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If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please call us at (405) 377-2287.

1. At what age can my cat get neutered/spayed/declawed? 15. What is a combo test, and why does my cat need it?
2. What is included in an annual exam? 16. Is it okay to give my cat table scraps?
3. Why should my cat get an annual exam? 17. At what age can a female cat get pregnant?
4. What is a senior panel? 18. Can you spay a cat who is in heat?
5. Why should my cat get a senior panel? 19. How much will it cost to get my cat spayed/neutered?
6. How much should I feed my cat? 20. Why does my cat need another exam just to get a prescription refilled?
7. What are the benefits of a "cats-only" clinic? 21. What is a non-adjuvanted vaccine and why is it better for my cat?
8. What vaccines does my cat need? 22. Can I drop my cat off for an exam and pick it up later?
9. How old does a kitten need to be to get vaccinated? 23. Why does my cat need to get its teeth cleaned?
10. How do I know if my cat is sick enough to take to the vet? 24. I have a very sick cat, but I am low on funds right now. Do you offer a payment plan?
11. Does my cat need to be on heartworm preventative? 25. I have some flea medicine for dogs. Can I just use a smaller amount of that for my cat?
12. Why should I have my cat spayed/neutered? 26. What should I do if my cat has an emergency after hours?
13. Why does my cat need vaccines if itís an indoor cat? 27. When can I start feeding my growing kitten adult cat food?
14. Can I give my cat over-the-counter medicines?  

1. At what age can my cat get neutered/spayed/declawed?

 

Cats can be spayed or neutered at 4 months. By this age, cats should have received their immunizations and been treated for common parasites, thus making them good candidates for elective procedures.

 

Declawing can be done as early as 3 months of age.  This procedure is not indicated for most cats, and consultation with one of our doctors is advised before the surgery is scheduled. At the consultation, in addition to discussing surgical declawing, we will talk about options such as trimming claws and environmental management of scratching.

2. What is included in an annual exam?

The first portion of the exam involves the gathering of information.  Both the veterinarian and the owner ask questions and listen to the answers. Unlike human patients who can communicate detailed information concerning their health, cats canít tell us whatís wrong, and they tend to hide their medical problems until they are extremely ill. It is important that the veterinarian and the owner work together, looking carefully for changes in the cat that might reflect problems that need to be managed.

The doctor will ask questions and give advice about:

  • Any medications the cat takes, whether they are prescription, preventative, or over-the-counter

  • The catís individual risk factors to determine appropriate vaccinations

  • The type and quantity of food the cat eats

  • The catís overall behavior

  • Specific problematic situations

 The second part is the hands-on physical exam. This is very systematic. The veterinarian will:

  • Note the catís body condition, weight, posture, and hydration status

  • Perform oral exam of the teeth and gums

  • Examine the catís eyes and ears

  • Palpate the neck to feel the lymph nodes and the thyroid gland

  • Observe respiratory rate and effort

  • Examine the catís skin for crusts, parasites and lumps

  • Listen to the heart for abnormal rates, rhythms, and murmurs

  • Listen to the lungs for abnormal respiratory sounds

  • Palpate limbs to check for swelling and pain

  • Palpate the abdomen to see if there is distention, discomfort, changes in the size of internal organs, or constipation

  • Examine perineal area (under the catís tail) to check for parasites, pain, swelling

  • Take the catís temperature

After the exam is completed, the doctor will write her findings in the record and make an assessment.  She will review this with the owner and make recommendations for the future regarding follow-up visits or changes that need to take place.

3. Why should my cat get an annual exam?

Yearly wellness exams are crucial not only because they let the veterinarian evaluate your cat's overall health, but also because they enable you and your veterinarian to become aware of any health problems before they turn into serious illnesses.

Many facets of your kitty's health can change significantly in a relatively short time. Think about it this way: cats age much faster than people do. One year in a cat's life is approximately equal to 5 or 6 years in a human's life. A lot can happen in that amount of time.

Furthermore, cats are experts at hiding it when something is wrong. They can't tell you when something is the matter, and their behavior may change very little (or not at all) when they begin to develop an illness. Physical exams can often detect disease before your cat starts to show any symptoms.

4. What is a senior panel?

A senior panel is a set of tests selected to completely evaluate the senior cat. Biological changes associated with aging can result in an assortment of chronic conditions. Furthermore, the incidence of certain diseases gradually increases as the cat ages. The tests included in the senior panel help detect pre-clinical disease and find the causes of any abnormalities noted in the catís medical history or found during the physical examination. The tests included are:

  • urinalysis

  • blood tests including a CBC (complete blood count) and CMP/T4 (comprehensive metabolic profile and thyroid test)

  • blood pressure check

5. Why should my cat get a senior panel?

Cats mature much faster than people, and as they age, their needs change. A yearly senior panel will allow for early diagnosis and treatment of potentially serious diseases. The tests that comprise the senior panel will screen for hypertension, kidney disease, lower urinary tract disease, diabetes, liver disease, thyroid disease, electrolyte imbalances, and anemia.  By screening for age-related diseases, in many cases we can detect diseases before they become debilitating or severe. We can then determine the appropriate treatment, which may include medication, food and/or therapy. Early detection results in easier disease management, better quality of life, and less costly and more successful management of many common conditions.

6. How much should I feed my cat?

Most cats do well eating both canned (moist) and dry cat foods. Generally, adult cats should be fed 2 or more times daily, and receive 1.5 ounces of canned food twice daily and ľ cup of dry food that can be eaten throughout the day. If a cat eats only canned food, then they should get one 6 ounce can of wet food per day (half in the morning and half in the evening). Cats that eat only dry food should eat Ĺ cup of dry food daily (ľ cup in the morning and ľ cup in the evening). The amount of food you should give your cat can vary depending on its weight, age, activity level, or overall health. Watch your catsí weight and adjust feeding amounts to keep them healthy. 

If you give your cat treats, cut back on the amount of regular food. If a kitty receives an extra teaspoon of food daily for a year, he will gain one pound. For an average cat, thatís over 10% of its weight.

7. What are the benefits of a "cats-only" clinic?

Our clinic was designed with the cat in mind! The building itself and all our equipment, medicines, and supplies are tailored specifically for felines.

Furthermore, our doctors and all our staff have chosen to specialize in feline medicine and care. We all choose to work here because we love cats. All our continuing education is focused on feline health topics. Both you and your cat will benefit from a group of people who are experts on the unique needs of the feline species.

Finally, here at the Cat Clinic, your kitty will not encounter the smells and sounds of strange dogs, making a trip to our hospital considerably less stressful for both of you.

8. What vaccines does my cat need?

All cats need rabies and FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis Calicivirus Panleukopenia) vaccinations. Feline Leukemia vaccines are recommended for any cat who goes outside, or any cat who lives with a cat who goes outside. Vaccination protocols are designed for each individual based on the benefits and risks for that individual cat.  There are many other vaccines that have been created for cats, but most are rarely indicated.

9. How old does a kitten need to be to get vaccinated?                         

Most kittens receive vaccines at 8 weeks, 12 weeks and 16 weeks. It is extremely important that kittens receive the vaccines that are appropriate for their lifestyle. <.

10. How do I know if my cat is sick enough to take to the vet?

You know your cat better than anyone. If you think the cat is sick, it probably is, and you should call the clinic. Some of the most common indications for an examination are: loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, and skin lesions.

11. Does my cat need to be on heartworm preventative?

Yes. Heartworm preventative is recommended year round for all cats by the Companion Animal Parasite Council. Heartworm larvae and adults can cause significant respiratory disease in catsóheartworm disease clinically mimics bronchial disease. The recommendation to give preventative year round to all cats is based on the fact that the presence of mosquitoes and their ability to transmit heartworm disease is unpredictable.  One study of cats with heartworms found that 28% of the infected cats were inside-only cats.  The risk of a cat having heartworm disease is about the same of the risk of the cat having feline leukemia or FIV (about 2%).

12. Why should I have my cat spayed/neutered?

All non-breeding cats should be spayed and neutered for their health, to make them better pets, and to prevent cat overpopulation. Un-neutered cats have shorter life expectancies than neutered cats. This is related to increased incidence of death and illness related to trauma and infection associated with the fighting and wandering that is common in un-neutered cats. Un-neutered cats are much more likely to engage in urine spraying, and they may be more aggressive and engage in excessive vocalization. The final compelling reason to make sure that that your cat is spayed or neutered is the very serious problem of many homeless kittens and adult cats. Shelters are full of cats without homes. Not only that, but many feral cats who hunt to survive are detrimental to native wildlife.

13. Why does my cat need vaccines if itís an indoor cat?

Being confined indoors does not prevent the arrival of infectious diseases. Sometimes these diseases come in the form of a cute new kitten or a visiting cat. Other times, the organisms are brought in on the shoes or hands of their owners who petted the cat next door or strolled though the park. Occasionally they swoop in with the bat that flies down the chimney (we have had clients report this). Sometimes indoor cats decide to sneak outside and socialize with other cats and wildlife.  Additionally, most indoor cats do travel occasionally to veterinary hospitals, boarding facilities, or to visit family. For all these reasons--and because a rabies vaccine is required by law--all cats should be vaccinated against rabies and FVRCP.

14. Can I give my cat over-the-counter medicines?

No. Never give medication that has not been prescribed or recommended by a veterinarian. Cats are not people and they are not just small dogs-- their metabolism is unique. Some over-the-counter medications are deadly to cats! These include Tylenolģ, Motrinģ, and Advilģ. Nearly 50% of the calls to the Pet Poison Helpline involve human medications, both over the counter and prescription.  There are, however, some over-the-counter medications for humans that are safe for cats when given at the correct dosage. Always call the clinic before you give any medication to your cat. If the clinic is closed and you are concerned about toxicity, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 800-213-6680.

15. What is a combo test, and why does my cat need it?

The combo test checks for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV). FeLV is most commonly spread by casual contact (sharing food dishes), and FIV is spread commonly by fighting. These conditions can have fatal outcomes. Cats should be tested to provide information to the owner and the veterinarian that will enable them to provide needed care to the infected cat and to make informed decisions on future health care. This information is also important to the health of other cats that may be exposed to these conditions. In early stages of these infections your cat may appear to be healthy, but an infected cat is still able to spread the disease.

To run the test we simply need a few drops of blood and 10 minutes. We recommend testing if your cat falls into one of the following groups:

  • Newly adopted

  • Sick (especially when anemia, oral disease, vomiting, or labored breathing are present)

  • Has had a bite wound

16. Is it okay to give my cat table scraps?

A cat can eat some wholesome foods that are consumed by humans. Generally these foods are limited to small amounts of meat or fish. It is possible to prepare a balanced homemade diet for cats using recipes prepared by veterinary nutritionists, but commercial feline diets are specifically balanced to meet the currently recognized nutritional needs of the cat. For most families, it is more convenient to use prepared diets than to create balanced homemade meals. Cats should not be fed uncooked meats or foods with high levels of bacteria or toxins (such as spoiled food).

17. At what age can a female cat get pregnant?

Female cats (queens) begin their reproductive cycle--and can become pregnant--anytime between 4 and 12 months of age. The factors that may influence the age of puberty are breed, time of year, and body condition. They may have two litters of kittens yearly until they are 8 to 10 years old.

18. Can you spay a cat who is in heat?

Yes. An ovariohysterectomy (also referred to as a spay or OVH) can be performed when a cat is in heat. It is better to schedule the surgery when the kitty is 4-6 months old, before she goes into heat.  Kittens recover from surgery more rapidly than older cats.

19. How much will it cost to get my cat spayed/neutered?

Spays and neuters are priced according to each individual patientís unique needs. Some of the conditions that may influence the price are undescended testicles, pregnancy, pyometra (infected uterus), etc. Each patient is examined prior to surgery to ensure that they are healthy. Our prices include general anesthesia, pain medications, vital monitoring, hospitalization on the day of surgery, the surgical procedure and suture removal if needed. Please speak to one of our staff members for an estimate. If you need financial assistance, our staff can direct you to programs that may meet your needs.

20. Why does my cat need another exam just to get a prescription refilled?

 

To reduce the incidence of side effects and to ensure that the medication is working, cats must receive periodic examinations prior to refilling prescription medications. Medications and refill authorizations are prescribed by veterinarians for specific conditions.  The patientís response to the medication as noted on the physical examination and supported by laboratory testing determines whether a medication should be discontinued, its dosage modified, or if the medication can be refilled.

 

In addition to the desired positive response from medications, adverse reactions can be seen with any pharmaceutical.  The possibility of adverse reactions is a major reason that many medications are only available by prescription.

21. What is a non-adjuvanted vaccine and why is it better for my cat?

Non-adjuvanted vaccines are modified live vaccines that contain organisms that have been modified so they no longer cause disease, but still induce immunity against disease. They produce minimal inflammation at the site of vaccination. Inflammation at the site of vaccination has been associated with sarcomas (an aggressive type of cancer), the most serious vaccine adverse reaction. They are estimated to occur in 1-2/10,000 vaccinated cats.  The precise cause is unknown, but inflammation at the site of vaccination has been associated with an increased risk of  sarcoma. Because adjuvanted vaccines have been associated with  inflammatory reactions at injection sites, they are not used at The Cat Clinic. All our vaccines are non-adjuvanted.

22. Can I drop my cat off for an exam and pick it up later?

Yes. This is a very popular option. Many of our patients are admitted to the clinic in the morning, and we perform their examination, laboratory testing, and other while their owners are at work.  A dismissal appointment is scheduled at the end of the day. During this appointment, the owner meets with the veterinarian to discuss the findings of the examination and review recommendations for future care.

23. Why does my cat need to get its teeth cleaned?

Most cats need to have their teeth cleaned to remove irritating plaque and calculus (tartar) that causes gingivitis. If gingivitis is allowed to progress, it will lead to periodontal disease and extractions (removal of diseased teeth). Additionally, a complete oral examination while the cat is under anesthesia allows the veterinarian to thoroughly examine the oral cavity and identify and prevent future problems.

24. I have a very sick cat, but I am low on funds right now. Do you offer a payment plan? 

The Cat Clinic is pleased to offer payment plans through CareCreditģ.   It is similar to other credit cards, but it has the unique feature of offering interest-free financing for six months to qualified clients.  It is a good choice when your kitty needs urgent care and cash, check, or major credit cards are not available options. You may apply online at www.carecredit.com or call 1-800-365-8295. If If you are concerned that you may not qualify for CareCreditģ, you may ask a friend or relative to apply with you.

25. I have some flea medicine for dogs, can I just use a smaller amount of that for my cat?

No. Do not use dog products on cats. Many flea control products marketed for dogs contain compounds that are toxic to cats. Severe reactions including death commonly result when these products are applied to cats. For more information on each product you may call the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.

26. What should I do if my cat has an emergency after hours 

Call the Oklahoma State University Small Animal Emergency Service at 405-744-7000 if your cat needs emergency medical attention when the clinic is closed. This emergency service includes an intensive care unit that can provide 24 hour care to cats in critical condition. They will provide a summary of the care provided to The Cat Clinic when the patient is discharged.

27. When can I start feeding my growing kitten adult cat food? 

Generally we recommend transitioning the kitten from kitten food to adult food at around six months of age. Young kittens (under 12 weeks) have energy requirements that are 3 times as high as those of an adult cat. Kitten food has more calories as well as higher amounts of protein, and is very important for the rapidly growing kittens.  After kittens are neutered at 4 to 6 months, their metabolic rate and activity level decrease. At this time the number of calories needed to maintain a healthy weight declines. To prevent obesity, young cats should have controlled portion-sized meals, and over the following few months may transition to adult cat food.

 

 

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