As a member of the family, your cat deserves the very best possible care. One of the best ways to ensure your cat stays healthy is by making sure they have an annual preventive care checkup, or more frequently for senior cats and those with chronic conditions.
If you are looking for a veterinarian, visit our Veterinary Professional/Practice search where you can locate a veterinarian who is also a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners. The search can also help you find a Cat Friendly Practice®, or veterinary professionals who have earned their Cat Friendly Certificate. These veterinary professionals and practices are leading the movement to make veterinary care less stressful for cats and their caregivers.
During the checkup, your veterinarian will review your cat’s nutrition, lifestyle, environmental enrichment (key resources such as food, water, litter box, scratching areas, play areas, resting areas, etc.), disease and parasite prevention, and behavior. This is also the perfect time for you to ask questions and share any changes in your cat’s behavior. Even very minor changes could be a sign of a medical issue.
With a thorough physical exam plus the information you share, you and your veterinarian can create a plan to meet the individualized needs of your cat. Regular checkups are key to a healthy and happy cat.
Why Routine Veterinary Visits are Vital to Helping your Cat Live a Long, Healthy Life
Cats Age Much More Rapidly Than Humans
A cat reaches the approximate human age of 15 by his first birthday. By his second birthday, he reaches the approximate human age of 24. Each year after, your cat ages approximately 4 “cat years” for every calendar year. So, your 8-year-old cat would be 48 in human years. Checkups are crucial because a lot can happen in a “cat year”.
Cats Are Masters at Hiding Illness
Cats are excellent at hiding signs that they are sick or in pain. Your cat could develop a health condition before you notice anything is wrong. During your checkup, your veterinarians can spot small changes or abnormalities and detect many problems before they advance or become more difficult to treat.
Your Cat May Be Overweight
Over 50% of cats are overweight or obese. As part of the checkup, your veterinarian will check your cat’s weight at each visit and provide nutritional and enrichment recommendations to help keep your cat at an ideal weight. Just an extra three pounds can put your cat at risk for diabetes; heart, respiratory, and kidney disease, and more.
Preventive Care Is Better Than Reactive Care
Regular checkups are part of being a responsible caregiver. They can help avoid medical emergencies by detecting conditions or diseases before they become significant, painful, or more costly to treat. Try choosing a Cat Friendly Practice® or a veterinary professional who earned a Cat Friendly Certificate to provide you and your cat with a unique experience. These veterinary professionals and practices understand cats and want to create a plan with you to help your cat remain healthy.
Kittens Have 26 Teeth, While Adult Cats Have 30
That equals a lot of dental care! Periodontal disease is considered the most common disease in cats three years of age and older. Often there aren’t any obvious signs of dental disease. Most cats with dental disease still eat without a noticeable change in appetite. Discuss your cat’s teeth at their annual checkup.
You are an important member of your cat’s healthcare team. You can help your cat live a happy and healthy life. Find an AAFP Veterinarian, Cat Friendly Practice®, and Cat Friendly Certificate holder near you.