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Successful cat care advice to follow

The best for the best
The best for the best
Karla Kirby

Unless you have purchased a purebred cat for breeding purposes, neutering or spaying is highly recommended and has a positive effect on your cat's health. Neutering or spaying is a truly responsible way to thwart the birth of unwanted litters. It can also improve your kitten’s nature and prevents many undesirable behaviors patterns such as urinating, or spraying. Spaying and neutering is so far and wide recommended, many shelters and humane societies necessitate this procedure before you can adopt a cat so that even more unwanted kittens don’t come into the world.

Vaccinations are also imperative to your cat's health. All cats, even indoor felines, need to be vaccinated. Some viruses travel through the air or can be brought into your house on guest’s clothing or shoes. There is also the danger of an indoor cat getting out or that a disease-carrying cat may stroll into your yard or house.

Your veterinarian will offer routine vaccinations for feline distemper and upper respiratory disease. Also, ask your veterinarian about vaccinations against Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). Don’t forget, some vaccines must be given as a series over a period of time, and many have need of boosters.

A rabies vaccination is indispensable and should be given between 3-4 months of age, depending on the vaccine.

While establishing a good rapport with your veterinarian is important, getting to know what is normal for your feline is crucial to his/her health and well being. Just like a parent with a child, you will learn what nonstandard behavior for your cat is and you might be able to help your veterinarian determine the source of your cat’s health problem.

Be prepared: The veterinarian may call for tests such as examination of a stool sample for internal parasites and blood tests to unearth disease. Regular tests and vaccinations are particularly important during a kitten’s first year of life.