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Main article: Feline vaccination
Vaccinations are an important preventative animal health measure.
The specific vaccinations recommended for cats varies depending on geographic
location, environment, travel history, and the activities the animal frequently
engages in. In the United States, regardless of any of these factors, it is usually
highly recommended that cats be vaccinated against rabies, feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1),
feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline panleukopenia virus (FPV). The decision on whether
to vaccinate against other diseases should be made between an owner and a veterinarian,
taking into account factors specific to the cat.
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Detection of diseases
Feline diseases such as FeLV, FIV, and feline heartworm can be detected during a
routine visit to a veterinarian. A variety of tests exist that can detect feline
illnesses, and with early detection most diseases can be managed effectively.
Once-a-month topical products or ingestible pills are the most commonly used
products to kill and prevent future parasite infestations.
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Diet and nutrition
Further information: cat food
See also: pet food
Veterinarians commonly recommend commercial cat foods that are formulated
to address the specific nutritional requirements of cats although an increasing
Although cats are obligate carnivores, vegetarian and vegan cat food are
preferred by owners uncomfortable with feeding animal products to their pets.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine has come out
against vegetarian cat and dog food for health reasons. Cats require high levels of
Taurine in their diet. Taurine is an organic acid found in animal tissues. It is a
major constituent of bile and can be found in the large intestine.
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Taurine has many biological roles such as conjugation of bile acids,
antioxidation,membrane stabilization and modulation of calcium signaling.
It is essential for cardiovascular function in cats, and development and function
of skeletal muscle, the retina and the central nervous system. Although meat
protein can be substituted with vegetable proteins, vegetable proteins don’t provide
sufficient amino acids which are vital for a cats body to function.
Cats can be selective eaters. Although it is extremely rare for a cat
to deliberately starve itself to the point of injury, in obese cats,
the sudden loss of weight can cause a fatal condition called Feline Hepatic
Lipidosis, a liver dysfunction which causes pathological loss of appetite and
reinforces the starvation, which can lead to death within as little as 48 hours.
Pica is a condition in which animals chew or eat unusual things such as fabric,
plastic or wool. In cats, this is mostly harmless as they do not digest most of it,
but can be fatal or require surgical removal if a large amount of foreign material
is ingested (for example, an entire sock). It tends to occur more often in
Burmese, Oriental, Siamese and breeds with these in their ancestry.
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