Q: What vaccines does my cat need? Does my indoor-only cat really need vaccines?
A: Your cat's annual visit will include an examination fee and the cost of vaccinations, and we also recommend that you bring a stool sample to check for parasites every year. Vaccinations vary according to your cat's lifestyle. In general, a rabies vaccine is legally required, and we use a once-yearly vaccine. FVRCP (distemper or upper respiratory vaccine) is recommended usually every three years. Feline leukemia vaccine is recommended every 1-2 years for cats that are exposed to outdoor cats.
FVRCP vaccination minimizes the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. Nearly all cats carry respiratory viruses that can become "reactivated" in times of stress. Without vaccination, this "common cold" could become severe and require aggressive and even long-term care.
Rabies vaccination is a legal requirement for all pets. Rabies is essentially 100% fatal to both animals and people, and keeping our pets vaccinated has prevented this deadly virus from killing people. In countries where rabies vaccination is poorly maintained in the dog and cat population, thousands of people die every year from rabies. In the United States, only one or two people die from rabies annually because of our effective vaccination of our pets.
Also, if your cat bites someone and is not up-to-date on rabies vaccination, your cat may have to be quarantined at an approved facility for rabies observation as a legally mandated precaution. In some cases, a bite victim can demand your cat be euthanized and tested for rabies.
Dr. Perkins' own indoor-only cats once chased a rabid bat that entered their home. Thankfully, her cats were vaccinated. You just never know!
Q:What payment options are available? Do you offer payment plans?
A: We accept cash and all major credit cards. We do not accept check payments.
We also accept Care Credit, a medical credit card that allows you to pay your bill in full at Cat Hospital and to pay back the credit card in monthly installments, often with a six-month interest-free plan. This is great to have in case of an unexpected vet visit for your cat.
Many cat owners also enjoy the benefits of pet insurance, and we honor all plans.
Q: I'm having trouble getting my cat into the carrier to bring to you! Can you help me?
A: We require all cats in our hospital to be contained in a carrier or on a harness and leash. Here are some great tips to help you make the journey to the vet! http://catfriendly.com/be-a-cat-friendly-caregiver/getting-cat-veterinarian/
Q: I'm having behavioral issues with my cats. What can be done?
A: First, we recommend an exam and consultation to pinpoint any medical or behavioral issues that are going on. Many behavioral issues rise from a failure to provide basic environmental needs that must be met for cats to thrive. Keep these five points in mind:
1. Food – Predictable meal times and individual food bowls for each cat in your household.
2. Water – Clean fresh water in a location that is appealing to your cat.
3. Toilet – A convenient, clean, and private litter box to serve your kitty. As a general rule of thumb, the number of litter boxes should be one more then the number of cats in your household. Many cats prefer a larger litter box that is one and a half times the length of their body, and at least one and a half inches deep. Litter should be scooped at least once daily.
4. Safe Place to Sleep – Soft bedding, as well as familiar smells and sounds, provides security for your cat. Some cats also like to be provided with soft, cozy places to hide.
5. Familiar Territory – Face-rubbing and scratching surfaces leaves your cat’s scent, and marks the territory with a personal touch. Be sure to supply plenty of scratching posts to encourage appropriate scratching.
Q: Does my cat really need flea and heartworm preventative?
A: Yes! We see fleas on unprotected indoor-only cats on a DAILY basis. And although heartworm infection is more common in the dog, it does affect cats. Heartworm is transmitted by mosquito bites, and as you are well aware in southeast Louisiana, mosquitoes are rampant. All cats, even indoor-only cats, need to be on monthly heartworm prevention. About 20% of heartworm positive cats are indoor-only because mosquitoes can find a way into our homes. Heartworm disease may not show obvious symptoms, or it could cause respiratory disease, heart disease, or even death. Monthly prevention is nearly 100% effective, whereas treatment for heartworms is not feasible in cats as it is for dogs. The topical products Revolution and Advantage Multi prevent heartworm disease (along with fleas and other intestinal parasites), as do Heartgard tablets for cats.