Adopting a new kitten, young cat or older cat can be a wonderful experience. Interestingly, our medical recommendations for testing and vaccines for most adoptees are quite similar. Just remember that often the older adoptees can be the most rewarding, mature and loving fur-babies around. They are also the !
For all adoptees, our cat hospital recommends two core vaccines including the FVRCP (respiratory) and rabies vaccines. For kittens or young cats, FVRCP vaccines are a series of 3 vaccines given at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age and then after 1 year of age can be boosted for 3 years of coverage. Rabies vaccines are given after 16 weeks of age and after one year can be boosted to up to 3 years of protection. For indoor/outdoor, outdoor or households with an FeLV-positive cat, we recommend feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccines which are boosted 3-4 weeks after an initial vaccine for one year coverage.
We at Meadows Cat Hospital strongly recommend that all adoptees should be tested immediately for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and FeLV and then retested 6 months later.--It can take up to 6 months after exposure to test positive. FIV/FeLV tests are affordable, administered onsite and require very little blood with results provided in minutes. FeLV and FIV-positive adoptees are great candidates for re-homing but have special needs that can be addressed once we know their status.
Fecal analyses (or fecals) are important for kittens and young cats and those adults that are or were at high risk. As many new kittens and young cats have intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms and coccidia, it is important to know if these parasites are present so they can be treated efficiently. Some of these parasites can be transmitted to your other pets and even you, so getting quick and targeted treatment is important. For kittens with "clean" fecals, we will often still recommend preventative dewormers as many parasites intermittently shed eggs.
Adoption is a fantastic time to start a flea and parasite prevention routine. Many new adoptees have fleas or flea "dirt" and in moderate climates like Issaquah Washington, even indoor kitties are at risk of fleas and parasites. We recommend a year round preventative like Revolution that helps prevent fleas, internal parasites and ear mites. For many new kitten adoptions, the first dose of revolution is complimentary!