Frequently Asked Questions
I just found a cat! What should I do now?
A little detective work will help determine whether the cat you've found has been abandoned or is lost and what your next steps should be. If the cat has a collar and tags, the first step is to call any phone numbers that may be available. If no collar is present, give us a call to schedule a time to bring him in to be scanned for a microchip. In the meantime, the cat should be kept separate from your other pets.
Should you decide to keep the cat yourself, your first step is to take her to a veterinarian for a complete examination. We can provide a physical exam and tell you the cat’s approximate age, physical condition, and gender. We will also start the discussion on recommended wellness services appropriate for the life stage. It’s a good idea to bring in a fresh stool sample to have it tested for internal parasites.
If you are unable to keep the cat, you have a few options. You can try to find a home yourself within your circles of friends and family, or pursue admission into a rescue group or shelter. We are happy to provide a list if needed, but be aware that there are MANY options in and around Houston, all with their own stipulations and requirements.
Do I need to bathe my cat?
In general, cats do a pretty good job of bathing themselves and giving baths is not necessary. Please ask your veterinarian if your cat needs to be bathed. If your cat is in the hospital for an appointment and gets soiled or needs to have a bath for medical reasons, we are able to do so. Otherwise, we would be happy to instruct you how to bathe your cat at home or refer you to a local groomer.
Can I get my cat groomed at The Cat Veterinary Clinic?
The Cat Veterinary Clinic is not a grooming facility; we typically only offer basic grooming to those patients who require full sedation in order to safely achieve this. Basic grooming would be lion cuts, belly shaves, mat clip out, and "sanitation trims." If your cat does NOT require sedation, or if this is your first request for grooming, we are happy to refer you to a local groomer.
Can you trim my cat's nails? Can you teach me how to trim my cat's nails?
We can trim your cat's nails at The Cat Veterinary Clinic and we would be happy to show you how. If you are in for a doctor's appointment, just ask us and we can do this while your kitty is here. You can also set up a technician appointment for just a nail trim. If you would like to start trimming your cat's nails at home, our technicians would be happy to show you how to accomplish this task and advise you on the best tools to use. If your cat is undergoing an anesthetic procedure, a nail trim is included at no charge. (Please advise us if you would not like to have your cat's nails trimmed!)
What should I do if I want to take my cat on an airplane trip with me?
With the right preparations, your cat can fly! Cats generally do not like changes in routine and with traveling they often become anxious and nauseous. This can make traveling with a cat very stressful for both you and your cat. Whenever possible, make sure your cat is allowed to be in the cabin with you. Always check with your airline for specific requirements!
Many circumstances require a health certificate - this document is provided by your veterinarian and states that your cat is healthy enough to be transported to another state or country. When you are at the veterinary office obtaining a health certificate, he or she can also prescribe medication for your cat that will help reduce anxiety and prevent motion-sickness that is associated with traveling.
*Please note that due to ever-evolving import laws, for international travel we REQUIRE the use of a pet transportation company. Please see the International Travel Form on the Client Form section of this website*
How can I make trips to the vet more comfortable for my cat?
The visit to the veterinary clinic is often difficult because the carrier, car, and vet hospital is unfamiliar. Cats dislike the unfamiliar! To make your cat more comfortable with the carrier, make the carrier a familiar place at home by leaving it in a room where your cat spends a lot of time, perhaps with the door disassembled. Place your pets bedding or something with your scent inside the carrier to help make them feel more secure. Encourage your cat to enter the carrier at home by putting treats, catnip or toys in it. It may take some time for your cat to like his or her carrier, but patience is the key. Consider using synthetic feline facial pheromone (Feliway) spray to help create a calming environment. Make sure to give rewards for all positive behaviors! It is always easier to start these types of processes at a young age during kittenhood so they learn to like the carrier, car, and clinic rather than fear them, but even adult cats can benefit from these tips.
Can I make payments?
Does my cat really need an annual exam and routine bloodwork?
It is very important to have your cat examined by a veterinarian at least once a year; older cats should be examined twice yearly. Bloodwork should also be completed to ensure that the body and organs are functioning properly. Cats are notorious for hiding illness, getting regular exams and bloodwork from their veterinarian is a good way to catch diseases early. It is much easier to manage certain diseases (chronic progressive kidney disease, inflammatory bowel disease, etc) when caught early. Also, it is unethical, and in most states, unlawful, for a veterinarian to write a prescription or dispense a prescription drug outside a Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR). In order to maintain a VCPR, your veterinarian must see your cat regularly - but how regularly depends on a few things. If your cat is on prescription medication, we may need a reexamination or recheck labwork to monitor response to treatment and determine if any change to therapy is needed.
Do you perform declaw procedures?
We and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) strongly oppose declawing as an elective procedure. The medical term for declawing is onychectomy and is the amputation of the third phalanx on one or more paws. There are inherent risks and complications with declawing that increase with age such as acute pain, infection, nerve trauma, as well as long term complications like lameness, behavioral problems, and chronic neuropathic pain.
Feline declawing is an ethically controversial procedure and is not a medically necessary procedure for cats in most instances. Scratching is normal feline behavior- both inherited and learned. We recommend providing cats with scratching posts/pads, regularly trimming the claws to prevent injury or damage to household items, using synthetic facial pheromone sprays and/or diffusers to help relieve anxiety or stress, and providing appropriate feline environmental enrichment.
My cat is vomiting! Should I be worried?
One episode of vomiting may not be a problem. Many cats seem to be perfectly healthy but have their occasional "hairball" episode. If your cat is vomiting frequently, please call us to schedule an appointment. Please seek a veterinarian's advice immediately if the vomit contains blood or foreign material, your cat's appetite has decreased, he/she seems to not be feeling well, or if he/she has not been using the litterbox or seems to be constipated.
Why is my cat sleeping so much? Should I be worried?
Because of the increasing amount of time we spend at home due to the pandemic, you might have noticed that your cat sleeps a lot more than you would expect!
Cats typically can sleep from anywhere between 12-20 hours a day depending on the age and other factors. Cats also typically sleep more during the day rather than the night when they are more active. Kittens will typically spend most of their days and nights sleeping. Adolescent cats will not sleep as much but will have a more varied sleep routine. Adult cats, however, have a typical and routine pattern for their sleeping times and habits. As the cat gets older and does not have as much energy, they will start to sleep more.
If your cat starts making dramatic changes in their sleep schedule, bring it to the attention of your veterinary team.
Does my cat need to be vaccinated?
Vaccines are meant to prepare the immune system for potential exposure to disease. At The Cat Veterinary Clinic, we use the best vaccines available that will provide immunity to disease as well as have the lowest risks. We follow the guidelines set by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
With these guidelines in mind, we tailor our vaccine recommendation for each of our patients based their age, their health, and their risk of exposure to the various infectious diseases. There are two core vaccines that we recommend be kept current for our healthy cats, the upper respiratory vaccine (FVRCP) and the rabies vaccine. Rabies vaccination is required by law in Texas and is for the safety of your cat and the public. For outdoor cats, we also recommend the core feline leukemia virus vaccine.
Generally, you can expect the following: Your kitten will receive a series of vaccines for the upper respiratory diseases beginning at around 8 weeks of age and repeated every 3-4 weeks for a total of 3 doses. We will booster this vaccine 1 year later and then every 3 years after that. The rabies vaccine will be given once at 12-16 weeks of age and then annually.
Do you have alternate pharmacy options?
We provide an online pharmacy, which many pet owners find to be a convenient and cost-effective way of having medications and prescription food delivered to their home! Some medications can be compounded into forms or flavors that may help with administration. You will receive this contact information during your visit. Human pharmacies may be able to fill some medications as well, please ask our team if this may be an option for you.