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Unread 01-17-2009   #1 (permalink)
Purrity
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Greetings everyone,

I'm planning to adopt a cat from the SPCA by the end of this month. After visiting their sites, the details of cats are listed often as "up to date with routine shots." Does this mean that after bringing the kitty home, I don't need to bring it to the vet until its yearly physical?

Also, on some SPCA cat profiles, cats are sometimes described "altered." Does this mean they've been spayed/neutered?

Thanks so much for your tips! I hear on the news that many pet owners are giving up their pets and I just feel bad so many of them are ending up at shelters, many with an uncertain fate.

Jack
 
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Unread 01-17-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Jack,

Excellent questions, I can tell you are thinking things through.

I always recommend that you bring your new furbaby in for a check up with your own vet no later than a week after the adoption. Shelter kitties often come home with URIs (upper respiratory infections) or ear mites or yeast infections.

yes, altered means they have been spayed or neutered. Shelters here where I live will not release a pet who has not been altered.

Hurray for you for giving a shelter kitty a forever home. Be sure to come back and let us know who chooses you, and how it's going.
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Unread 01-17-2009   #3 (permalink)
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Hello Acerlt,

Thanks for the tips. Okay, I'll bring it to the vet then. Initially I was hoping to cut costs for the first year but certainly health comes first. Will keep you all posted.

Jack
 
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Unread 01-17-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Many vets offer a free first check up to people who adopt from a shelter. All the vets in my area do this. Find out if your vet does.

I think you are making a wise choice, either way, because prevention, or early intervention, can save you a lot of money in the long run. Things left to "wait and see" usually end up costing more, because left untreated the problems become worse.

(warning preaching ahead!) when adopting a pet it is important to take your financial situation into consideration. Most people are lucky and their pets never need more than the annual routine check up and shots until the pets begin to have age related problems. However you just never know.

All four of my current cats are special needs, but I did not set out to have special needs cats, they just seem to find me. They are shelter adopted or rescued from the big bad world. I spent $2500 at the vet in 2008, and that figure does not include medications purchased through my pharmacy and special compounded medicines. Nor does it include basic care like food and cat litter.

Also the vet fees in my area are comparatively reasonable. I only make about $20,000 a year, so things are very tight, and I am lucky I do not require expensive entertainments for myself! (the cats are my entertainment!)

I recommend putting away a few dollars a week for emergencies, starting now. Or get a credit card that is to be used for emergency veterinary bills only. There are even special credit cards that are for vet bills only, make sure your vet accepts these credit plans. it's called CareCredit. go to CareCredit® Healthcare Finance - Payment Plans and Financing for Cosmetic Surgery, Dental, Vision, Hearing, Veterinary & Other Medical Procedures for more information.

there's nothing worse than having an ill pet and having to watch him or her suffer because you "can't afford the vet" so being prepared ahead of time is the best way to avoid that.
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Unread 01-17-2009   #5 (permalink)
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I totally agree with acerlt. When I adopted my shelter cat in Sept 2008 she had some earmites that I immediately had to take care of. The vet that I took her to did not even charge me for the medication because it was her first time there. You're lucky to have found a shelter that fixes all its animals in advance. I had to get my Nika spayed, but the shelter ended up paying for it because she was over 6 months old. Definitely save for pet emergencies in the future. At one point Nika got fleas somehow (she's strictly and indoor cat) and not only did I have to but a flea medication, but also the cost to give her a 36-hr flea pill (because the groomer's wasn't open that day), the flea dip, a flea spray to take to every surface of my home, and endless vacuum bags. When there are fleas inside they can burrow into the carpet. Vacuuming gets rid of about 50% of them, but you have to dispose of the bag right away; so every time you vacuum you have to use a new bag. When you take your new companion to the vet's make sure he/she does a skin test as well. Good luck!
 
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Unread 01-17-2009   #6 (permalink)
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Default great information

Many thanks acer and efunk for the information and tips. The financial breakdown was very good. Yes, I initially hoped I could stave off the first visit until the first annual physical, but certainly the health of the kitty (and of all life in general) should take precedence! I'll certainly keep all of you posted.

I'm just trying to configure the home so that a good place for the litter box can be found and discretely placed since I live in a relatively moderate sized 2 bedroom townhouse.

Best wishes.

Jack
 
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Unread 01-17-2009   #7 (permalink)
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Hi Jack!

Well done you're going to adopt a rescue; so many kits need a loving home!
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Unread 01-18-2009   #8 (permalink)
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I would hope that the shelter would have a policy that the cats are all vet checked and given a clean bill of health before even allowing a cat to be adopted and sent to a new home. Here in my area that is the policy and the cats are over 150.00 to adopt but they are altered (fixed)and have up to date innoculations. Having said that though I would find and go to a vet to make sure everything is okay. Here cats and dogs must have rabbie shots its law.
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Unread 01-18-2009   #9 (permalink)
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Well, the cats are given a clean bill of health before an adoption is approved.

but it also must be considered that there is a lot of traffic through a shelter, of both animals and people and kitty could pick up a germ that doens't show up right away. It can take two weeks or more after an exposure for certain symptoms to show up, and stress can bring out latent illness also.

This is why most shelters will pay for a first sick visit to a vet, within a few weeks after adoption, and also why many vets will give the first check up free to a shelter adopted cat. Vets want to encourage shelter adoptions and know that many shelter kitties end up with some small problem.

Good preventative care can save a lot...a lot of money, and a lot of trouble ...down the road.
Plus the stress of adoptiona dn being beought to a new home can bring on illness too.
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Unread 01-19-2009   #10 (permalink)
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I can attest to this as I just adopted a shelter kitty a couple of weeks ago and she is still recovering from an upper respiratoy infection that they did not know she had when I took her home. Could have been brought on by stress also. She had to stay a week in the hospital which, luckily, was free for me beacuse I had rescued her. She is as sweet as can be though! Good luck!!
 
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