Tuesday, June 22, 2010


As I get ready for the next Polite Puppy class this Sunday I wanted to be sure I didn’t neglect the kitty owners. The shelters are always overflowing with these tiny little balls of fur in need of a home. At Friendship we offer a Kitten Plan that includes all wellness kitten visits, fecal testing, deworming, core vaccinations and ten percent off the spay or neuter.

The core vaccines for cats are rabies and feline distemper. I often hear people say that their cat does not need to be vaccinated for rabies since they do not go outside. First this is against the law, all cats and dogs must be vaccinated for rabies. What owners don’t usually think of is there are numerous scenarios where your cat could be considered a rabies suspect and be euthanized against your will.

Picture this: Mittens an unvaccinated, indoor cat darts out the back door and returns home a few hours later with a bite wound from an unknown animal. The wound needs medical attention so Mittens’ owner brings her to the veterinarian. She is extremely painful and scared; in an effort to protect herself she bites one of the veterinary technicians while she is being treated. While the odds are she does not have rabies, since this disease is one hundred percent fatal the person who was bitten has the legal right to have Mittens put to sleep for rabies testing. This horrid situation could have been completely avoided with a simple vaccine.

The second core vaccine for cats is feline distemper. This combination vaccine protects against common viruses that cause upper respiratory and gastrointestinal disease in cats. Also available is the feline leukemia vaccine which is usually recommended in cats that are going to go outside. On that note I ask that you please do not let your cats outside. On average indoor cats live to twelve to fifteen years, the average lifespan of an outdoor cat is two years. There are countless dangers such as cars, chemical toxins, poisonous plants, infectious diseases, and fighting with other cats or wild animals.

If you are worried that your cat will be bored inside please visit the Indoor Cat Initiative website for tips on how to enrich your indoor kitty’s life. All cat owners should also apply a topical product such as Advantage Multi or Revolution to protect your cat against heartworm disease, fleas and ticks. Even if you keep your kitty safely inside they are still exposed to these pesky insects and need protection just as much as dogs do. Kittens are incredibly cute and always entertaining to watch as they race around your house. Follow these simple guidelines to get your new kitten off on a healthy paw.

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