Do you have an outdoor cat? Does your cat spend a lot of time exploring outside? If so there are some concerns and dangers you should be aware of. Here is what you can do to help your outdoor cat live as long as a life as possible and make sure they get the best care.
- The more contact your cat has with the outside world, the more likely it is to be exposed to some sort of infectious disease. It is very important to have them vaccinated. One vaccination that is needed is Rabies. Rabies is a fatal virus and is required by law. If your cat get bit by a rabid animal and you start playing and petting your cat you could become infected especially if you get bit. Your animals can start getting vaccinated at 12 weeks of age. Other vaccinations are for Feline viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus and Panleukopenia (FVRCP more commonly known as). These are preventable disease that your cat can pick up outside. This vaccination is part of the core vaccinations all cats should receive. Talk with your Veterinarian about also vaccinating your cat with the Feline Leukemia vaccination.
- Control intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites can be zoonotic which means you and your family could get them. Checking a yearly fecal sample with your Veterinarian and keeping prevention on them is important. If you suspect your cat has intestinal parasites it is recommended you bring your animal in for a fecal sample and a possible deworming.
- Use flea prevention! Regardless of your cat being indoor or outdoors it is always recommended to use flea prevention. Fleas can cause your cat to be very itchy, develop a rash and lose hair. Once a month flea prevention is easy and can protect your pet. If your cat does ingest fleas they are also at risk for tapeworms.
- Microchip your cat. Microchipping your cat is great especially if they get lost or hurt. If they end up at a shelter or Veterinarian’s office they can scan your animal and call the company that the microchip is registered too. If you registered your microchip the company will call you and let you know where to pick up your animal. If you cannot microchip your cat it is recommended to have them wear a breakaway collar with an ID tag.
- Use heartworm prevention especially in warmer climates. Diagnosis heartworms in a cat is extremely difficult. Even if a cat has heartworm disease you can still get a negative test. Topical or oral preventions are monthly and will make sure your cat is protected.