Kitten & Adult Health Program And
Vaccination Schedule

Congratulations on the new addition to your family! There's nothing like the love of a warm, fuzzy kitten. We want to help you keep your kitten healthy and happy. Regularly scheduled vaccinations are important for building your kitten's immunity to several serious cat diseases. The examination we perform at each visit will also help us detect any common kitten-hood problems or illnesses. Remember that we are always pleased to answer any questions about raising your kitten; please feel free to bring a list with you or call at any time. Here's a schedule of visits and vaccinations that we ask you to follow:

Core Vaccinations

Core vaccines are recommended for all cats

6-8 weeks old
  • 1st examination
  • 1st FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Panleukopenia, Chlamydia Psittaci)
  • Bring a fresh stool sample so we may check for intestinal parasites; refrigerate the sample
9-12 weeks old
  • 2nd examination
  • 2nd FVRCP. This is done 3-4 weeks after the 1st FVRCP
12+ weeks old
  • Rabies vaccination and examination. This first rabies vaccination is good for only 1 year; subsequent vaccinations last for 3 years.
  • Bring a fresh stool sample so we may check for intestinal parasites; refrigerate the sample
13-16 weeks old
  • 3rd examination
  • 3rd FVRCP. This is done 3-4 weeks after the second vaccination
  • The FVRCP vaccine will last for 1 year and will then need to be boostered at regular intervals. This booster concludes the series of routine kitten vaccinations.
  • If a kitten starts the series at an early age, 4 vaccinations may be needed; if it starts at a later age, 2 vaccinations may be needed in the series.
The most important part of your kitten's visit today was the annual examination. Our veterinarian made certain that your kitten was checked from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail for any health problems. This annual exam is your best way of keeping your loved one in tip-top health. Growing kittens especially need several examinations during the first few months of their life due to their constantly changing and growing bodies.

FVRCP (4-in-1) vaccine

This vaccination protects against:

FELINE VIRAL RHINOTRACHEITIS This is a highly contagious disease afflicting cats with a variety of symptoms related to the eyes, nose, and mouth. It is also known as Feline Herpes Virus Type I.
  • Effects: eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Symptoms: sneezing, coughing, ocular and nasal discharge, loss of appetite, corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis.
  • Transmission: by coming in contact with respiratory secretions.
  • Outcome: can never be cured because it is viral rather than bacterial. It can cause pneumonia, blindness and death. Often the cat is treated with antibiotics for secondary infections and managed with anti-viral medications. Cannot be passed to humans, but is highly contagious to other cats.
CALICIVIRUS This is a common viral disease that affects cats, is characterized by upper respiratory symptoms, pneumonia, oral ulceration (sores in the mouth), and occasionally arthritis.
  • Effects: eyes, nasal cavity, mouth, and sometimes the lungs & intestines
  • Symptoms: sneezing, nasal discharge, fever, rhinitis, runny eyes, salivation, ulceration of the tongue and palate, and can cause pneumonia.
  • Transmission: Direct contact: Infection is passed from a sick or carrier cat via ocular, nasal & mouth discharge. Indirect contact: Contaminated food bowls, bedding etc. This virus is resistant to many disinfectants & can live in the environment for long periods of time. It is possible for cats to remain carriers for years after infection.
  • Outcome: can never be cured because it is viral rather than bacterial. It can cause anorexia in some cats. Cannot be passed to humans, but is highly contagious to other cats.
PANLEUKOPENIA This is a highly contagious viral disease of cats caused by the feline parvovirus.
  • Effects: infects and kills cells that are rapidly dividing, such as those in the bone marrow, intestines, and the developing fetus.
  • Symptoms: severe often bloody diarrhea, depression, loss of appetite, high fever, lethargy, vomiting, nasal discharge, and dehydration.
  • Transmission: Infection occurs when cats come in contact with the blood, urine, stool, nasal secretions, or even the fleas from infected cats. A cat can also become infected without ever coming in direct contact with an infected cat. Bedding, cages, food dishes and the hands or clothing of people who handle the infected cat may harbor the virus and transmit it to other cats.
  • Outcome: There is a poor prognosis for kittens <8 weeks of age, supportive care for older cats, but death may occur. Cannot be passed to humans, but is highly contagious to other cats.
CHLAMYDIA PSITTACI Feline chlamydiosis (also known as feline pneumonitis) is a relatively mild, chronic upper respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia psittaci.
  • Effects: upper respiratory tract
  • Symptoms: conjunctivitis, nasal discharge, sneezing, and pneumonia
  • Transmission: Contact with contaminated objects, such as cages, food and water bowls, litter pans, pet owner's clothing, and pet owner's hands. Contact with an infected cat's mouth, nose, or eye discharge. Sneezing and coughing that propels the bacteria as far as 4 feet
  • Outcome: Usually mild enough to be treated with antibiotics at home, and eye medication. Outcomes are different for each patient.
  • Though uncommon, there have been reported cases of mild human conjunctivitis caused by feline Chlamydia psittaci.
  • This is contagious to other cats.

Rabies Vaccine

  • The standard killed-virus vaccines are available for kittens and cats after the initial dose, which is good for one year; subsequent doses are good for three years.
  • Even if your cat is indoors only or only goes outside to sit on the porch, they are still at risk for contracting rabies. Two examples of possible situations where your cat could contract this fatal virus are:
    • If an infected bat came into your house and your cat caught it
    • If your cat were attacked by another mammal.
  • If your cat is bit by another animal with unknown rabies vaccination, or by wildlife, you must bring your cat to the vet immediately for a rabies
  • Only mammals are susceptible to infection, and wildlife is the primary animal group where infection occurs. When wildlife comes into contact with humans or domestic animals, rabies becomes a public health problem.
  • Despite vaccination being readily available, every year the U.S. reports several human deaths from rabies, not to mention hundreds of dog and cat deaths.
  • If your cat ever bit someone you would have to prove with a rabies certificate that the cat is up to date on the rabies vaccine. Rabies is untreatable once symptoms begin despite all the resources of modern medicine. It is important to take its threat seriously.
  • A rabies tag is not a legal form of identification! Therefore you must keep your original rabies certificate.
  • In Orange County New York if your cat is overdue on this vaccine they will be quarantined for a period of 10 days following the bite of a human being.
  • In Orange County New York if your unvaccinated or overdue cat is bit by another animal with unknown rabies vaccine status, your cat will then be quarantined for 6 months in an approved facility.
  • DO NOT IGNORE THE POSSIBILITY OF RABIES. VACCINATE YOUR PET!

FELV/FIV Testing

We can blood test your kitten or cat for feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), a.k.a feline aids, in our in house laboratory. It will take 10 minutes to find out the results. All that is required is a small amount of blood, and you will know whether or not your cat has been infected with these contagious viruses. What is feline Leukemia (FeLV)? Feline Leukemia is a highly contagious virus among cats. It is one of the most important infectious viruses of cats. FeLV is the cause of a variety of diseases, not just leukemia. The virus may lay hidden for a long period of time and become clinically ill when stressed. Therefore they may pass on the virus without showing symptoms yet. It is very important to have your cat tested for this virus.
  • Effects: the bone marrow; suppression of the immune system, tumors such as lymphosarcoma or lymphoma; life-threatening anemia, ocular diseases, abortion, severe intestinal inflammation.
  • Symptoms: weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, dull coat, swollen lymph nodes, pale gums, and behavioral changes.
  • Transmission: a large quantity of the virus is shed in its saliva as well as in other bodily fluids such as nasal and ocular secretions, urine and feces; blood transfusion of an infected cat; a mother can pass the virus to her kittens during pregnancy.
  • Cannot be passed to humans, but is highly contagious to other cats.
  • The virus is fragile and cannot survive longer than a few hours outside of the cat.
  • Outcome: The virus is usually fatal. More than 80% of FeLV infected cats die within 3-4 yrs of diagnosis according to studies done.
    • A vaccine is available to prevent this virus. No vaccine is 100% protective, but is helpful in the preventing infection.
    • The vaccine is recommended If your cat(s): goes outside of the house, is in contact with other cats that go outside, have contact with stray cats through window/door screens, if you volunteer at a local humane society and handle cats there, or if you have taken in or feed stray cats.
What is feline FIV? Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a contagious virus specific to the cat family. It is species specific and cannot be transmitted to humans, but causes symptoms similar to human HIV/AIDS. Just being diagnosed with FIV does not mean your cat has feline AIDS if they are asymptomatic. It may take years to show any symptoms that develop into feline AIDS.
  • Effects: suppresses the immune system
  • Symptoms: inflammation of the mouth and gums, oral ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, fever, lethargy, weight loss, vomiting and diarrhea, infections that aren't healing, or reoccurring illnesses. Clinical signs of illness may take weeks, months, or years after initial infection of FIV.
  • Transmission: mainly spread through deep bite wounds, through intercourse, blood transfusion,
    • Sharing a food bowl, grooming, cuddling with an infected cat is unlikely to transmit the virus. It is not necessary to isolate a FIV + cat from the other cats in the household if they are unlikely to fight with each other.
  • Outcome:
  • FIV-positive cats are often known fighters, particularly those with a history of cat bite abscesses. Keeping FIV positive cats indoors is mandatory for the health of the neighborhood cats.
  • Any cat bitten by a cat with an unknown medical history should be tested for FIV approximately two months after the bite.
  • Kittens under four months of age that test positive should be re-tested when they are six months old, by which time any "maternal" antibodies will have disappeared.
  • Cannot be passed to humans, but is contagious to other cats.
  • A false positive result can occur if the cat has been vaccinated for FIV. There is currently no test to distinguish between a vaccinated cat and truly positive cat.
  • We recommend that all kittens have their blood tested for FeLV and FIV. These are two of the most serious illnesses that can infect cats.
  • Kittens can be infected before or at birth and be asymptomatic carriers. Screening your kitten's blood during one of the above visits will tell us whether your kitten can be vaccinated against leukemia.
  • Your kitten can be tested after 12 weeks of age for valid results. If this test is performed prior to this age, it will need to be rerun. This test will also be rerun if any of the symptoms are present.

Optional Vaccinations

There is one other vaccine available which you may need to have your kitten receive. We can advise you on whether or not it should be given.

Feline Leukemia vaccine (FeLV)

If your kitten has tested negative for feline Leukemia, it may receive the vaccine to protect against it. This vaccine may be given to any kitten over 9-10 weeks of age. The initial vaccine is followed by a second booster in 3-4 weeks. Immunity lasts for 1 year and annual re-vaccination is required. FeLV is specific to members of the cat family and does not pose a risk to other species of animals or people.

We especially recommend this vaccine if you plan to let your cat outdoors since many stray cats are infected with this disease and may pass it to your cat. Other situations that may put your cat at risk for feline Leukemia are:
  • If you volunteer at humane societies or work with cats you may bring home contaminated clothing.
  • If you have feed stray cats or have stray cats that hang out by your house, especially by your windows or sliding doors.
  • If you have one cat that goes outdoors and the other cat stays indoors, the vaccine is recommended for both cats.
  • Cats that live with other FELV positive cats.
  • If you have foster cats that you care for in your home.

Flea and Tick Preventative

It is important to have control over any flea problems in the household. Fleas can transmit bartonellosis, tapeworm and tularemia and also be the cause of anemia. Ticks pose the threat of numerous diseases including Lyme disease. There are many new products on the market which can be applied topically to the skin or taken orally to control fleas and/or ticks. In general, supermarket products are not very effective. Those available from pet stores work better. However, we have many products available only through veterinarians that work very well. Our clients have been very pleased with their effectiveness and safety.
    Product options:
    • Frontline Plus- (kills fleas & ticks for up to one month)
    • Revolution- (kills fleas, treats & controls ear mites and sarcoptic mange, and prevents heartworm disease for up to one month)
    • Advantage- (kills fleas only for up to one month)
    • Vectra- (kills fleas only for up to one month)
  • Many people don't realize that when their pet has Tapeworms (rice sized worm) it means their cat has swallowed a flea or eaten a rodent. Generally any pet with Tapeworms should be treated for fleas.
  • Ticks are a prevalent problem in the Northeast. Now, more than in recent years, we are seeing a rising percentage of tick born diseases in our pets.

Spaying or Neutering Your Cat

To avoid over population and unnecessary major health problems in your cat, we recommend spaying (female) or neutering (male) your cat if you don't plan on breeding it.

Many people are surprised to find that the feline reproductive system is seasonal. Cats are designed to give birth only during warm months (spring through early fall).

The female cat begins cycling when she has reached 80% of her adult size and when the days are appropriately long. This could be as young as 5 months of age.

When your cat is "in heat" she will display yowling, rubbing, urine marking, and other estrous behaviors that continue for about a week, then discontinue for about a week, then begin again, back and forth all spring and summer and into the fall until the cat is either bred, spayed, or perceives the coming of winter. This behavior of the mature female cat is often all the motivation it takes for an owner to get her spayed even if she is completely confined indoors and has no chance of unwanted pregnancy. She may also urine mark in the house and vocalize loudly and frequently.

Some of the medical & behavioral conditions you can avoid by spaying or neutering your cat:
  • Pyometra (pus-filled uterus) a common life-threatening condition in the female.
  • Mammary cancer in the male and female
  • Ovarian cancer in the female
  • Testicular cancer in the male
  • Status aggression (in male and female)
  • Urge to roam
  • Urine marking in the house and outside
  • Noisy heat cycle (in the female)
  • Unwanted pregnancies
In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can theoretically produce 420,000 cats!! Only 1 in 12 of those 420,000 cats born finds a home..

Microchip (Permanent ID) Implantation

  • We want to make sure that you and your cat are never separated. Your cat should be permanently identified so that if it is lost it can be readily returned to you. Collar ID tags are a good idea, but they can be easily lost or stolen. Tattooing can also be done but may become hard to read as the cat ages.
  • We recommend permanent identification through use of the AKC Companion Animal Recovery (CAR) microchip and registration. This is a rice-sized microchip which is implanted subcutaneously (under the skin) and stays there for the entire life of your animal.
  • If your cat is ever lost or stolen a universal scanner can read the code in the microchip. Your cat's contact information is kept at a registry maintained by the AKC which allows you to be located and reunited with your cat.
  • We are pleased to offer this breakthrough technology, which can be implanted at any visit. The microchip is administered like a vaccine, except with a wider needle. Ask us for a demonstration at your next visit.

Pet Health Insurance

Did you know that you can purchase health insurance for your pet? Pet health insurance companies provide policies that function much like your major medical policy and will provide assistance in paying for illness, emergencies, and even routine veterinary visits. There are several insurance companies to choose from. We have narrowed it down to a few of the most commonly used insurance companies. We also have brochures available if you'd like further information on a specific company.
Embrace Pet insurance
www.embraceyourpet.com
1-800-226-1308

Pets Best Insurance
www.petsbest.com
1-877-738-7237

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI)
www.petinsurance.com
1-800-872-7387

ASPCA pet health insurance
www.isyourpetcovered.com
1-866-861-9092

PetFirst Healthcare
www.petsfirst.com
1-866-937-7387
Trupanion pet insurance
www.trupanion.com
1-800-569-7913

Petplan insurance
www.petplan.com
1-866-GOPETPLAN

Pets healthcare plan
The Hartsville Group Inc.
www.petshealthplan.com
1-800-807-6724

AKC Pet Partners Inc.
www.akcphp.com
1-866-725-2747

We hope you find this information helpful. Keeping your cat healthy is important to us. We will help you keep track of your kitten's vaccination schedule; we'll send you a reminder via mail or email when an annual vaccine is due. Remember that we are available to help you in any way we can with your new kitten/cat. We love to answer questions!

Best of luck with your new kitten/cat!!