Kittens experience rapid growth and development in their first year, and we typically see them every 3-4 weeks to complete vaccinations. Once they are 4-6 months old, they’ve likely received all the preventive care necessary to thrive, including spay/neuter surgery, microchip, and parasite prevention. At this point, annual cat wellness exams are the norm (unless they need emergency care).
The differences between the first and second year might be subtle, but as cats age, health concerns increase. Some illnesses present obvious clinical signs, others are far more sneaky. This is just part of the reason why annual cat wellness exams are recommended at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital.
What’s Normal, or Not
Cat wellness exams create the perfect opportunity to address any behavioral or nutritional concerns, and assess appearance, weight, dental health, and development. Our notes, observations, and results gathered during a cat’s visit are carefully filed. This becomes the baseline to which we compare future results. If the results at future visits are relatively similar, then a cat gets a clean bill of health. If not, we can move quickly to find out why things have changed.
The Importance of Results
Our in-house laboratory delivers fast and accurate results for complete blood count, complete chemistry and electrolytes, urinalysis, fecal tests, thyroid analysis, and feline AIDS and leukemia tests. Without this view of what’s happening inside a cat’s body systems, we cannot clearly strategize health goals or treat conditions.
Blood work and other diagnostic tools help us detect problems long before a disease becomes untreatable, or symptoms impede on quality of life.
Distinct Life Stages
There are four main life stages for cats. Kitten (up to 12 months), young adult (up to age 6), mature adult (up to 10 years old), and senior (10 years and above).
Depending on a cat’s medical history and lifestyle, we recommend annual cat wellness exams. Once they reach the age of 7 and above (give or take), we like to see them twice a year. Why? Because age-related illness, like periodontal disease, kidney disease, and hyperthyroidism are exceedingly more common in older felines.
Let’s Talk Teeth
Another reason we promote yearly or bi-annual cat wellness exams is because the chance to assess the condition of the teeth and gums can lead to cleanings and other preventive services. Warding off the development of gum disease helps prevent oral infection, pain, and tooth loss. Oral bacteria can also cause systemic illness in the heart, kidneys, and liver.
Routine dental cleanings performed under anesthesia can save a cat a great deal of suffering in the long run, and are a great investment of your time and resources. Please give us a call to determine if your cat is a good candidate for dental cleaning.
Supporting Cat Wellness
Many cat owners make the mistake of allowing too much time to pass between wellness visits. Left without medical intervention, however, cats may suffer from illness or injury that requires emergency care. Cat wellness exams provide peace of mind and inform you of any potential issues in the short and long term.