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Sam (left) and Trixie

At People for Cats we stress the importance of an annual wellness exam for all cats. Once a year may seem unnecessarily frequent, but an adult cat ages about four years for every one of ours. Imagine waiting four years between your doctor and dentist appointments, and a year doesn’t seem nearly so often. Senior cats and those with chronic issues may need to go in more frequently. While the vet’s office may not be your cat’s favorite place, an exam may spot problems before they become serious.

The physical exam will include measuring your cat’s weight and temperature. The vet will look in its mouth and ears, check the condition of its skin, fur and paws, listen to its heart and feel for any internal abnormalities. If your cat is significantly heavier or lighter than at the last examination, the vet may suggest a change of diet or further testing. If significant tartar has built up on your cat’s teeth, it may be time for a dental cleaning.

The final part of the vet visit is vaccinations and other testing. Rabies vaccine is required by law in Massachusetts and must be administered by the time the kitten is 6 months old. The second shot must be given within one year of the initial shot. Rabies boosters are approved for a period of one to three years depending on the dose. The feline distemper vaccine (which protects against calicivirus and rhinotracheitis, two upper respiratory viruses, as well as distemper) is recommended for all cats. If your cat is allowed outdoors (or has contact with cats who are), the feline leukemia vaccine is also recommended. Your vet may suggest other vaccines, depending on your cat’s situation. Senior cats or cats with changes in their physical exam may require blood tests, x-rays or referrals to a specialist.

To make the vet visit successful for everyone, especially your kitty, arrive prepared with a list of any changes in behavior, diet or litter box deposits. Working together with your vet can ensure a healthy, happy cat!

Our cat of the week is a bonded pair of domestic shorthair siblings named Trixie and Sam. Trixie is a beautiful tortoiseshell lady with a marbled black-and-orange fur coat, while Sam is a handsome orange-and-white gentleman. These two siblings are 10 years young and ever-so-sweet and gentle. They are both shy kitties, but spend a bit of time with them and you realize they adore the interaction. Trixie and Sam came to PFC when their previous owner became too ill to continue to care for them. They have always lived together and are bonded, so we are seeking to adopt them out together.

On the black cat front we have several cuties waiting to make your acquaintance. Our two black girls are petite, young and opposite in temperament. Raven is a 1½-year-old spicy little girl who has a bit of “catitude,” so an owner with cat experience might be best for her. In contrast, Theresa May is a 2-year-old affectionate and playful stunner who adores interaction with humans and attention. Both of these girls would be best as only cats. Our other black cat is handsome and loving Samson. This 7- to 8-year-old fellow is a total love bug and a walking purr machine. He is a special needs cat who had chronically loose stools, but with special food and vet care he is doing much better now. Samson is available for either adoption or a long-term local foster situation.

We also have two dapper tuxedo boys that look ever-so-debonair in their black-and-white formal attire. Mike is a lively 2-year-old talkative boy who is very affectionate and playful. He aspires to be the ultimate lap cat in his quiet time and purrs up a storm. Mike appears to prefer to be an only kitty. Our other tuxedo cat is a sweet, laid-back fellow named Mittens. He has an adorably rakish white mustache that is quite in contrast with his otherwise debonair appearance. This 7½-year-old is a friendly boy who is playful and wants to chill with whoever will give him attention.

Hunter, our other orange tabby male, is a total love bug. This 8½-year-old sweetheart adores all the attention we shower on him and purrs his heart out to show how much he appreciates it. Hunter has the tendency to form crystals in his urine, so he needs to be on a prescription diet. Our two new cats are a father and daughter named Mickey and Cookie. Mickey is an 8-year-old handsome gray fellow with shiny, silvery fur and golden eyes. He is quite an affectionate boy who wants contact and attention. In contrast, Cookie is a 7-year-old, mostly white lady who is still painfully shy. If you spend time getting to know her, you realize she is a sweet and gentle girl. Mickey and Cookie are compatible but not particularly bonded, so they can be adopted separately.

We have admitted several new cats and will write about them as soon as they have had their vet visits. In the meantime, why not come in during adoption hours to see if your new BBF kitty is here waiting to make your acquaintance?

PFC is still accepting donations of flea market items at the shelter. The last day for leaving items is Monday, July 8. Please make sure items are clean. We are not accepting clothing, used litter boxes or Christmas items. Please call Anne at 617-645-1430 if you have questions.

The PFC shelter is at 44 Beagle Lane, Teaticket. Our mailing address is PO Box 422, West Falmouth, MA 02574.

The shelter is open for adoptions and visitors Wednesday from 4 to 6 PM, and Saturday from 10 AM to 1 PM. If you need to get in touch with us when we are closed, call our hotline at 508-540-5654. We have added a new option to our hotline mailbox to make surrendering a cat or kitten more efficient. Press #0 if you have cat-related issues, questions, are interested in volunteering or for additional information about People for Cats. Press #2 if you need financial assistance for veterinary care or spay/neuter assistance. Press #3 if you have a cat or kitten to surrender and be sure to leave your name, telephone number and a brief description of the cat. All calls are returned as quickly as possible.

Check us out on at www.peopleforcats.org, look for our available cats on Petfinder, and like us on our Facebook page.

All for the love of cats…

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