For anyone who has had or currently has cats, you know that they are special creatures. They are clever, independent, can be amazingly sweet, and have the athletic prowess of Olympic athletes. It's no surprise that we love our cats and want to keep them well. But cats are masters at hiding signs of illness, pain, and discomfort from us. That's why the Whole Pet Vet is focusing on your unique approach to cat health and wellness.
In the wild, cats who show weakness are a target for predators. A survival instinct from long ago causes our cats to disguise any sign of illness or discomfort as a way to protect themselves. This means that you may not notice anything is wrong until disease is well advanced.
Here’s why a regular program of cat health and wellness care is so important. Simply put, wellness care means regularly scheduled and timely veterinary visits for seemingly healthy and well cats.
Cat Health and Wellness
How often should we see your cat for wellness care? That depends on your cat’s age, lifestyle, and overall general health. Pets age faster than people, and kittens mature very quickly until about 2 years of age. After that, the rate of aging slows to about 4 cat years per calendar year.
Most adult cats should be seen at least once per year, and twice per year as they get into their senior years (at about 7 years of age). However, we can tailor a specific schedule to your cat’s individual wellness care needs.
In an effort to accommodate our more anxious feline friends The Whole Pet Vet is excited to announce our new Cat Only Appointment Hours. These will occur from 9am to 12pm on the first Wednesday of every month, starting August 1st. If you think your cat could benefit from a feline only atmosphere contact us for more details.
The Right Stuff
What are the guidelines for cat health and wellness? The American Animal Hospital Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association have put together health guidelines for preventive care in cats. These are the steps we’ll follow in your cat’s health and wellness exam.
History – your detailed account of your cat’s behavior at home can help us focus on where to look for problems and help us detect disease early.
Physical exam – the core of cat health and wellness is the comprehensive physical exam. This nose to tail examination will tell us an amazing amount about your cat’s overall health. We’ll observe, auscult your cat’s heart and lungs, and palpate their abdomen to check for any enlarged organs or abnormalities.
Diagnostic testing – because your cat can’t tell us if something’s wrong, testing of the blood and urine can give us a lot of detail about internal organ function. Tests can alert us to early warning signs of kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease, infections, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, and cancer to name a few.
Parasite screening and prevention – parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms, fleas and heartworms can live in your cat’s body as well as infest their skin, coat, and ears. We’ll screen for common parasites and make sure your cat is protected from them with a monthly preventive that meets your cat’s health needs and lifestyle.
Nutrition and weight management – studies show that lean cats live longer. We can assess your cat’s body condition and give recommendations on quality nutrition and exercise to keep your cat feeling their best.
Vaccinations – vaccines can be an effective tool in preventing infectious diseases. At the Whole Pet Vet, we base our vaccine recommendations on your cat’s individual needs.
Dental care – by the time they are 4 years of age, 85% of cats have some form of dental disease. Dental disease is not only painful for your cat, it can affect their liver, kidneys and heart, shortening their life. Oral health and a professional dental cleaning are a critical component of cat health and wellness.
Behavior and training – we’ll discuss any concerns you have about your cat’s behavior and recommend an appropriate response. Many cat behavior problems are actually caused by an underlying medical problem, making regular wellness visits even more important.
Since our cats can’t talk, it’s up to us to make sure they are healthy and well. Call us today or request an appointment online to schedule your cat’s health and wellness exam and let us help them live a longer and happier life with you.
Author: Your Whole Pet Vet Team