There are a number of core vaccines for cats.
⁃ feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia
⁃ feline leukemia – recommended to use in all kittens and at one year of age but then only in cats that are outdoors thereafter
⁃ rabies

There is recent discussion that a few vaccines can last more than a year and that they should only be vaccinated for every 3 years especially since cats are susceptible to vaccine induced cancers. There has also been talk about performing yearly vaccine titers to see if a cat even needs to be vaccinated. There is still much controversy over both topics.

Kittens, as well as adult cats, should be tested for feline leukemia especially if a new cat is coming into an established cat household. Ideally a cat that has tested negative should be tested again in 6 months to make sure it is truly negative and then vaccinated as appropriate.

Like dogs, cats are susceptible to heartworms but testing is much more difficult. Therefore, healthy cats are generally started on monthly preventative. Prevention of heartworms is key in cats because there is no available treatment. Heartworm prevention for cats come in a monthly chewable tablet or topical liquid.

Fleas and ticks are a common problem in our rural area and can cause significant disease as well as death. Available treatment options include a monthly topical, a one or three-month chewable tablet, and a newly developed three-month topical.

Spaying and neutering is important in helping to control pet overpopulation as 1.4 million cats are euthanized every year because there are not enough homes. Spaying a female cat at 4-6 months of age will nearly eliminate the chance she will ever get mammary cancer. Mammary cancer is dangerous in cats as over 85% of tumors are malignant. An intact male cat will often spray to mark his environment which often includes the house! He will roam looking for females and will often be involved in numerous fights in the process. Fighting increases the risk of contracting diseases like feline leukemia.