Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Indoor cats need care, too

By
From page A11 | March 17, 2013 |

Cats are significantly less likely than dogs to receive routine wellness care—annual exams, vaccines, parasite control, and recommended testing—and indoor-only cats seem to get some of these services less likely than their outdoor counterparts. While indoor cats are certainly at less risk of some conditions and/or injuries than outdoor cats, it is no less important to make sure that wellness is a priority.

Annual physical examinations with a veterinarian are recommended for all dogs and cats, and yet cats are only about a quarter to a third as likely as dogs to be current on an annual exam. While this is a complex phenomenon, the perception is likely that cats, and indoor cats in particular, are relatively healthy and take care of themselves.

However, subtle changes in a cat’s physical exam over time may be the earliest indication of disease, so regular examinations are important. Weight changes, deterioration of coat quality, decreased mobility, gingivitis, or lymph node enlargement may not be things that cat owners notice over time, but that a veterinarian is likely to detect. Cats may show no outward symptoms of disease, but may still have some of these physical changes.

Regular exams with a veterinarian are also great times to discuss changes in a cat’s behavior, the shifting nutritional needs of aging cats, and any changes in the household (e.g., a new baby) that might impact a cat and its interaction with its surroundings.

According to a report by the American Association of Feline Practitioners, indoor-only cats should receive regular vaccines, albeit not as many as their outdoor counterparts. The AAFP, which has had experts compile data on vaccines in cats, recommends all cats receive regular vaccines against rabies, especially since this is a fatal disease that can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Additionally, the AAFP recommends that all cats be vaccinated against three diseases that are often combined into one vaccine (such as an “RCP” vaccine): feline herpesvirus, calicivirus, and panleukopenia. While indoor-only cats are at a relatively low risk of exposure to these diseases, there has been found to be enough risk to warrant vaccination. Some of these conditions are contagious enough that a cat owner can act as a fomite, bringing disease into the household from the outside.

Other vaccines, such as the feline leukemia vaccine, are generally not recommended for indoor cats due to a significantly low chance of exposure. The AAFP’s report does determine that some cats may be considered to be exempt from vaccines based on their overall health status.

Internal and external parasite control is also important for the health of indoor cats. For example, fleas can affect indoor cats, especially if there are other animals in the house that do spend time outside. Additionally, heartworm disease is spread by mosquito bites, and mosquitoes can easily find their way inside the house. One study found that almost 25 percent of cats that test positive for heartworm disease are exclusively indoors. As a result, it is recommended that indoor (and outdoor) cats be administered a monthly flea and heartworm preventative medication.

Wellness testing (blood, urine, and fecal testing) is also recommended for indoor cats just as for those who stay outside; after all, many diseases develop irrespective of the cat’s environment. Regular wellness panels can help detect disease early, allowing for prompt treatment or management. The AAFP has developed recommended guidelines for wellness testing based on a cat’s age.

It is important that wellness care for indoor cats not be ignored. Following these and other recommendations can help support a long and healthy life for cats. While it may be stressful for cats to visit a veterinary hospital for routine services, the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term stresses. In fact, veterinarians can provide tips for decreasing the stress that cats experience at the veterinary hospital, thus removing another obstacle to providing appropriate care.

— Keith Rode is a veterinarian at Woodland Veterinary Hospital and a graduate of UC Davis. For more information, call 530-666-2461.

Comments

comments

Keith Rode, DVM

.

News

Bridges of Yolo County: Wear, tear … repair?

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Four days of unusual, adventuresome music

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Abortion opponents express renewed hope at California rally

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Spanish police arrest 4 suspected members of a jihadi cell

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Fake schools draw federal scrutiny

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Winter produce available at Sutter market

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Share your love (story) with us

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Sip wines at St. James’ annual tasting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Donations to be distributed during homeless count

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Speaker will share computer security tips

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Logos Books celebrates 5 years, offers language groups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Australian olive oil company opens U.S. headquarters in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Explore at the YOLO Outdoor Expo

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Yolo animal shelter seeking rawhide donations

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A5

Woodland Healthcare employees take Great Kindness Challenge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
At the Pond: Nest boxes give birds new homes

By Jean Jackman | From Page: A6 | Gallery

California ranks worst in nation for guidance counselors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Davis, Woodland are saving water

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A12

Words and Music Festival events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

 
Caring for the aging mouth

By Samer Alassaad | From Page: A8

 
Family isn’t keen on relationship

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

Mayor’s Corner: Let’s renew Davis together

By Dan Wolk | From Page: A10

 
We have the right to choose

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

We don’t have to suffer

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
City helped immensely

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

 
Big utilities’ nightmare begins to play out

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

When measles spreads from Disneyland, it’s a small world after all

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A11

 
From innovation parks to innovative buildings and planning

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

.

Sports

Loud crowd sees DHS boys win

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lady Devils hold off Pacers, stay perfect in league

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Wildcats’ inaugural kids development league exceeds expectations

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggies get top 2015 gymnastics score, but fall short

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD men take two tennis matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

 
Watney in ninth at Humana Challenge

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Davis man focusing on cannabidiol business

By Will Bellamy | From Page: A9

 
Marrone Bio’s Regalia approved for new uses in Canada

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
UCD grad makes insurance ‘hot 100′ list

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

Yolo County real estate sales

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, January 25, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8