Preventive Healthcare for Your Cat

Part of the Cats For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Preventive care for your cat — just like for you — is more cost-effective than crisis care, and easier on both your pet and your bank account in the long run. The following lists give you some preventive-care guidelines.

Talk to your veterinarian to find out what is best for your pet.

Kitten veterinary care

  • Initial exam and feline leukemia test within 48 hours of adoption and prior to introduction to other cats.

  • Three combination vaccinations at three- to four-week intervals, starting at the age of six to nine weeks. Feline leukemia vaccination after initial testing, two vaccinations three to four weeks apart. Rabies vaccination at 16 weeks, or as required by law.

  • Wormings as prescribed by your veterinarian, at two- to three-week intervals or until fecal test is clear.

  • Spaying or neutering, as early as eight weeks as recommended by your veterinarian.

Adult veterinary care

  • Annual examination, which may include chemical profile and urinalysis, especially for older pets and prior to procedures requiring anesthesia.

  • Combination vaccination, annually, as recommended by your veterinarian. Rabies vaccination as recommended by your veterinarian or as required by local law.

  • Dental cleaning and scaling under anesthesia, as recommended by your veterinarian.

Adult home care

  • Brush teeth three times weekly.

  • Trim nails monthly.

  • Regular grooming; bathing as required.

  • Weekly home exam, including checking for lumps, bumps, injuries, and weight loss.

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