Vet Care and Vaccinations
A good vet is just as important to your cat or kitten as a good doctor is to you. If you live in the Portland/Vancouver area, and do not have a vet, we'll be happy to recommend one for you. If you don't live in the area, ask around. It's just like looking for a doctor or dentist - some are worthy of patient referrals, and some are not! You can find out a lot by talking to other people about their experiences with a certain vet. We highly recommend that the vet you choose be affiliated with an AAHA clinic. AAHA stands for American Animal Hospital Association, and is roughly equivalent to the AMA in human medicine. Not all veterinary clinics are AAHA clinics - call 1-800-252-2242 to find one near you.
Vaccinations are something you and your vet will want to discuss, but it is very important to keep these current. The main vaccinations are FVRCP (upper respiratory, panleukopenia, and calici virus), FeLV (feline leukemia) and rabies. We routinely vaccinate for FVRCP and rabies. Because all our cats have been tested for FeLV, we do not feel the need to vaccinate for this - however, your situation may be different, so discuss this vaccination with your vet. Also available is a vaccination for FIP. We do NOT recommend this vaccination - in fact, our contract states that if this vaccination is given, all health guarantees are null and void. In studies, the FIP vaccination has not proven to be effective, and in many cases has made the cat more susceptible to the disease.
Annual boosters have been the norm in veterinary medicine, but new studies suggest that a 3-year interval may be just as effective. Again, this is something to discuss with your vet - just be sure to keep your cat's vaccinations current, whichever method you may choose.
There have been wonderful advances made in the area of flea control in the last few years. We have successfully used a product called Advantage, available by prescription from your vet. This is a liquid that is applied to your cat's skin, between the shoulder blades, where it is absorbed and then kills the fleas. The dosage lasts for a month, and can be reapplied if needed. The best part about this is that it eliminates all the hassles of having to bathe your cat with Flea Shampoo (which is usually very harsh), and set off flea bombs in your house.
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