Two friendly cats on spring

Feline Care

Whether your cat is a youngster, a senior citizen, or any age in between, we’re
committed to helping you through every phase of their life! Pet ownership is
rewarding, fun, but certainly can provoke some questions! Please find the helpful
information below to ensure you & your pet live a happy & healthy life together! As
always, please call us at 715-344-6311 for any assistance or questions you
may have.

Feline Vaccines

Choosing the right vaccine program for your cat can be a difficult and sometimes confusing subject. Vaccine recommendations and frequency of vaccination vary depending on the lifestyle of the cat being vaccinated. Considerations may include:

  • Indoor cats vs. outdoor cats
  • Cats that travel
  • Cats that stay at kennels
  • Cats with underlying disease conditions

These factors may change over time, so we will be evaluating your pet’s risk of
disease and making recommendations generally at the time of your cat’s annual or
bi-annual exam. Please be sure to tell your veterinarian of changes in your cat’s
medical history, as well as any medications your cat may be receiving.

Vaccines are broken down into two categories, Core and Non-Core vaccines. Core
vaccines are those we recommend for all cats and kittens; the diseases involved in
core vaccines have a high risk of causing illness and even death.

Core Vaccines


Rabies is a deadly disease for any cat exposed and is a major public health concern.
Because of the potential for human exposure, Rabies vaccination is recommended
for all cats and is required by law in most parts of the country. Although many
people believe indoor-only dogs and cats are not exposed to the risk of rabies, in
Portage County alone, multiple indoor-only pets have been exposed by bats
entering the home.

Panleukopenia, known as Feline Distemper, is a highly contagious and deadly viral
disease that can cause fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and even sudden
death. Feline Panleukopenia virus is spread in the feces of infected cats, can
survive in extreme temperatures for months, and is resistant to most available
disinfectants. Immunity induced by Feline Panleukopenia vaccines is excellent, and
most vaccinated cats are completely protected from infection and disease.
Vaccination is recommended for all cats.

Commonly known as Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease, most cats are exposed at one time or another in their lifetime. Symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever

Other conditions such as lameness, gum disease as well as chronic eye problems
have been linked to these viruses as well.

Our pets contract these viruses through contact with infected individuals or from
contact with secretions (mucous, saliva) from an infected cat. Although usually not
serious in adult cats, these diseases can be severe and even deadly in kittens.
Protection induced by vaccination minimizes the severity of the disease and is
recommended for all cats.

Feline Leukemia Virus is the leading viral killer in cats. Commonly compared to the
human aids virus, Feline Leukemia suppresses the immune system and most
infected cats live less than three years. Feline Leukemia is spread through direct
(bite wounds or breeding) or prolonged (sharing food and water dishes, community
grooming) contact with infected individuals. Because it is often carried silently, it is
recommended that ALL cats be tested for this virus, initially and re-tested in 60

This vaccine series is recommended for ALL KITTENS with an update (booster)
one year later. Feline Leukemia vaccination should be repeated every three years
for indoor/outdoor cats, some multiple-cat households, and cats living in households
with feline leukemia-positive cats. Of course, keeping your cat indoors and away
from infected cats remains the best way to protect your cat.

This important vaccine is recommended for all kittens, even those with low risk of exposure, because there is a chance that their lifestyle will change at least once during their lifetime.
”Kittenhood” vaccinations will greatly decrease the chances of infection later in life.

Non-Core Vaccines

Non-Core vaccines are optional vaccinations such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
(FIV), Chlamydophila Fells, or Feline Bordetella that should be discussed with a

Helpful Tips!

When to Spay or Neuter your Pet

What Are The Medical And Physical Benefits?

Spaying or neutering increases your pet’s chances for a longer and healthier life. In the female, a “spay” is actually a ovariohysterectomy. By surgically removing the ovaries and uterus, the female pet:

  • Cannot become pregnant, thus avoiding accidental or unwanted litters.
  • Will not continue her unpleasant estrus (heat) cycle(s).
  • Will not develop uterine infections and diseases including pyometra (a life threatening bacterial uterine infection).
  • Will eliminate the risk of ovarian and uterine cancer and greatly reduce the risk of mammary cancer. (Mammary cancer is the leading cause of death in intact female dogs).

In the male, neutering procedure is a castration. Both testicles are surgically removed. Some of the medical and behavioral benefits of a neutered male include:

  • Reducing the incidence of prostate disorders including cancer, prostatitis (inflammation) or prostatic hypertrophy (enlargement).
  • Reducing the likelihood of behaviors such as roaming the neighborhood, resource guarding or getting into fights.
  • Neutered male cats are less likely to spray odorous urine and mark territory.

What About The Pet Overpopulation Problem?

Every pet owner is responsible for minimizing the tremendous pet overpopulation
problem. Every year, millions of unwanted dogs and cats are destroyed across the
nation; please do your part by spaying or neutering your pet.

At What Age Should My Pet Be Spayed Or Neutered?

This question should be discussed with your veterinarian as every pet has specific
needs but there are general guidelines.

For dogs we are recommended waiting until they are closer to 1 year of age so that
they have full growth potential and benefits from their hormones unless there are
unwanted behaviors. For female dogs having them spayed before their 2nd heat
cycle SIGNIFICANTLY decreases their risk for mammary cancer later in life.

Can My Older Pet Be Spayed Or Neutered?

Age does not usually add risk to the procedures. However, our Doctors recommend
pre-surgical blood testing to evaluate kidney, liver and heart function as a
precautionary measure.

What About My Pet’s Safety During Surgery?

If your pet needs surgery at Oakview Veterinary Medical Center, you can rest
assured that they will have all of the benefits that modern veterinary medicine can
provide. Your pet’s temperature, pulse, respiration, anesthetic flows and other vital
functions are continually monitored throughout the procedure until recovery, and
most importantly they have dedicated veterinary technician/assistant dedicated to
their care and safety. There is always some risk when undergoing anesthesia and
safety is our primary concern, so our surgical suite and laboratory are equipped
with several diagnostic instruments to assist us in monitoring your pet’s condition at
all times.

All patients are required to have a pre-anesthetic blood panel to help assess their
anesthetic risk. It is important to know if they have any underlying health
conditions prior to anesthesia. The laboratory panels will be tailored for each
patient depending on life stage and the procedure they are having performed.

Will My Pet Become Lazy And Overweight?

Cats and dogs become overweight and un-ambitious because of improper diet,
exercise and training. Spaying and neutering may affect your pet’s metabolism;
however supervising the amount of calories being fed will control weight gain.
Make sure that they have transitioned off the puppy/kitten diets to adult foods once
they are spayed/neutered.

Shouldn’t A Female Have A Litter First?

No. There aren’t any medical advantages in allowing your pet to have a litter of
puppies or kittens. Litters of puppies and kittens can be very time consuming and
costly as well.

Will A Spayed Female Dog Become A Poor Hunter, Mean Or Snappy?

Spaying a female will not change her temperament, nor does it affect hunting or
obedience training ability. This procedure will not alter a dog’s inborn or acquired
instincts or traits. In fact, without the distraction of a sex drive, a spayed female
may concentrate harder.

For More Detailed Information Please Visit:

Spaying Your Female Dog

Spaying Your Female Cat

What Is A Pyometra In A Female Dog Or Cat?

Neutering Your Male Dog

Neutering Your Male Cat

If you have any questions about spaying, neutering or your pet’s health care, please contact our hospital.

For many pet owners, it is difficult to decide when an emergency call is needed.

The following is meant to be only a guideline as to when emergency calls are necessary

Digestive System

  • Vomiting or diarrhea which is continuous, bloody, or accompanied by other signs of illness. (For mild vomiting and/or diarrhea, the first step is to remove food and offer small amounts of water every hour. If the vomiting and/or diarrhea respond to this treatment, contact our hospital the next day for further instructions. If the vomiting and/or diarrhea are severe, call an emergency facility.
  • Sever pain or distention of the abdomen (stomach area).
  • Loss of appetite (not eating for 24 hours).
  • Swallowing a foreign object.

Urinary System

  • Straining or frequent, non-productive attempts at urination can be a serious emergency.
  • Blood in the urine.
  • Excessive water consumption.

Respiratory System

  • Difficult or labored breathing, choking or wheezing.
  • Continual coughing, coughing up blood, or coughing associated with other signs of illness such as fever, lethargy or difficulty breathing.
  • Nasal discharge.

Nervous System

  • Sudden or periodic weakness or lethargy.
  • Seizures, Coma, Paralysis, or a Lack of balance.
  • Unusually aggressive behavior.

Head Region: (Any condition in which considerable pain is involved).

  • ANY injury or condition which involves an eye.
  • Broken teeth.
  • Difficulty swallowing, uncontrolled salivation or drooling.
  • Puss, thick crusts or discharge around the eyes or nose.
  • Ear infections, head tilt, or pawing or scratching at the ears.

Physical And Skin

  • Loss of use of any limb / lameness, rapid swelling.
  • Bone fractures.
  • Uncontrolled bleeding from an injury.
  • Animal bites from other pets or wild animals.
  • Elevated body temperature or sudden drop in temperature, shivering.
  • Burns of the skin.

Reproductive System / Whelping/Queening


  • The gestation period for DOGS is 63 days, for CATS 61-63 days. Both are counted from the first breeding.
  • We recommend taking radiographs at 45 days to estimate the number of puppies or kittens to expect.
  • A DOGS temperature should be taken daily starting on day 60. When the temperature drops below 99 degrees, labor should start within 12 hours. Taking the temperature does not apply to CATS.
  • Once labor starts, puppies and kittens will be delivered 1-2 hours apart.


  • Signs of labor of 3-4 hours with no puppies or kittens.
  • Hard labor for 1 hour with no puppies or kittens.
  • More than 2 hours between puppies or kittens.

It is best to talk with our Doctors prior to breeding or early in gestation for more explicit instructions.

The guidelines are for clients with after normal business hour dilemmas. The best chance for treatment is in the first hours after an illness for injury is discovered. Please call our hospital anytime if you have any questions or are concerned with your pet’s health.

After Normal Business Hours Or On Weekends And Holidays, Please Contact:

Blue Pearl Fox Valley – Appleton

Blue Pearl Fox Valley – Glendale

UW Veterinary Care

Madison Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Care

VCA Veterinary Emergency Service & Veterinary Specialty Center

PAW Health Network

Here are a few suggestions to keep your cat or kitten from “thinking outside the box”!

Location, location, location

Be sure to pick a spot that affords your cat some privacy yet is also conveniently
located. Remember that a kitten or older cat may not be able to get down a long
flight of stairs in time to get to the litter box. If the box is located where they
seldom frequent, they may not even remember where it is at first. And look out for
startling sounds or noises close by such as a washer, dryer or furnace.

Pick of the litter

Research has shown that most cats prefer fine-grained litters, presumably because
they have a softer feel. However, there are high-quality, dust-free, clay litters that
many cats also like. Keep in mind that many cats object to the odor of scented or
deodorant litters. Odor shouldn’t really be a problem if you keep the box clean!

What’s the magic number?

You should have at least as many litter boxes as you have cats PLUS ONE! For
example, if you have 3 cats, you should have 3 litterboxes + one = 4 boxes total.
Two litterboxes right next to each other count as one so be sure to space them out.
It is also recommended that you have at least one box on each level of the house.

An undercover operation?

Some people prefer to provide their cats with a covered litter box, but doing so may
introduce some problems. Covered boxes may not get cleaned as often, trap odors,
limit space inside and make it easy for a cat to be “ambushed” by another cat, dog
or child. Be very observant if using a covered box to be sure your cat is using it.

Keep it clean

For most cats, feces will need to be scooped daily. How often you replace the litter
depends on the number of cats you have, the number of litter boxes and the type of
litter you use.

Liner notes

Some cats don’t mind having a plastic liner in the litter box while others do. If you
do use a liner, make sure it’s anchored in place, so it can’t easily catch your cat’s
claws or be pulled out of place.

Depth of litter

Some people think that the more litter they put in the box, the better, but that is a
mistake. Most cats won’t use litter that’s more than about two inches deep. In fact,
some long-haired cats actually prefer less litter and a smooth, slick surface, such as
the bottom of the litter box!

“Litter Training” cats

Generally, there is no such thing a “litter-training” a cat like you “house-train” a
dog. The only thing you need to do is provide an acceptable, accessible litter box.
There is no need to take your cat to the litter box and move their paws in the litter;
in fact, this may create a negative experience and is not recommended.

If problems develop

If your cat begins to eliminate in areas other than the litter box, your first call
should be to your veterinarian. Many medical conditions may cause a change in a
cat’s litter habits. If no medical problem is found, your veterinarian can discuss
behavior modification techniques with you or recommend a behaviorist.

Traveling with pets is not difficult, good planning is the key. The following are some suggestions for a safe and comfortable journey for traveling pets.

Before You Leave

  • Be sure that your pet is a good traveler by taking them on frequent short trips prior to the actual trip you want to take.
  • You may discover a boarding facility will work best for your pet.
  • We do NOT recommend traveling with pets who are sick or ailing, have serious medical conditions, recovering from a recent illness, extremely shy, nervous or aggressive, females in heat, or puppies and kittens under 10 weeks of age.
  • Call our hospital 60 days in advance for the state’s requirements that you are traveling to. If your pet is traveling by air and/or internationally, please contact that airline and/or country at least 60 days in advance for their requirements.
  • Have your pet examined by one of our Doctors to ensure their health by checking for medical problems. It is much easier to do before you leave than on emergency in a strange town. Obtain a HEALTH CERTIFICATE from our hospital if needed.
  • Update your pet’s vaccines. Cats should be current on their rabies and distemper combination vaccinations. Dogs should be current on rabies, distemper/parvovirus combination, and Bordetella vaccindations. In addition, discuss with your veterinarian if your pet should have additional “non-core” vaccines to help keep them healthy and safe. We also recommend updating your dog’s heartworm test especially if you are traveling south for the winter. A fecal sample should be tested once yearly at minimum to ensure your pet is not carrying any intestinal parasites as well.
  • Please consider permanent pet identification with a microchip for your traveling companion and ensuring the information linked to the microchip is current and up to date (name, address, phone number, etc)
  • Make advance reservations at hotels, campgrounds and state parks who welcome pets.

Checklist – Bring Along:

  • Current photo of your pet, health records and certificates, rabies certificate and a current license.
  • Collar with ID and rabies tags, and lease (your pet should wear a collar (not a chain) at all times when traveling)
  • Phone number (usually a cell phone number) where you can be reached.
  • Water bowl and feeding dish
  • Fresh water and enough food for the duration of the trip, especially prescription diets
  • Fill and bring any medications including heartworm and flea prevention
  • Bedding, grooming aids and familiar toys
  • Scooper and plastic bags for dogs, litter pan and disposable litter for cats, roll of paper towels
  • Carrier for cats, crate for dogs

On The Road

  • Wait at least one hour after your cat or dog’s last full meal before traveling.
  • We recommend crating dogs and keeping cats in their well ventilated carrier or crate at all times in the car.
  • Make several elimination, water and exercise stops for dogs, always keep them leashed when walking in designated areas.
  • If you’re traveling for long periods of time (all day), stop to offer “snacks” and water. Provide food and water after arriving at your destination.
  • NEVER leave a pet confined to a car, as automobiles heat up every quickly in the sun creating a very dangerous situation.
  • We also recommend crating your pet at all times in hotels rooms to avoid escape or getting into “trouble”, but do not leave your dog alone in a hotel room as they may howl or bark.

We hope that these tips will make your trip safe and enjoyable for both you and your companion!

Please check out as another resource for excellent pet travel information.

If you have any questions regarding traveling or your pet’s health care, please ask our staff.

Here are some suggestions to help you puppy-proof or kitten-proof your home

  • Don’t leave cigarette butts in ash trays where the puppy or kitten can get to them. If eaten, cigarette butts can lead to nicotine poisoning.
  • Don’t leave gum where pets can ingest it. The sweetening agent in sugar-free gum is very dangerous to pets if eaten.
  • Secure electrical cords to baseboards or make them inaccessible. If your puppy or kitten chews on them, it can suffer electric shock burns and may even die.
  • Keep Holiday decorations out of the pet’s reach. Crushed glass balls can result in nasty cuts and decorative icicles can act as linear foreign bodies if ingested.
  • Never burn decorative candles where they’re accessible to pets. The flame may attract them resulting in burns or even a house fire.
  • Keep medication bottles away from pets. Childproof containers are not always animal proof!
  • Keep the toilet lids down. Chemicals may be dangerous and lids can fall on small pets causing injury or even death.
  • Keep cellar doors and upper story windows closed. A curious pet is as vulnerable as a young child.
  • Dispose of bones in a pet proof manner. All pets like the taste of bones and will try to get into the trash to get them. Bones can be life threatening.
  • Don’t leave pins and needles where pets can get to them. Pets (especially cats) will often play with and swallow these.
  • Be certain that anti-freeze is out of reach and any drips are cleaned up completely. all pets are attracted to its scent and taste and it is HIGHLY toxic!
  • Use pesticides and rodent poisons with caution. Hanging strips, fly paper and other exposed toxins must be kept out of reach.
  • Be careful with flea and tick products. Be sure that you are using a veterinary recommended product such as Frontline Plus. Some over the counter preparations may be highly toxic, especially to cats and children.
  • Be careful with houseplants. Toxicities may be mild or life threatening. Lillies, especially, can be fatal to cats.
  • Don’t use human medications on pets without checking with your veterinarian. Many human products, such as Tylenol and Aleve are highly toxic or even fatal to pets.

Indoor Cat Resources

Indoor Cat Initiative

We understand that a pet is part of the family. Our goal is to provide each one with
a long, healthy, and happy life. The day your pet enters our hospital it becomes part
of our family too. From new puppy and kittens to graying seniors, we are there
every step of the way. Pet ownership can host an array of surprises, that’s why we
recommend Pet Insurance to all of our clients. Check out Pawlicy to find the best pet insurance for your family!

For more information on keeping the pets in your life the happiest, we recommend
checking out the CDC’s healthy pets page here:

Feline Care in Plover, WI

To schedule your pet’s appointment, please give us a call at 715-344-6311