Wellness and Preventative Care

Cats Veterinary staff enjoys and looks forward to educating clients on how to maintain their cat’s good health throughout their entire lifespan. We provide a wealth of information as well as wellness recommendations based on your cat’s age, lifestyle, clinical signs and physical examination. Wellness examinations provide our veterinarians with the opportunity to evaluate and identify medical problems early so that treatment and management can be started quickly. Wellness recommendations can include:

  • Vaccinations- Cats Veterinary offers non-adjuvanted Merial vaccines. We also adhere to AAFP vaccination standards.
  • Fecal Testing- Based on the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations, Cats Veterinary recommends yearly fecal testing to confirm your cat is parasite free.
  • Routine Blood Work- all routine blood work can be done at the time of your appointment and can screen for metabolic diseases such as: Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, Hyperthyroidism, and Heartworm Disease.
  • Urinalysis- For senior and geriatric cats, a urinalysis will give Cats Veterinary veterinarians the best information on how well your cat’s kidneys are functioning. This test includes a culture, screening for any urinary tract infections.
  • Body Condition Scoring- We score body condition and weight on a scale of1 to 9. Cats Veterinary staff will give you nutritional advice based on your cats score.
  • Dental Health Scoring- Your cat’s dental health will be assessed and recommendations will be made regarding dental cleanings, antibiotic therapy, or dental extractions.
  • We offer complimentary nail trims with every wellness examination.

Digital Radiology

Digital radiology is state of the art technology that provides quicker, clearer and safer x-ray imaging. Radiographs or x-rays are important for evaluating the size and shape of the internal organs in both the chest and abdomen. X-rays can also be used to evaluate the skeletal structure. Cats Veterinary staff is trained in advanced radiology including: pneumocystogram (air contrast study of the bladder), gastrogram (air contrast study of the stomach), barium administration and study, dental radiographs, and skull and nasal studies.


Ultrasound- Abdominal and Cardiac

An ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure used to evaluate internal organs. We are able to evaluate the internal structures of the organs screening for many disease processes.

  • Abdominal Ultrasound– every abdominal organ is evaluated for abnormalities. Our veterinarians will take measurements and recordings of internal structures and will give each client an in depth interpretation of the ultrasound. Abdominal ultrasounds allow veterinarians to evaluate the internal architecture of organs like: kidneys, liver, gall bladder, stomach, intestines, spleen, pancreas, and the urinary bladder.
  • Cardiac Ultrasound– a cardiac ultrasound is essential for evaluation of the function of the heart. A skilled ultrasonographer can measure the wall thickness of the chambers of the heart to determine the contractility and effectiveness of the heart muscle. The valves of the heart can also be evaluated for any abnormalities.


>A rhinoscope is a small, rigid, fiber optic tube used for examining the entire nasal passage. The rhinoscope is attached to a television camera to provide easy viewing. Using the rhinoscope is valuable to visually evaluate the inside of the nasal passages. We can take a biopsy while still being minimally invasive.


Facts about lost pets

  • Every two seconds a family pet is lost.
  • 41% of cats lost in 2007 were reported by owners to be “Indoors Only”
  • Only about 2% of lost cats ever find their way home.
  • Collars and ID tags can fall off or become damaged, leaving no form of identification on lost pets.
  • Microchips are essential in times of disasters. If more animals had a microchip during hurricanes, tornadoes, or other natural disasters, more pets would be returned home.

Facts about microchips

  • A microchip is small, about the size of a grain of rice.
  • Microchips have been used for decades to track wildlife, zoo animals and livestock.
  • Each microchip has its own individual number.
  • Placement of the microchip is done through a needle, much like a vaccine. It is injected under the skin between the shoulder blades. This is quick and painless.
  • After having the microchip placed, it then needs to be registered through the company. Registered information should be updated with the company whenever it changes.

Overall, microchips are a permanent form of identification. Veterinary clinics and shelters routinely scan unknown or stray animals for the presence of microchips, and if found can help reunite the family!

Dental Cleaning

Did you know????….Oral Disease is the most frequently diagnosed health problem for cats!

Feline Dental Health Facts

  • Kittens have 26 temporary teeth that begin to erupt at about two to three weeks of age.
  • Adult cats have 30 permanent teeth that start to erupt at about 3-4 months of age.
  • Feline incisors (the small teeth at the front of the mouth) are used for picking up food and grooming.
  • Feline canines (the large pointed teeth) are used for grabbing prey.
  • The molars (teeth at the back of the mouth) are used for crushing and tearing food. Unlike human molars which have a flatter surface, cat molars are pointed- signifying they are truly obligate carnivores.
  • Cat tongues are covered in small “hairs” called papillae that are used for grooming.
  • Cats infected with FeLV or FIV commonly have dental disease. We recommend knowing your cat’s status. This can be tested in the office at your visit.

Signs of oral and dental diseases in cats:

  • Bad Breath.
  • Change in eating or chewing habits or changes in appetite
  • Pawing at face or mouth
  • Drooling
  • Sensitivity to having the mouth area touched
  • No signs– sometimes cats show no outward signs of advanced dental disease but on physical exam shows gingivitis, periodontal disease, missing teeth, broken teeth or resorptive lesions may be noted by our veterinarians.


Dental Disease in Cats
By the age of three 70% of cats show signs of gum disease. Bad breath, tartar buildup and inflamed gums can be signs of gum disease.
Bacteria, combined with saliva and food debris between the tooth and gum, cause plaque formulations that accumulate on the tooth. As bacteria grow in the plaque and as calcium salts are deposited, plaque turns to tartar.
Bacterial plaques are the leading cause in the development of periodontal disease. The inflammation and destruction that accompanies periodontal disease results from the direct action of bacteria and their by-products on periodontal tissues as well as the indirect activation of the host immune response.
Without proper preventive or therapeutic care, plaque and tartar buildup leads to periodontal disease, which affects the tissues and structures supporting the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can cause oral pain, dysfunction, tooth loss and systemic complications, including kidney disease.
Tartar has a contributory role due to its roughened surface, which enhances bacterial attachment and further plaque development, and also irritates gingival tissues.
Periodontal disease causes red, swollen and tender gums, receding gums, bleeding, pain and bad breath. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.
The inflammation and infection associated with periodontal disease may damage other organs such as the heart, liver and kidneys, or lead to other health problems.
Dental health is evaluated every time your cat is seen at Cats Veterinary. We are more than happy to show you what your cat’s teeth and gums look like. We make dental recommendations based on these examinations.
At-Home Plaque and Tartar Control
Prevention of the most common oral disease in cats (and in people!) consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth. The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) awards its Seal of Acceptance to products that successfully meet pre-set criteria for effectiveness in controlling plaque and tartar deposition in dogs and cats. Cats Veterinary has VOHC approved products to maintain your cat’s dental health at home.
Professional Dental Cleanings.
All dental cleanings are performed while the cat is under general anesthesia. Our dental anesthesia safety protocol is as follows:

  • Optional pre-anesthetic blood pressure testing- For cats over the age of 7, we highly recommend testing blood pressure before undergoing prolonged anesthesia. A high or low blood pressure could complicate anesthesia and pre-dispose patients to anesthetic risk.
  • Pre- anesthetic Blood Panel- We tailor the necessary blood panel to the age of the cat. Blood panels are done to ensure there are not any disease processes that would deem your cat unsafe for prolonged anesthesia.
  • Inhalant anesthesia- Gas or inhalant anesthesia allows our veterinary staff to better control the depth of anesthesia. All cats are intubated to allow for controlled breathing and administration of anesthesia.
  • Warming Mechanisms- While under anesthesia cats are not able to regulate their body temperature. We monitor their body temperature and maintain their body warmth by placing them on warming water blankets and covering them with warm towels and blankets.
  • Monitoring devices- We closely monitor and chart your cat’s anesthetic stats. Heart rate and O2 saturation are monitored throughout the whole procedure.
  • IV catheter and IV fluids- We require this for any patient of the age of 7 and older as a means to stabilize blood pressure and provide hydration during the procedure.

Professional dental cleaning includes scaling and other steps described below:

  • Overall review of general oral health and dental charting by a licensed veterinary technician. Comparison of dental health or charts from previous cleanings.
  • Cleaning the teeth of tartar and plaque by use of ultrasonic scaling and hand dental scaling.
  • Probing and exploring gingival depths as well as examining teeth for any resorptive lesions, cracked or broken teeth or any abnormalities.
  • Veterinarian overview of the clean teeth to verify all dental disease has been accurately charted.
  • Polishing to smooth out the surface of the tooth.
  • Fluoride treatment to strengthen the teeth.

Additional Dental Cleaning Options and Recommendations

  • Digital Dental Radiographs- 6 views are taken of the mouth to examine the jaw bone structure, root attachments and integrity of the teeth. Often diseased teeth can be diagnosed and treated or removed before they become painful with the use of dental radiographs. These dental radiographs remain with your cats medical files so follow up x-rays can easily be compared. At discharge, our veterinary staff will review the radiographs and explain any abnormalities.
  • Medical Therapy Laser- The Cats Veterinary MLS Laser Therapy is often utilized for gingivitis or post-oral surgery (tooth extraction) to further decrease inflammation and promote healing time.

Anesthesia/ Feline Surgery

Cats Veterinary anesthesia protocol is to use the safest gas anesthesia for cats. Cats Veterinary anesthesia and surgery protocol is:

  • Pre-anesthetic blood pressure testing- For cats over the age of 7, we highly recommend testing blood pressure before undergoing prolonged anesthesia. A high or low blood pressure could complicate anesthesia and pre-dispose patients to anesthetic risk.
  • Pre-anesthetic blood work panel- we tailor our pre-anesthetic blood work panels to the age of your feline. The goal of doing blood work before surgery is to screen for underlying illnesses that could complicate general anesthesia. Your cat’s safety is always our top concern.
  • Pre and peri and post- operative pain management injections- Cats Veterinary feels that pain management is vital to a quick recovery. Pain medications to go home are also highly suggested and will be discussed when the patient is admitted for surgery.
  • Anesthesia induction and maintenance on gas/inhalant anesthesia- Cats Veterinary does not utilize injectable anesthetics. This gives the veterinary staff complete control over the patient’s anesthetic depth and we are able to quickly recover our anesthetic patients because of this. Patients that undergo surgical procedures with injectable anesthetics often have variable recovery times.
  • Electronic monitoring of vital signs- a licensed veterinary technician will monitor both pulse oximetry and heart rate throughout the entire procedure. These vital signs will be charted and documented in your cat’s medical file for future review and availability.
  • Surgical Technician- at Cats Veterinary, not only is the veterinarian monitoring your cat while performing the surgical procedure, there is a licensed veterinary technician that will remain with your cat until they are fully recovered from anesthesia.
  • Post-operate phone call- The surgical technician will call owners at home to let them know their cat is in recovery.
  • Overnight patient recovery stay at the clinic based on the surgical procedure being done. Most major and non-routine surgeries stay in hospital overnight. There is also the option of having critical surgical cases transferred to Advanced Animal Emergency for round-the-clock monitoring.
  • Patient surgery discharge by a licensed veterinary technician on home care.
  • Post-operative phone call from the veterinary staff to check on the patients’ recovery at home.

Routine Surgeries Performed:

  • Castration or Neutering of male kittens and cats to sterilize them and prevent unwanted litters of kittens. We recommend performing this surgery at 6 months of age, but if behavioral concerns are present this surgery may be performed earlier.
  • Spay or Ovariohysterectomy of female kittens and cats to sterilize them and prevent unwanted litters of kittens. We recommend performing this surgery at 6 months of age.
  • Laser Declaw Procedure: see more description in our CO2 Laser Declaw section.

Cats Veterinary Surgeons and Surgical Training:
Dr. Whitney Hough and Dr. Christy Reagan are trained and excel at feline surgery. Non-routine and specialized surgeries performed in the Cats Veterinary facility include but are not limited to:

  • Abdominal Exploratory/Biopsy
  • Abscess Surgery
  • Amputations
  • Cystostomy(bladder stone removal)
  • Ear Hematoma Repair
  • Eye Enucleations
  • Foreign Body Removal
  • Laceration repair
  • Orthopedic Procedures
  • P/U surgery
  • Tumor Removals

Pain Management

Pain in cats can arise from acute trauma, chronic disease processes, post-operatively, from arthritis or from many other health conditions. Cats Veterinary aims to train the veterinary staff on how to observe and grade feline pain as well as how to educate our pet owners on how to recognize the signs of pain or discomfort in cats. (Here is the link to the feline pain scale )

Cats Veterinary offers safe and effective means of controlling pain. Medications dispensed to control your cats discomfort are very easy to give and are well tolerated by the majority of our feline patients.

Diagnostic Laboratory

Cats Veterinary is proud to utilize the most advanced in-house laboratory equipment including:

  • CBC or Complete Blood Count; This laboratory machine gives red and white blood cell values as well as platelets, hemoglobin and reticulocyte counts.
  • Blood Chemistry Analysis: Our chemistry machine can test for: Glucose, Fructose, BUN, Creatinine, Phosphorous, Calcium, Total Protein, Albumin, Globulin, ALT, Alk-Phosphorous, GGT, Total Bilirubin, Sodium, Potassium and Chloride.
  • T4 Screening for hyperthyroidism
  • FeLV/FIV testing.
  • FeLV Testing
  • Heartworm Antibody Testing
  • Urinalysis- Urine is tested in four ways. Specific Gravity or how well the kidneys are concentrating the urine, Chemical Analysis (screening for glucose, pH, protein, red blood cells…), microscopic examination (looking for bacteria, urinary crystals or unusual cells), and urine culture to screen for an urinary tract infection.
  • Fecal/Stool Examination and Testing
  • Ear Cytology
  • DTM culture- testing for ringworm infection
  • Trichomonas Culture- used for chronic diarrhea to test for a protozoan called Trichomonas.

Additionally Cats Veterinary utilizes specialty reference laboratories for more extensive diagnostic testing.

MLS Laser Therapy

Cats Veterinary is proud to announce we now offer MLS Laser Therapy as an effective, proven, and pain free treatment option. This safe and effective therapy uses specific wavelengths of light that quickly reduce inflammation and swelling in tissues that are exposed to the laser.

Medical Benefits of the MLS Laser Therapy

  • Rapid relief of pain
  • Strong anti-inflammatory effect
  • Timely healing of sprains and strains
  • Rapid resolution of swollen area
  • Immediate improvement of local blood circulation
  • Postoperative pain relief
  • Faster wound healing

How Laser Therapy Works
Photons of laser energy penetrate into tissue and accelerate cellular reproduction and growth. This means the laser will kick-start the healing process and speed up the recovery time. As inflammation is reduced, pain will subside quickly. There are no known side effects and most patients see positive results in 1-3 treatments.

Medical Conditions Treated by MLS Laser Therapy

After performing a full physical exam, the doctors of Cats Veterinary will determine if your feline friend has a condition that will benefit from the use of the MLS Laser Therapy. Such conditions are:

  • Arthritis/Pain
  • Tendonitis
  • Sprains/Stains
  • Postoperative Pain and Inflammation
  • Wound Healing
  • Inflamed Ears
  • Cystitis (bladder inflammation)
  • Stomatitis or gingivitis
  • Disc Disease
  • Joint and Hock Pain
  • Lameness
  • Sinusitis
  • And Much More!


Just like people, cats can get cancer. We are pleased to be able to offer chemotherapy to patients as a treatment for cancer. Most cats that are candidates for chemotherapy respond well to their treatments with very few of the negative side effects seen in human medicine. If your cat has been diagnosed with cancer, our veterinarians offer second opinion or referral care and treatment of your cat. There are various kinds of cancer that are manageable with the use of Chemotherapy and supportive medications. The goal of chemotherapy is always to extend your cat’s quality of life. Our veterinary staff is well equipped and trained to administer chemotherapy agents as well as educate owners on home care of these special feline patients.

Wellness Plans

Cats Veterinary now offers wellness plans to help offset the cost of wellness and preventative care. We have various plans with different degrees of coverage. Payments are made on a monthly basis for the duration of one year (seven months for the kitten wellness plan). For the duration of the wellness plan, you will also receive a discount on sick or illness related veterinary visits and diagnostic testing. Please call the office for more detailed information on our wellness plans.

Inappropriate Urination or Defecation Consultations

Cats Veterinary offers in-depth consultations for cats that are urinating or defecating outside the litter box. Our multi-modal approach to this problem is extensive and will cover: medical, behavioral and environmental reasons why your cat may not be using their litter box. Appointments generally last 45 minutes to 1 hour. The veterinary staff will get a detailed history and will spend time educating owners on different ways to correct or manage this problem.

Behavior Consultations

Cats that are exhibiting behaviors that are undesirable can be doing so from medical or environmental reasons. Examples of behavior issues are: aggression towards humans or other animals in the house, and destructive behavior in the house. Our veterinarians will perform a full physical exam to rule out any medical problems that could be causing these behavioral issues. In fact, a cat in pain or discomfort even from dental disease could be acting out inappropriately. If your feline companion is deemed medically healthy, stress and environment enrichment will be discussed.

Blood Pressure Testing

A cat with high blood pressure will often look like a cat with normal blood pressure. Cats Veterinary is able to test your cat’s blood pressure at the time of your appointment with the use of our Doppler Blood Pressure Machine. This procedure takes less than five minutes and is not invasive at all. We recommend yearly blood pressure testing for cats over the age of 7 as part of wellness care.

Nutrition Consultation and Weight Management

Obesity in cats is a serious medical condition and can pre-dispose them to many complicated medical problems. Obesity has been shown to cause or pre-dispose cats to medical problems such as: diabetes, arthritis, urinary disease, skin conditions as well as others.

The preferred diet for the majority of our feline patients is strictly canned foods. Cats are obligate carnivores. In order to maintain optimal health, an obligate carnivore requires a diet high in protein, moderate in fat and minimal in carbohydrate content. Dry foods or kibble foods have a greater carbohydrate concentration because of the starch necessary to make the kibble. Carbohydrate content of dry foods is app. 35-40% (this number varies per brand of food) whereas canned foods are generally about 10-18% in carbohydrate content. The goal when feeding a cat an ideal diet is to get as close to a 10% carbohydrate content in their food. This will help them maintain a lean and healthy body structure.

There is not an ideal weight on the scale that every cat should be. Because every cat’s body structure varies so much, there is a Body Condition Scoring System in which your cat is rated on a scale of 1-9. Included in every physical examination- your cat will be given a body condition score.

Cats Veterinary offers nutritional counseling to provide information on appropriate diet, feeding portion sizes, exercise and environmental issues. Our veterinary staff has taken the initiative to become “Purina Weight Coaches”. This program trains veterinary staff on how to best educate clients on proper nutrition and how to follow weight loss progress. If you cat is evaluated and deemed suitable for this program, your cat will be assigned to a licensed veterinary technician weight coach to guide you and your cat through the process of reaching an optimal weight.

Feline Hospice Care

Our hospice care program follows protocols similar to hospice care in human medicine. The goal of Cats Veterinary Feline Hospice Care is to allow your feline companion the opportunity to spend his/her remaining time at ease while still in the comforts of their home environment and surrounded by their loving family. Hospice recognizes dying as a normal process and exists in the belief that our patients’ last phase of life deserves compassionate care.

Cats Veterinary wishes to honor the human-animal bond by allowing families to have time to adjust to their cat’s progressive disease and to allow for an extended farewell, while also permitting your cat to spend his or her last days in dignity and free from pain.

Cats Veterinary Staff Promise:

  • To educate owners on their pet’s health condition, expected symptoms of progression and how to determine quality of life.
  • To provide compassionate, emotional and medical support throughout hospice care with references for professional grief counseling.
  • To always provide non-judgmental advice and support tailored specifically to your cat and your family’s needs.
  • To complete the “circle of care” by sharing and providing all knowledge related to hospice.

A hospice team will be created to support your cat and your family through this process. If you are interested in learning more about our hospice program please call the office at 586-463-9550.

Grooming and Nail Trims

Cats Veterinary offers grooming including general brush outs and shaving mats. Our grooming packages include:

  • Mini Spa Treatment:

This grooming package includes an overall brushing, nail trim, ear and eye wipe out.

  • Shave Mats:

Using scissors to cut out mats can be dangerous as the skin is often very close to the mat. It is easy to accidentally cut your cat’s skin with scissors when trying to cut out a mat. Repair for this type of laceration requires general anesthesia, sutures, and sometimes antibiotics. If your cat has a mat in its fur, we recommend having it shaved out with the use of our clippers.

  • Hind End Quarter Trim/ Sani-Trim

Sometimes cats have a hard time keeping their hind ends sanitary. Trimming the fur with the use of our clippers often makes it easier for them to maintain their hygiene- or make it less likely for fecal material to adhere to the fur.

  • Lion Cut Shave

Our most popular form of grooming is our lion cut shave. Fur is shaved all over the body of the cat until they resemble a lion. A ‘mane” is left around the face, a puff of fur remains on the tail and “boots” of fur remain around all the feet.

  • Nail Trims

Nail trims are always complimentary with physical examinations and anesthetic procedures as a courtesy to our clients. We also do nail trims separate from examinations for a small fee- these can be scheduled at your convenience during business hours.

Cats Veterinary does require that all patients undergoing any grooming be up to date on vaccinations and has been seen our veterinarians within one year.

Choosing to Declaw

Scratching is a part of normal feline behavior. Cats scratch to leave both visual and aromatic messages. They scratch to express excitement and pleasure. Cats also scratch to help remove the worn-out sheaths from their claws and to stretch their muscles and spine.

Declawing is considered to be an elective surgery and has been the topic of much controversy in recent years. In keeping with AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners), we strongly believe in educating clients before they make the choice to declaw their kitten. If the choice to declaw is made- rest assured that the best surgical techniques and pain management will be performed.  

Declawing or onychectomy is the amputation of the third phalanx (P3) of each digit.

Alternatives to Declawing

  • Provide suitable implements (scratchers) for normal scratching behaviors. Some examples include scratching posts or pads and cardboard boxes. Some cats like to scratch vertically- while others prefer to scratch horizontally. Scratching materials preferred by cats include wood, sisal rope, carpet, cardboard and other rough fabric. A scratcher is best places next to where cats sleep, as they often stretch and scratch after waking up. In addition, next to “undesired” objects such as furniture. Cats and kittens can be trained to use scratchers by enticing and rewarding the behavior with catnip, treats or toys.
  • Provide appropriate claw care by regularly trimming the claws. Trimming the nails will prevent claws from being long enough to cause injury or damage to household items. Cats Veterinary staff will gladly show you how to trim your kitten’s/ cat’s nails.
  • Consider temporary synthetic nail caps. These nail caps are available as an alternative to declaw surgery. The caps are glued over the nails to help prevent human injury or damage to property. Nail caps usually need to be replaced every 4-6 weeks.
  • Consider using synthetic facial pheromone sprays/ and or diffusers. (Feliway) This pheromone spray helps relieve stress or anxiety. Feliway can be sprayed onto surfaces that are desirable for scratching. In addition, using deterrentmaterials (double-sided tape, tin foil or plastic) may be placed on the undesired location.

Possible Adverse Effects of Declawing

  • Long term medical pain
  • Post operative bleeding
  • Patient self trauma. Biting or chewing on toes, or barbering (excessive grooming habits).
  • Possible behavior changes

Understanding Needs and Behavior In Cats
The essential needs of today’s cats have changed little from those of their wild ancestors.

  • Cats are solitary hunters, and spend much of their day searching the environment for hunting opportunities. They have a strong need to protect themselves from perceived dangers, including unfamiliar individuals or environments.
  • Cats are territorial animals. They will feel threatened when their territory is disturbed.
  • Cats use scent, posturing and vocalizations to communicate their unhappiness if they feel threatened.
  • Cats have a superior sense of smell and hearing. Stress can occur due to strong or strange smells or sounds- which may be undetectable or insignificant to us.
  • Cats are social animals but their social structure is very different from ours. Cats need to have control over their social interactions and some cats may prefer living alone, while others enjoy having housemates.

Meeting the environmental of cats
It is vitally important to provide your cat with an enriched and safe environment so they are not destructive. Destructive or undesired behaviors often arise from poor environmental enrichment. Undesired behaviors are not affected by whether the cat is declawed or not.  Behavior problems are a leading cause of pets being surrendered or euthanized.  Environmental needs include a cat’s physical surroundings- indoor AND outdoor as well as social interactions. Cats express stress, pain and sickness in ways that people cannot easily recognize. Owners need to be proactive and meet appropriate environmental needs throughout a cat’s life to avoid environmental stressors that can cause unwanted behaviors and even impact medical health.
1. Provide a safe place. Every cat needs a safe and secure place where it can retreat to so that it feels protected. There should be at least as many safe places as there are cats in a household. Consider a cat’s desire for elevated surfaces. Many cats enjoy perching on elevated surfaces so home activities can be observed at a safe distance.   Good examples of safe places include: cardboard boxes, raised cat perches, and cat beds.
2. Provide multiple and separated key environmental resources.  Resources include food, water, toileting area, scratching areas, play area and resting or sleeping areas. Resources should be separated from each other so that cats have free access without being challenged by other cats or other potential threats. Perceived threats could be  dogs, children or visitors. 
3. Play and predatory behavior. Cats have a natural need to hunt. Play can be stimulated with the use of interactive toys that mimic prey, such as a toy mouse, or wand toys that are waved through the air. Cats need to capture “prey” to prevent frustration. Introducing interactive play toys as a kitten is also important so kittens learn to avoid hands and feet for play. Using food puzzles or food balls can also mimic the action of hunting for prey while also providing a more natural eating behavior. Rotating toys will avoid cats becoming bored. Playing with cats individually is also important in multi-cat households.
4. Provide positive, consistent and predictable human-cat social interactions.  Every cat will have their own individual preference with how they like human interactions such as petting, grooming, play and handling to be received. Proper socialization as a kitten is certainly helpful (2-7 weeks of age), but it is always important to respect each cat’s desire to interact and their individual preferences. Remind guests to be respectful of cats as well, to allow the cat to initiate interaction, otherwise the cat may feel threatened and react defensively.
5. Provide an environment that respects the importance of the cat’s sense of smell.  Cats use their sense of smell to evaluate their surroundings. Cats mark their scent by rubbing their face and body, which deposits natural pheromones to establish boundaries within which they feel safe and secure. Avoid cleaning areas where your cat scent marks, especially when there are any changes in the household. Synthetic facial pheromones can mimic a cat’s natural pheromones and provide a calming effect in a stressful situation.  Threatening smells (strong scented cleaners or detergents) or the inability to rub their scent can sometimes lead to undesired behaviors such as eliminating urine or stool outside the litter box, spraying or scratching in inappropriate areas.

At the time of declaw surgery you will be asked to initial and sign the below consent form:
Owner Consent and Client Education Acknowledgement

Please read and initial.

___ I (owner) understand that declawing is not a medically necessary procedure.

____ I(owner) understand that declawing is not just the removal of the claw, but is an amputation surgery.

___ I (owner) understand that there are alternatives to declawing and have given sincere thought to attempting those      alternatives.

__ I (owner) understand that declawing may result in behavioral changes, and may result in long term pain or                   discomfort for my cat.

___ I (owner) have been provided information regarding the alternatives to declawing and proper education on how declawing permanently changes the anatomy of the toes.

Cats Veterinary recommends that declaws, if performed, be done before one year of age.  We will perform declaw surgery as young as 12 weeks of age. The kitten at this age is grown enough to handle anesthesia well, yet small enough that tendons and ligaments are not well developed as in an older cat that would weigh a lot more.  We no longer perform declaw procedures over the age of 12 months.  We no longer perform four paw declaws.

The Advantages of CO2 Laser Declaw
There are different surgical methods of performing this surgery. At Cats Veterinary we only offer CO2 Laser Declaw- which is the preferred method.

  • Less Pain: The CO2 Laser seals nerve endings as it “cuts” and reduces pain after surgery.
  • Less Bleeding: The CO2 Laser seals small blood vessels during surgery, greatly reducing blood loss. Also because of the cauterizing character of the CO2 laser- use of tourniquets on the limbs is not necessary.
  • Less Swelling- Laser energy does not tear or bruise the tissue because there is no physical contact with the tissue.



Pain Management

  • Your kitten will receive opioid pain medication before and during surgery.
  • Opioid pain management post- operatively. Pain medications are a requirement after surgery. Depending on the size and age of your kitten the best pain management will be recommended to you.
  • NSAID pain management- Onsior is the only NSAID approved for use in feline medicine. This medication is given once a day for three consecutive days. The first dose is given one hour prior to surgery.
  • Medical Laser Treatment- This additional therapy can be performed after surgery to further reduce inflammatory response at surgical sites.

Post- operative Care

  • Quiet Time- It is encouraged to keep kittens calm and as quiet as possible after declaw surgery. This allows all surgical sites to heal properly. The more active kittens are the more likely they will be to damage the surgical sites or cause discomfort.
  • Alternative Litter- We recommend using an alternative litter such as Yesterday’s News or shredded paper. This will keep surgical sites clean, as smaller more granular litter could cause secondary infections.

Kitten Education and Promotional Packages

Getting a new kitten is a wonderful and fun experience. Whether you are a seasoned cat owner or a new kitten owner, our veterinary licensed technicians will spend time educating owners on all things related to kitten and cat health. Our “Kitten Books” will become a reference point for your family as your kitten grows and matures into a cat. Topics covered in our kitten education talk and kitten book include: appropriate toys for kittens, environmental enrichment, intestinal parasites, FeLV/FIV testing, vaccinations, proper nutrition, toxic substances (plants, foods and medications), as well as many other topics.

To help offset the cost of adopting a new kitten; Cats Veterinary has developed a “Kitten Promotional Package” which includes everything your kitten will need to complete their kitten wellness care. This package also includes the cost of laser declaw and sterilization (neuter or spay depending on the sex of the kitten). More details on this kitten promotional package can be found under our Specials Tab.

Feline Diabetes Mellitus Management

Signs of Feline Diabetes tend to include:

  • Increase in appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Increase in thirst
  • Increase in urine production

During a diabetic consultation your cat’s diet, medications, blood values and overall general health will be evaluated. Recommendations for continuation of treatment will be made based on all of the above.
If your cat is started on insulin injections, our technician staff will train family members how to properly administer insulin injections; as well as how to monitor the effect of insulin (especially signs of low blood sugar).
Proper diet is a huge factor in maintaining proper glucose (blood sugar) levels in a cat. Much like diabetic people, a proper diet is key to controlling diabetes. Commercial dry food is highly discouraged for diagnosed diabetics- pate canned commercial foods or prescription diabetic diets are preferred.

Feline Kidney Disease Management (Chronic and Acute)

The function of a normal kidney is to eliminate waste products, produce erythropoietin (which matures red blood cells), maintain electrolyte levels, regulate acid-base levels, maintain normal hydration level and produce rennin (which controls blood pressure). The kidney has approximately 200,000 tiny structures called nephrons that enable the kidneys to function properly.
More than 75% of kidney function is lost before it can be detected. This means that the kidney has lost function of at least 75% of nephrons, so the kidneys can no longer eliminate waste products efficiency, can no longer balance electrolytes properly and can no longer maintain red blood cell volume.

Signs of Feline Kidney Disease

  • Symptoms can be very subtle such as slight changes in appetite, or activity level.
  • The most telling signs are increased thirst and excessive urination.
  • Other common symptoms are: nausea, vomiting, constipation, weight loss, muscle wasting, poor hair coat, bad breath and lethargy.

Kidney Disease is diagnosed with diagnostic laboratory testing.
1. Urinalysis- a complete urinalysis is often the FIRST diagnostic test that can be done to screen for kidney disease. A urine sample is obtained in the office and is tested in 4 different ways. Specific Gravity tests how well the kidneys are concentrating the urine. A low specific gravity is indicative of kidney disease. A microscopic examination of the urine is preformed to look for abnormal cells, casts, crystals and bacteria. A Chemistry analysis of the urine is performed to screen for protein content, sugars, ketone bodies and pH. Finally, a urine culture is done to rule out any bacterial infection.
2. Blood Work- more than 50% of kidney function has to be lost for blood values to start to change. Blood work values that doctors monitor with a cat with kidney disease are:

  • BUN- This is a normal waste product from protein metabolism. A high value can be a reflection of diet, hydration status, intestinal health or red blood cell destruction. An increase in this value is not ALWAYS conclusive of kidney disease.
  • Cre- Creatinine is a waste produce excreted through the kidneys and if elevated, is very indicative of the loss of kidney function.
  • PCV/HCT- This number is monitored for anemia (low red blood cells). Because one of the functions of the kidneys is to produce the hormone that regulates the production of red blood cells, as kidney disease progresses, the cat can become anemic.
  • P/Phosphorous- High levels of this will accumulate when the kidneys can no longer efficiently excrete it making for secondary complications.
  • K/Potassium- This is a vital electrolyte. Cats with kidney disease cannot preserve enough of it and levels can become low.

3. Advanced Diagnostics such as kidney ultrasound or kidney radiography (x-rays). A kidney ultrasound allows the veterinarian to evaluate the internal structures of the kidneys as well as the size and shape of the kidneys. An x-ray of the kidneys allows the doctor to evaluate the size and shape of the kidneys.
4. Testing Blood Pressure- the kidneys play a crucial role in regulating blood pressure. The kidneys are also subject to damage from high blood pressure which can deteriorate them more rapidly and accelerate the kidney disease.

Once a cat has been diagnosed with kidney disease, diet and medications are discussed and prescribed based on the level of advancement of the disease. Often times, kidney disease patients can be supported and are able to maintain a good quality life for many years. The goal of treatment of a cat diagnosed with kidney disease is to: reduce the work the kidneys have to do through diet and oral medications, maintain a healthy red blood cell volume, maintain electrolyte balance, maintain hydration and prolong quality of life.

Feline Critical Care and Emergency Care

How to know when your cat needs emergency care

As a pet owner it can be difficult to tell what medical conditions are true emergencies. Unfortunately emergencies do not always happen when Cats Veterinary is open, so how do you know if your cat needs to be taken to an emergency veterinary hospital?

Things like trauma (such as open wounds or accidents) should always be treated as an emergency situation. Other common feline emergency situations include:

  • Inability or difficulty urinating:
    • This a very serious and life threatening condition. The inability to urinate is most commonly seen in male cats. Signs that your cat may be having difficulty urinating are: going in and out of the litter box frequently, painful or bloated abdomen, yowling or vocalizing in pain, leaving very small spots of urine throughout the house, discolored or red urine.
  • Frequent vomiting and inability to keep food down
    • Cats are notorious for playing with objects that can become ingested and have to be surgically removed. At Cats Veterinary, the doctors have surgically removed things like: pieces of flip flops, strings, nickels, hair ties, pieces of blankets, and bone pieces.
  • Difficulty breathing- labored breaths or open mouth breathing
    • It is not normal for a cat to pant like a dog- this is sign of serious respiratory distress. Raspy-sounding breaths or very quick breathing patterns can also be a sign of distress.
  • Weakness in the rear legs/ or stiff and unresponsive rear legs
    • Cats are very good at hiding things- including heart disease. Weakness in any limb is an emergency situation- but weakness in the hind legs can be a sign of a Saddle Thrombus. This is when a blood clot leaves the heart and lodges in the artery supplying blood flow to the hind legs. Wellness exams and cardiac wellness checks (such as blood pressures, chest radiographs, and screening cardiac ultrasounds) are the best way to monitor your cats’ heart health as they age.
  • Neurologic symptoms such as active seizures, head tilts, circling
  • Consumption of poisons, toxic plants or medications- there are lists provided on our website of commonly ingested poisonous items. If you cat ingests anything suspicious it is recommended to call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.

This list is not an all inclusive list of serious feline medical conditions, the recommendation for any condition in question is to call a veterinary office for a professional opinion. If Cats Veterinary is closed we recommend calling Advanced Animal Emergency (located directly behind the clinic in the same parking lot) at 586-466-6133.

Optional 24 Hour Care

Cats Veterinary is proud to have a professional relationship with Advanced Animal Emergency and to be able to provide our patients with 24-hour-care. If your cat is either hospitalized or undergoes a surgical procedure in our hospital- you will be given the option of having your cat transferred to Advanced Animal Emergency for around-the-clock care. Their veterinary staff will follow our medical treatment protocol while ensuring your cat is stable throughout he night or weekend. Cats Veterinary staff are able to transfer patients to Advanced Animal Emergency at night, as well as transfer the patient back to our hospital for treatment in the morning.

Please visit Advanced Animal Emergency website for more information at www.advancedanimalemergency.com

Magnets with their contact information are always available.

Flea Infestation and Parasite Prevention Products

It has been reported that the fleas, ticks and parasite infections are on the rise- with the anticipation that each year will be worse than the year before. Our veterinary staff is very knowledgeable in parasite protection products, as well as in the parasites themselves.

Common Feline Parasites Include:

Fleas: Fleas are parasites that live on the cats (or dogs) skin and in the environment. Preventing a flea infestation is much easier than treating a flea infestation. Even indoor-only cats are susceptible to flea infestations. Fleas have been known to jump through screens, hitch a ride on pant legs, or come in on doggie friends. Fleas have the potential to cause medical problems as well as an unhealthy hair coat.
For more in-depth information on fleas please visit this website www.capcvet.org/

Tapeworms: Tapeworms are an intestinal parasite that can be visually seen as “rice-grain” segments on the fur near the anal area. A cat is infected with tapeworms by either ingesting fleas, or ingesting infected prey. Tapeworms are diagnosed by visually seeing the segments in the fur, or by fecal testing. Tapeworms are treated with a de-worming application. Please visit this website for more information on tapeworms: www.capcvet.org/

Roundworms: Roundworms are one of the most common parasites found in kittens, although cats are susceptible to roundworms throughout their entire life. Roundworms can be transmitted to humans (this is called a zoonotic parasite) and can cause blindness. Children and immunocompromised adults are most at risk. Roundworms can be seen in the stool and resemble thin spaghetti noodles, they are best diagnosed with fecal testing. Roundworms are treated with a de-worming application. Please visit this website for more information on tapeworms: /www.capcvet.org/capc-recommendations/ascarid-roundworm

There are many other intestinal and external parasites. www.capcvet.org has a wealth of information on parasites. If you have any specific questions regarding parasites, our veterinary staff would be more than happy to discuss them with you.

Cats Veterinary Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Protection Products:

Frontline: Frontline is a topical product put on the skin every 30 days to prevent flea and tick infestation. After you apply Frontline, it quickly spreads all over the body and into the oil (sebaceous) glands in the skin. From the sebaceous glands, it is continually replenished onto the skin and hair coat- making for long-lasting and WATERPROOF coverage. Frontline does not repel fleas, it kills them. Fleas become hyper stimulated upon contact with the Frontline, and rise to the top of the hair coat in the process of dying. This is a sign that Frontline is working! Within hours of application, Frontline kills 99-100% of fleas on your cat. Within 24-48 hours of application, Frontline kills up to 100% of ticks on your pet. Any new fleas or ticks emerging from the pet’s environment are also killed rapidly. Purchasing this product from our veterinary office will provide a product guarantee from the company. In fact, if your flea infestation has not been resolved in three months of application, Merial (the makers of Frontline) will pay to have your house professionally exterminated. This product is safe and approved for use on kittens 8 weeks and older and even approved for breeding, pregnant and lactating cats. Please see our specials tab for current Frontline promotions.
Please visit www.frontline.com for more information.

Revolution: Revolution is a topical product put on the skin every 30 days to prevent: Fleas, Heartworms, Roundworms, Hookworms, and Ear Mites. This product enters the bloodstream and will treat, control and prevent external and internal parasites. Revolution is safe in kittens as young as 8 weeks old as well as in breeding, pregnant and nursing animals. Please visit https://www.revolution4cats.com/default.aspx for more information.

Heartgard: Heartgard is a chewable treat given orally to your cat every 30 days to protect your cat against Heartworms and Hookworms. Heartgard has been shown to be well tolerated by cats. More information on this product can be found at www.heartgard.com

Feline Heartworm Testing and Prevention

How does a cat get Heartworm?

Heartworm is contracted when an infected mosquito bites a cat. The larvae enter through the mosquito bite wound where they develop in the tissues. The immature worms enter a blood vessel and are carried to the arteries in the lung where they cause an inflammatory reaction. This inflammatory reaction can cause cats to have respiratory problems such as difficulty breathing or coughing. Most worms die at this stage, causing even more inflammation and damaging vital lung tissue. Worms that do survive and progress to the adult stage may live undetected for years. When adult heartworms die, the inflammation can be severe enough to cause sudden death. The respiratory signs associated with these reactions are called Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD).

How can I tell if my cat has Heartworm?

Signs associated with HARD (Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease) include :
Coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, rapid heart rate, fainting, blindness, collapse, convulsions or sudden death.

How can my cat be tested for Heartworm?
Cats Veterinary is proud to offer Heartworm Antibody testing in office. This test can be done at the time of your appointment and you will be given results before you leave the office.

Cats Veterinary staff highly recommends visiting www.knowheartworms.org for more information on heartworm and HARD.

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