Wellness Services

Kitten Wellness

Newborn kitten wellness 

Newborns should receive a physical examine within 24 hours of birth to check for congenital or other health issues that may require surgical intervention, or that might be incompatible with life.   


Kitten wellness 

Kittens receive protective antibodies from the queen’s colostrum, but that protection begins to wane at eight weeks of age and is completely lost by sixteen weeks. Vaccinations to maintain that protection should be given at eight weeks, twelve weeks, and sixteen weeks old, so the kitten can start to build its own immunity against the most common and deadly cat diseases. Kittens are also eligible for rabies and FeLV vaccination at sixteen weeks, but I prefer to space out vaccinations to avoid creating an unnecessarily overwhelming immune response within the kitten (or cat!) I only use non-adjuvanted, low volume vaccines for this same reason.   


ZenCatVet.com kitten vaccine schedule:         

  • FVRCP (non-adjuvanted injectable, or intranasal)
    • Protects against these feline   diseases:
      • Feline viral rhinotracheitis or feline herpes virus
      • Calici virus
      • Panleukopenia  
    • Given at 8, 12, 16 weeks; booster at 16 months
    • Intranasal is given once at 12 weeks 
  • Rabies (non-adjuvanted)
    • Protects against the always-fatal rabies virus
    • Given at 20   weeks; booster at 17 months     
  • FeLV (non-adjuvanted, recombinant)
    • This vaccine is administered based on lifestyle only and is not considered a core vaccine; it is recommended for cats that are indoor-outdoor, outdoor-only, show cats, and cats that live in large groups, such as a cattery, rescue, or shelter
    • Given at 24, and 28 weeks
    • Booster at 18 months      

Kitten wellness is also dependent on nutrition and water intake, so feeding the highest quality, balanced cat food you can afford is the best insurance you have against your kitten developing allergies, bladder crystals, diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroid, and a host of other diseases we are starting to think are mostly related to kitties not getting enough hydration. There are no dry kibble diets that will promote your kitten’s wellness. 


Wet cat food, be it raw, home-made, or canned, and plenty of access to water will keep your kitten on the path to wellness. We will discuss nutrition during your kitten’s wellness exam.   


The physical exam, which is the foundation of every wellness exam, allows me to examine your kitten’s body systems to the extent my senses will permit. I’ll be observing your kitten’s overall appearance and how s/he moves and interacts with the environment, examining your kitten’s coat and skin, looking into the eyes, ears, and mouth, checking claws, paw pads, and in-between toes, and palpating your kitten’s muscles, skeletal structure, and internal organs. I will discuss any significant findings from the physical exam with you.   


Internal and external parasite control is also important for wellness, and prevention of zoonotic disease associated with some parasites. A fresh fecal sample should be checked for eggs and worms – PCR testing for coccidia, giardia, and tritrichomonas is warranted if your kitten has diarrhea. Testing and deworming protocols will be discussed as part of your kitten’s wellness exam.   


Additional testing for feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunosuppressive virus (FIV), and testing for genetic diseases is appropriate at this time. My recommendations for your kitten will be discussed during the wellness exam.   


Behavior issues can be avoided if your kitten is provided with ample opportunities for accessing the litterbox, places to scratch, high and low hiding spots, and appropriate play interaction with you. We will discuss your kitten’s specific needs and recommendations during the wellness exam.  

Adult Cat Wellness - Ages 2-7 years

First I want to clarify that I think the age for an adult cat should extend to at least 12-years-old, with senior cat designation from 12-18 years, and geriatric cats at 18 and up. Why more kitties aren’t living into their twenties is a mystery, but we’re starting to realize that the convenience of dry kibble, excessive vaccination, and stress have been taking their toll on our beloved cats.   


So let’s start with vaccinations, and the elephant in the room: vaccine-associated sarcomas, or VAS. After the introduction of a vaccine for feline leukemia in the early 1990’s, kitties started showing up with these huge invasive tumors between their shoulder blades (which is where all vaccinations were given up until then.) So while the researchers tried to figure out what was causing the tumors, veterinarians started giving vaccines under the skin of the distal limbs—the idea being that if a tumor formed, it is easier to remove a limb (barbaric, I know.) In the years since, all evidence points to the adjuvants in vaccines as the inciting factor in VAS formation – adjuvants being basically irritants added to vaccine in order to increase a cat’s immune-response and make the vaccine more effective. Unfortunately, that increased immune response appears to be what was causing the tumors. Unfortunately not all vaccines are non-adjuvanted, only the more expensive ones are, and that is all I will ever give your cat. How often your cat needs to be vaccinated is still not known exactly – the current recommendation is every three years for core vaccines after the first year, but titer testing (which gives us an idea of your cat’s current immunity) is available if you’d prefer to know whether or not your cat is still protected.   


The physical exam, which is the foundation of every wellness exam, allows me to examine your cat’s body systems to the extent my senses will permit. I’ll be observing your cat’s overall appearance and how s/he moves and interacts with the environment, examining your cat’s coat and skin, looking into the eyes, ears, and mouth, checking claws, paw pads, and in-between toes, and palpating your cat’s muscles, skeletal structure, and internal organs. I will discuss any significant findings from the physical exam with you.   


At some point during this life stage, perhaps in conjunction with a scheduled teeth cleaning, or spay/neuter procedure, a complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel, and urinalysis should be performed to screen for early disease processes and to get your cat’s baseline levels.    


Additional testing for feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunosuppressive virus (FIV), heartworm disease (HW), and internal parasites may be appropriate at this time. My recommendations for testing and treatments for your cat will be discussed during the wellness exam.   


Nutrition and water intake is the foundation of wellness at every age, so feeding the highest quality, balanced cat food you can afford is the best insurance you have against your cat developing allergies, bladder crystals, diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroid, and a host of other diseases we are starting to think are mostly related to kitties not getting enough hydration. There are no dry kibble diets that will promote your cat’s wellness. Wet cat food, be it raw, home-made, or canned, and plenty of access to water will keep your cat on the path to wellness. We will discuss nutrition during your cat’s wellness exam.   


Behavior issues can be avoided (or corrected) if your cat is provided with ample opportunities for accessing the litterbox, places to scratch, high and low hiding spots, and appropriate play interaction with you. We will discuss your cat’s specific needs and recommendations during the wellness exam.    

Senior Cat Wellness - Ages 7-12 Years

First I want to clarify that I think the age for an adult cat should extend to at least 12-years-old, with senior cat designation from 12-18 years, and geriatric cats at 18 and up. Why more kitties aren’t living into their twenties is a mystery, but we’re starting to realize that the convenience of dry kibble, excessive vaccination, and stress have been taking their toll on our beloved cats.   


So let’s start with vaccinations, and the elephant in the room: vaccine-associated sarcomas, or VAS. After the introduction of a vaccine for feline leukemia in the early 1990’s, kitties started showing up with these huge invasive tumors between their shoulder blades (which is where all vaccinations were given up until then.) So while the researchers tried to figure out what was causing the tumors, veterinarians started giving vaccines under the skin of the distal limbs—the idea being that if a tumor formed, it is easier to remove a limb (barbaric, I know.) In the years since, all evidence points to the adjuvants in vaccines as the inciting factor in VAS formation – adjuvants being basically irritants added to vaccine in order to increase a cat’s immune-response and make the vaccine more effective. Unfortunately, that increased immune response appears to be what was causing the tumors. Unfortunately not all vaccines are non-adjuvanted, only the more expensive ones are, and that is all I will ever give your cat. How often your cat needs to be vaccinated is still not known exactly – the current recommendation is every three years for core vaccines after the first year, but titer testing (which gives us an idea of your cat’s current immunity) is available if you’d prefer to know whether or not your cat is still protected.   


The physical exam, which is the foundation of every wellness exam, allows me to examine your cat’s body systems to the extent my senses will permit. I’ll be observing your cat’s overall appearance and how s/he moves and interacts with the environment, examining your cat’s coat and skin, looking into the eyes, ears, and mouth, checking claws, paw pads, and in-between toes, and palpating your cat’s muscles, skeletal structure, and internal organs. I will discuss any significant findings from the physical exam with you.   


This is the life stage where annual screening for early disease processes becomes essential; your kitty is aging way faster than you, so even an annual wellness exam and screening are the equivalent of you getting your annual physical every four or five years! A complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel, thyroid testing, and urinalysis should be performed annually to give your cat the best chance at early intervention and disease prevention.    


Nutrition and water intake is the foundation of wellness at every age, so feeding the highest quality, balanced cat food you can afford is the best insurance you have against your cat developing allergies, bladder crystals, diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroid, and a host of other diseases we are starting to think are mostly related to kitties not getting enough hydration. There are no dry kibble diets that will promote your cat’s wellness. Wet cat food, be it raw, home-made, or canned, and plenty of access to water will keep your cat on the path to wellness. We will discuss nutrition during your cat’s wellness exam.   


Behavior issues can be avoided (or corrected) if your cat is provided with ample opportunities for accessing the litterbox, places to scratch, high and low hiding spots, and appropriate play interaction with you. We will discuss your cat’s specific needs and recommendations during the wellness exam.    

Geriatric Cat Wellness - Age 12 and up

First I want to clarify that I think the age for an adult cat should extend to at least 12-years-old, with senior cat designation from 12-18 years, and geriatric cats at 18 and up. Why more kitties aren’t living into their twenties is a mystery, but we’re starting to realize that the convenience of dry kibble, excessive vaccination, and stress have been taking their toll on our beloved cats.   


So let’s start with vaccinations, and the elephant in the room: vaccine-associated sarcomas, or VAS. After the introduction of a vaccine for feline leukemia in the early 1990’s, kitties started showing up with these huge invasive tumors between their shoulder blades (which is where all vaccinations were given up until then.) So while the researchers tried to figure out what was causing the tumors, veterinarians started giving vaccines under the skin of the distal limbs—the idea being that if a tumor formed, it is easier to remove a limb (barbaric, I know.) In the years since, all evidence points to the adjuvants in vaccines as the inciting factor in VAS formation – adjuvants being basically irritants added to vaccine in order to increase a cat’s immune-response and make the vaccine more effective. Unfortunately, that increased immune response appears to be what was causing the tumors. Unfortunately not all vaccines are non-adjuvanted, only the more expensive ones are, and that is all I will ever give your cat. How often your cat needs to be vaccinated is still not known exactly – the current recommendation is every three years for core vaccines after the first year, but titer testing (which gives us an idea of your cat’s current immunity) is available if you’d prefer to know whether or not your cat is still protected. I am currently recommending titer-testing every three years for my geriatric patients who are indoors-only. We will discuss your cat’s specific vaccination recommendations during the wellness exam.   


The physical exam, which is the foundation of every wellness exam, allows me to examine your cat’s body systems to the extent my senses will permit. I’ll be observing your cat’s overall appearance and how s/he moves and interacts with the environment, examining your cat’s coat and skin, looking into the eyes, ears, and mouth, checking claws, paw pads, and in-between toes, and palpating your cat’s muscles, skeletal structure, and internal organs. I will discuss any significant findings from the physical exam with you.   


This is the life stage where bi-annual screening for early disease processes becomes essential; your kitty is aging way faster than you, so even a bi-annual wellness exam and screening are the equivalent of you getting your annual physical every three years! A complete blood count (CBC), chemistry panel, thyroid testing, and urinalysis should be performed annually to give your cat the best chance at early intervention and disease prevention.    


Nutrition and water intake is the foundation of wellness at every age, so feeding the highest quality, balanced cat food you can afford is the best insurance you have against your cat developing allergies, bladder crystals, diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroid, and a host of other diseases we are starting to think are mostly related to kitties not getting enough hydration. There are no dry kibble diets that will promote your cat’s wellness. Wet cat food, be it raw, home-made, or canned, and plenty of access to water will keep your cat on the path to wellness. We will discuss nutrition during your cat’s wellness exam.   


Behavior issues can be avoided (or corrected) if your cat is provided with ample opportunities for accessing the litterbox, places to scratch, high and low hiding spots, and appropriate play interaction with you. We will discuss your cat’s specific needs and recommendations during the wellness exam.    

Contact Us

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Appointments are available. Call to schedule a house call for your kitties!

ZenCat

1032 Tabby Lane, Escondido, CA 92026, US

(760) 443-7241

Hours

Monday - Friday: 9-6

Saturday: 10-2

Other hours by appointment

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