For those of you with Indoor Cats
Now that the warm weather has come to the northern hemisphere, it is important for those indoor cat people to understand a few truisms that many would like to deny:
a) Mosquito-borne Parasites, Diseases & Viruses: parasites such as heartworm, viruses such as West Nile and diseases such as Horse Encephalitis all affect cats, and may be transmitted by bite. If a cat is on the 20th floor of a NY apartment, or the ground floor of a house, it may be exposed. Use a preventive at any time mosquitoes are prevalent.
b) Parasites 2: Fleas, Ticks, Mites, Worms: Immature fleas can go through the finest of window-screens, and often do. Fleas may be on the pet in the next apartment, on mice, rats, squirrels in the yard, and on your ankles from walking the streets. There are four different ticks carrying diseases dangerous to cats (and people). Immature specimens may be smaller than a grain of salt, and attach to you then to your cat, and also get through some window screens. They may remain dormant for almost 2 years as well. Mites may be carried by birds as well as other sources, as above. Ear-mites are most often transmitted from mother cats to kittens, and can also remain dormant for long periods. Worms and their eggs may be in droppings, and transmitted to your pet via your feet. All of the above parasites are active at any time the temperatures exceed 45F. Use a preventive all year round to be safe.
c) Rabies: There is a school-of-thought that "My cat does not go out - I do not need rabies vaccination". In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, if any pet-animal that could carry rabies bites a human being under any circumstances, *including abuse*, and cannot be shown to be immunized against rabies, that animal may be destroyed and its brain tested for rabies. Many other states have similar laws. NOTE: This would also apply should your dog bite a home-intruder while defending its family. Draw your own conclusions.
d) Other immunizations: Bluntly, people and other pets are vectors for a number of feline disease such that common sense (which isn't) suggests that pretty much every cat should be immunized against common diseases by a responsible owner.
Do take care of your cats and protect them.