Most cat owners do a wonderful job at meeting the needs of their pet, and they go to great lengths to ensure their feline’s comfort and security. However, some owners of indoor-only cats believe their companions are protected from contagious diseases and parasites simply by virtue of keeping them inside.

Unfortunately, no pet is entirely safe from these threats, but with a proactive approach to indoor cat care, you can definitely lower your pet’s risk of contracting a harmful disease.

Basic Needs

Although your cat may never leave the house (except to see us!), that doesn’t mean the dangers are always kept out. Unfortunately, insects can find their way into your home on your clothing or shoes, and other parasites can be brought in from other pets and people.  

It Happens

Although no one likes to think about the possibility, 1 in 3 indoor-only cats are reported missing in their lifetime. If taken to a shelter, your cat may be exposed to illness, or they could be confronted by a feral animal who has a contagious disease. No matter how you look at it, leaving your indoor cat unprotected (especially in these situations) can be extremely dangerous to their health.

The Details

In addition to the required rabies vaccine, we recommend your cat receives their core vaccines, as well. These protect against highly contagious diseases that can cause serious symptoms and can even be fatal. In some cases, these diseases can also be transferred to humans.

Cats should be vaccinated against panleukopenia, calicivirus, and herpesvirus. Kittens typically receive the leukemia virus vaccine, as well.

Indoor Cat Care and Boosters

Depending on their lifestyle, cats should be re-vaccinated every 1-3 years. Indoor-only cats are considered low-risk, and are candidates for less frequent vaccinations.

The Thing About Bugs…

Fleas, ticks, and heartworm-carrying mosquitoes are definite threats to indoor cat care. As we mentioned, bugs can easily end up inside the home. There’s currently no treatment for heartworm-positive cats.

Luckily, maintaining your cat’s monthly parasite prevention is easy. Protecting your cat from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes also decreases possible health complications associated with intestinal parasites, like roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.

Giardia and toxoplasma (protozoan organisms) can also be transmitted to indoor cats and can spread to people, as well.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Effective parasite and disease prevention is less costly than treating a health problem later on. At Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center, we assess your cat’s age, lifestyle, and health to create a personalized approach to indoor cat care. Twice annual parasite exams and heartworm testing can do much to ensure a long, healthy life for your pet.

Please let us know if you have additional questions regarding indoor cat care. We look forward to hearing from you!