Although cats should be housed completely separately for the duration of their stay in the boarding facility, and cleaning routines by staff should be fastidious, there is still an element of health risk involved in boarding a feline that is unwell. For this reason, you will want to ensure that your kitty is in good health before she goes into the facility.
Making sure your cat is healthy is important not only for your own feline, but also for any others who are staying in the facility at the same time that could become infected by a cat carrying infectious diseases. If a sick cat then leaves the cattery and goes home and then out into her neighborhood, she could potentially then spread the illness to local felines and the number of animals affected could grow outwards from there.
It is also important to recognize that some contagious diseases carried by animals, including cats, are zoonotic in nature. This means that they can be spread from animals to humans, potentially putting the health and even life of the people that work at the shelter, and those that cats come into contact with after their stay, at risk.
One of the best ways to protect all cats before they go into boarding is to make sure that they undergo wellness examinations with their veterinarian.
What are wellness exams?
As their name suggests, wellness examinations are tests that are used to assess the current health and ‘wellness’ of your pet. These are performed by veterinarians, and typically carried out annually as part of her regular preventative care program. However, many boarding facilities will also insist on up-to-date wellness examinations being done before accepting your pet to stay.
Wellness exams usually comprise of a nose to tail physical examination, which will enable your vet to check for bodily abnormalities such as lumps or bumps, examine the condition of her coat and check her weight. She will then have a series of medical tests. These tests can vary between veterinarians but normally include the following:
Blood tests. These include a full blood count to check if your cat’s body is already producing white blood cells to counteract infection, as well as checking the level of red blood cells and platelets. Your cat will also be given blood chemistry profiling which will enable your vet to check if her organs and body systems are functioning as they should.
Urine testing. Also known as urinalysis, this checks your cat’s pee for liver/kidney problems and sugar levels.
Fecal testing. Your cat’s poop can tell your vet a great deal about her health, including whether or not she has a parasite infestation.
Many veterinarians also include dental checks as part of their feline wellness program, since her dental health will have a direct impact of her overall health and wellbeing.
If your boarding clinic insists that your cat has an up to date wellness examination ahead of her stay, we recommend that you schedule this as soon as you can. That way, if a problem where to arise you will still have time to seek treatment for her and see that she is getting better before you are forced to leave her. This will help reassure you that she is in safe hands after you go away. For more information, please contact our office in Hoover, Alabama.