Factors to Consider
Hybrid cats require the same vet care as domestic cats. Only a few minor differences should be taken into account.
When vetting a hybrid feline, the most important difference is their reaction to anesthesia. Hybrids are more susceptible to some injectable forms of anesthesia than a domestic cat. When putting a hybrid under for surgeries, Select Exotics recommends the use of isoflurane gas as opposed to an injectable anesthetic. Some vets will give a combination, a very small amount of injectable anesthetic to relax the kitten in preparation for gas anesthesia.
Many people ask our opinion on declawing. If you choose to declaw, we suggest you research to select a vet with a good reputation for declawing. There are three different forms of declawing:
- One is a tendonectomy in which tendons are severed to prevent a cat from extending and retracting its claws. The danger in this type of declawing is the possibility for the claws to get caught if not kept trimmed.
- The second form, the least invasive, and least painful for the cat is to remove just the claws. In this case, sometimes a claw or two may grow back.
- The third form of declawing, most widely used by vets, is removal of the toe at the first joint. Some cats feet may look deformed and/or suffer pain for the rest of their lives when landing from a high jump. This is why finding a good vet is highly recommended. If you lack experience with declawing, do your research. Inquire to find a vet who has had good reviews in respect to his or her previous declawing surgeries.
Select Exotics recommends spaying/neutering of kittens at five to six months of age. If your kitten is a pet only, it’s your responsibility to have your pet spayed or neutered. Although males are sterile until the later generations, they may tend to spray if not neutered.
Most vets will recommend a spay/neuter and declaw at the same time, if that is your choice. This way the kitten undergoes anesthesia once. If these procedures are done before five to six months of age, most vets will wait until the kitten is at least four pounds before placing the kitten under anesthesia.
At Select Exotics we use Pfizer Fel-O-Cell IV for our kittens, a four-way vaccination providing protection against Panleukopenia (distemper), Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus and Chlamidia. The manufacturer recommends boostering annually. However, many individuals are choosing to booster every other year or every third year, depending on their situation.
Research indicates a higher chance of incurring cancer at vaccine injection sites. Since studies show immunity gained from vaccinations last several years and boostering annually is not necessary, some individuals whose cats are primarily indoor cats, opt to lower their cancer odds by less frequent boostering. This is a choice to be made by individuals with advice from their veterinarians.
Select Exotics does not vaccinate kittens for Feline Leukemia since kittens seem to experience strong side effects from the FeLeuk vaccine. We do, however, vaccinate our adult cats for Feline Leukemia and have never experienced a negative reaction to the vaccine in the adults. We also randomly test a few of our adult cats yearly for Feline Leukemia. If you take your kitten outside often, we recommend vaccinating for the disease after your kitten is four months old and can handle the vaccine. However, this vaccine is likely not necessary for an indoor cat or one only taken outside on a harness since this disease is transmitted by direct contact with the feces or saliva of an infected cat.