Preventive Care for Cats
Proactively protecting your cat's long-term health is the best way to promote his or her long-term health. It's always preferable to prevent illnesses and diseases from developing in the first place.
However, when health conditions do develop, early detection and treatment are your next best line of defense. Early diagnoses also help as they support vets in identifying easier treatment options early on. In short, the earlier the better when it comes to identifying, diagnosing and treating any medical issue in cats.
Scheduling your cat's routine exam with your vet offers your veterinarian the chance to assess your four-legged friend's overall health, spot early signs of disease, and offer recommendations for preventive care suited to your cat's lifestyle.
Our vets at Angel Animal Hospital understand that some pet parents may be concerned about the cost of preventive care and routine checkups, especially if your feline companion seems to be in excellent health. However, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your kitten or cat's health may save many more costs of more expensive treatments in the future.
Routine Exams for Cats
Bringing your cat to the veterinarian for their routine exam is similar to attending your physical checkup at the doctor. Like people, how often your cat should come in for a physical examination will depend on their general health, lifestyle and age.
Typically, we recommend annual exams for healthy adult cats. That said, kitties with underlying health conditions, kittens and senior cats should visit the vet more frequently for an examination.
Preventive Care for Kittens
For cats less than a year old we suggest monthly exams, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
Throughout their first year, kitten's require multiple rounds of vaccinations to help protect them from common infectious diseases. Kittens should get the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine which helps protect your feline friend from 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your feline friend will be provided with these vaccines over the course of approximately 16 weeks and will go a long way in helping to keep them healthy their whole life.
The exact timing of your kitten's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and the overall health of your furry friend.
Our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 - 6 months in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
Caring for Your Middle-Aged Cat's Health
If you have a healthy adult cat between 1 - 10 years old, we recommend taking them in once a year for an exam. These examinations are yearly physical checkups that are completed when your cat seems to be perfectly healthy.
Throughout your adult cat's routine exam your vet will implement a head-to-tail examination to look for early signs of diseases or other issues, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your veterinarian will also provide your kitty with any required vaccines or booster shots, and have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet spots a developing health issue they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
Geriatric Care for Older Cats
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
Since many cat diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets we recommend bringing your senior companion to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your geriatric cat will include all of the checks and advice listed above, but with a few additional diagnostic tests to obtain extra insights into your furry friend's overall health.
Some diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients include blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.
Geriatric care for cats also includes a more proactive approach to keeping your feline companion comfortable as age-related issues such as joint pain become more common. If you have a senior cat, ask your vet how often you should bring your pet in for a routine exam.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.