Preventative Care for Indoor vs Outdoor Cats
Definition: Never steps outside the house except for a car trip to vet
Definition: A cat that leaves the house, even if only occasionally.
- Goes outside regularly
- Goes outside on or off a leash, supervised in yard or on patio or deck
- Occasionally will “escape” or run outside due to an open door from kids or a dog being let outside
- Goes to a groomer or a boarding facility
Indoor Cat Vaccinations
Rabies Purevax once a year, starting at 12 weeks of age. Rabies exposure for the indoor cat is usually through contact with a bat indoors. Older homes are prone to having bats in the attic and this is how we see cats get exposed. If cats are not current on their rabies vaccine and exposed to a bat that is shown to have rabies or bitten by an animal that is not available for rabies testing, the Board of Animal Health will require quarantine for 45 – 180 days.
PRC for upper respiratory viruses and distemper. The initial kitten vaccines are a series of 2-3 vaccines from 8-16 weeks of age; then a one year booster, then every 3 years. In geriatric indoor cats, we may stop the vaccines as research has shown that their immunity may be good enough if not exposed to outdoor cats carrying the viruses.
Feline Leukemia vaccine. It is recommended that all kittens, regardless of lifestyle receive two vaccines, one month apart as kittens. Adult cats that are indoor cats do not continue to receive the vaccine.
Indoor Cat Parasite Control
As a kitten, 2-3 doses of a dewormer such as Revolution, Drontal or Profender. For cats living with an outdoor cat or a dog, Revolution should be continued monthly as it protects against fleas and parasites that can be brought into the house from animals that go outside. Revolution is a topically applied medication that keeps away fleas, intestinal parasites such as roundworm, and prevents heartworm
disease spread by mosquitos.
Three negative fecal tests and yearly fecal tests thereafter.
Outdoor Cat Vaccinations
Rabies Purevax once a year. It is important to not be overdue for this vaccine as outdoor cats can be exposed to Rabies from bats, skunks, groundhogs, coyotes and foxes, as well as feral cats.
PRC for upper respiratory viruses and distemper. The initial kitten vaccines are a series of 2-3 vaccines from 8-16 weeks of age; then a one year booster, then every 3 years. The protection from the upper respiratory viruses is not 100%, but it will lessen the severity of the disease.
Feline Leukemia vaccine – after the initial series of two vaccines one month apart, the vaccine is given yearly to prevent this serious disease.
Outdoor Cat Parasite Control
As a kitten, 2-3 doses of a dewormer such as Revolution, Drontal, or Profender.
Three negative fecal tests then twice a year fecal tests thereafter.
Monthly Revolution topically to prevent fleas, intestinal parasites such as roundworms, and heartworm disease. Cats that go outside, even infrequently can get fleas from coming into contact with animals carrying fleas. Fleas can carry tapeworm, as well as very serious diseases such as Tularemia and Plague.
Drontal oral tablets or topical Profender every 3-6 months for control of tapeworms from hunting.