Outdoor Cat Care

Outdoor Cats | Feline Leukemia | FIV | Rochester MN

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease in cats is transmitted by mosquitoes, which infect cats with larvae. These larvae can migrate through the lungs, causing asthma-like respiratory disease in cats. Although any cat can become infected, outdoor cats are at greater risk. There is a monthly chewable preventative that helps prevent both feline heartworm disease and hookworm infection. This disease is very hard to test accurately for in cats.

Hunting/Intestinal Parasites

Cats that hunt can become infected with intestinal parasites such as tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms. Routine de-worming in the spring and the fall is recommended. A yearly stool sample check is also recommended to look for these and other parasites. Tapeworm segments are usually the only intestinal parasites visible to the naked eye. They look like flattened rice pieces, and may remain stuck to the cat’s fur, or be dropped around the house.


Fleas can be very difficult to see on cats, because cats are usually such meticulous groomers. Cats that go outside are more at risk for getting fleas. Cats that are solely indoors can still get fleas from other pets that do go outdoors. Tapeworm and flea infections often occur simultaneously. Flea prevention is recommended, but be careful to use the right product. Cats can get very ill if given the flea products made specifically for dogs only, or if given multiple flea products at once.

FeLV (Feline Leukemia)

Outdoor cats should be vaccinated against FeLV, an incurable viral disease similar to HIV/AIDS in people. FeLV suppresses the immune system, which makes the affected cat unable to fight off other infections and can cause cancer. The FeLV virus is spread through blood, saliva, and milk and may be transmitted through bite wounds, nursing or using the same food and water bowls.

If you happen to take in a stray cat or kitten, keep it separate from your other cats until its FeLV/FIV status can be determined by a blood test to protect your other cats.

Please call Quarry Hill Park Animal Hospital with any questions -
Dr. Ann M. Anderson

Quarry Hill Park Animal Hospital
2554 Clare Ln NE
Rochester, MN 55906

Phone: 507-285-1059

Hours of Operation
M W F: 7:30 am - 5:00 pm
Tue: 7:30 am - 5:30 pm
Thu: 7:30 am - 6:30 pm
Sat - Sun: Closed

AAHA Certified