior
- Behavior changes are usually not seen after surgery, although male dogs and cats may show less aggression towards other males of their species.
6. How often do I need my cat's teeth cleaned?
This varies greatly from cat to cat. Some animals need their teeth professionally cleaned (dental prophylaxis) every 6 months while others may only need it done every 5 years or so. When your cat is in for an examination the veterinarian will discuss your cat's oral health with you.
7. My cat is overweight; what should I do?
Obesity can cause a number of health problems in cats just as in humans. If you don't know if your pet is overweight, one of our veterinarians or technicians can evaluate your pet with you. They may recommend feeding less food, eliminating treats and/or table food, feeding a lower calorie food or increasing the amount of exercise.
See our page of Feeding Strategies and Weight Loss Tips for more information
8. Should I let my cat outside?
No. With the proper care and stimulation every cat can happily live indoors. On average, indoor cats have a much longer life span than outdoor cats. By keeping your cat indoors you eliminate many potential hazards such as cat fights, being hit by a car, Feline Leukemia & animal abuse.
9. My cat never goes outside; does he/she still need vaccinations?
Yes, even if your cat never goes outside he/she is still at risk for preventable diseases. The two vaccines we recommend for indoor only cats are FVRCPC (distemper) & Rabies.
-You can bring these viruses into your home and infect your cat.
-Rabies can be carried by many mammals including bats and no home is immune to having an occasional bat sneak in.
-Rabies is also a serious public health concern for humans.
10. How many litter boxes should I have for my cat(s)?
The basic rule of thumb is to have one more litter box than the total number of cats in your household.
Example: If you have 1 cat, you should have 2 litter boxes. If you have 2 cats, you should have 3 litter boxes, etc.
11. My cat is urinating outside the litter box; what should I do?
The first thing to do is call us at 414-962-6662 and set up an appointment with a veterinarian to have a urine sample analyzed and a thorough physical examination. Often times the problem is medical and needs to be treated with medication or a diet change. If a medical problem is ruled out, visit our page on Feline Behavior: Litterbox Tips for help.
12. What kind of scratching post will my cat like best?
Please visit our page on Feline Behavior: Scratching for tips on selecting and locating scratching posts for your cat.