Keeping Your Cat Healthy at All Life stages


IMG_0377_2.jpgDid you know that the first year of your cat's life is equivalent to 21 years in a human life, and that each subsequent cat year is equal to 7 human years? Your veterinarian can help you give your cat every chance to have a long, happy life with you. Here are some basic guidelines and recommendations:

KITTENS

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Your new kitten will need a series of vaccinations to build immunity to some serious and sometimes fatal diseases, and a series of physical examinations to facilitate your kitten's development into a healthy adult. Each of these visits will include invaluable information as our veterinarians share their knowledge and expertise. Appointments may vary according to age and individual requirements, but here is a sample of what you can expect from your initial kitten visits to our hospital as your kitten matures:

1. First visit at approximately 6-8 weeks of age:

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  • physical examination
  • viral blood testing - Feline leukemia/Feline Immunodeficiency virus
  • first FVRCP vaccine inoculation
  • fecal examination
  • first deworming
  • lifestyle questionnaire
  • feeding guidelines
  • socialization techniques
  • grooming instructions
  • toy-exercise guidelines

2. Second visit (1 month later) at approximately 12 weeks of age: 

  • physical examination
  • second FVRCP vaccine
  • second deworming
  • behavior questions
  • poisonous plant review

3. Third visit (1 month later) at approximately 16 weeks of age:

  • physical examination
  • Final FVRCP vaccine in kitten series
  • Rabies vaccine
  • nail care-scratching post options
  • Heartworm discussion regarding transmission, prevention options-
  • (start Revolution preventative)

4. Fourth visit at approximately 18-20 weeks of age:

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  • physical examination
  • Feline leukemia vaccination 1 of 2 in series

5. Fifth visit at approximately 20-22 weeks of age:

  • physical examination
  • Feline leukemia vaccination 2 of 2 in series

6. Sixth visit at approximately 6 months of age:

  • physical examination
  • pre-op blood testing
  • pre-op EKG
  • Female cats - ovariohysterectomy (spay)
  • Male cats - castration (neuter)
  • recommend microchip implantation

ADULT CATS

You and your kitten have graduated. As the owner of an adult cat, maintaining ajasper_antics__2_.jpg healthy lifestyle is as important as a good start in life. Remember that if you bring your cat for a physical examination every 6 months, it is equivalent to you visiting the doctor every 3 ½ years! During this time in your cat's life, our recommendations follow those of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). Early detection of disease always gives your cat the best chance for successful treatment, and the following recommendations may also prevent the pain and suffering of preventable disease while you enjoy a happy, healthy life with your pet:

  • IMG_0336_3.jpgphysical examination every 6 months
  • FVRCP vaccine every 3 years
  • Rabies vaccine every year
  • Leukemia vaccine
  • Heartworm blood testing yearly
  • fecal sample for laboratory evaluation every 6 months
  • track body weight changes
  • track body condition score
  • adjust dietary recommendations
  • discuss environmental enrichment techniques
  • behavior evaluation
  • blood pressure measurements

SENIOR CITIZENS: 7+ years of age

Just like people, aging cats have different requirements. It is important to recognize when your cat's behavior is abnormal, and physical examinations become even more vital to detect hidden disease. We must remember that cats can't tell you what hurts. Clinical screening of healthy pets establishes a baseline to compare in the future and helps to detect early onset of illness at a time when preventative care and therapy can have the most benefit. To provide your cat with the quality of life without pain we all hope for, you can help your senior friend with the following recommendations in addition to those listed above for adult cats:

  • blood work (every 6-12 months) monitoring thyroid function, kidney
  • and liver function, blood sugar level, pancreas, electrolyte review, and
  • a complete blood count
  • retinal eye examinations
  • urinalysis examination
  • orthopedic history
  • exam of joints and spine
  • recommendations for supplements
  • pain medication when indicated
  • environmental modification exam
  • Chest or Abdominal x-rays when indicated
  • Echocardiogram (ultrasound of heart)
  • Abdominal ultrasound when indicated
  • EKG screen