If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please
call us at (405) 377-2287.
1. At what age can my cat
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
be done as early as 4 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.
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
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
Observe respiratory rate and effort
Examine the catís skin for crusts, parasites and
Listen to the heart for abnormal rates, rhythms, and
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,
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
Why should my cat get an annual exam?
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.
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?
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
For a more
in-depth explanation of the procedures, check out our
on the subject.
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.
For a more
in-depth explanation of the procedures, check out our
on the subject.
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
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.
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
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
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.
vaccines does my cat need?
All cats need
rabies and FVRCP (Feline
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
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
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.
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%).
should I have my cat spayed/neutered?
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.
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.
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.
Can I give my cat over-the-counter medicines?
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.
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 "triple test", and why does my cat need it?
The combo test checks
for Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV), Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), and heartworm disease. FeLV is most commonly spread by casual contact such as grooming one another and sharing food dishes, and FIV is spread commonly by
fighting. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, and even indoor cats can get them. 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
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
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.
much will it cost to get my cat spayed/neutered?
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
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 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
In addition to the desired positive response
from medications, adverse reactions can be seen with any
The possibility of adverse reactions is
a major reason that many medications are only available by
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
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
Can I drop my cat off for an exam and pick it up later?
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.
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
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
Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.
26. What should I do if my cat has an emergency
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.