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Preventive Health Care and the Importance of Regular Veterinary Visits

Preventive health care is important for cats and humans alike. It is especially critical for cats because they instinctively hide illness and pain.

We recommend that healthy young cats be examined at least annually (ideally twice per year). Cats older than age 10 should be examined twice yearly at a minimum. Cats with various medical conditions may require more frequent veterinary visits. Guidelines published by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and American Animal Hospital Association highlight testing recommended for different feline life stages. At the end of this article is a general health care plan you can follow for your feline. We make every effort to coordinate appointments so that your cat does not have to travel more often than necessary. Traveling to the veterinarian's office is not on most cats' "top ten list" of fun things to do!

As an American Association of Feline Practitioners designated Gold Standard Cat Friendly Practice we strive to make visits as pleasant as possible for your cat. For tips on reducing the stress of transporting your cat to the veterinarian's office, visit the following websites:

The first year of a cat's life is equivalent to about 15 human years. By age 2, cats have matured to the equivalent of 25 human years. Every subsequent year in a cat's life equates to about 4 human years, so cats older than age 10 are approximately 60 years old in human terms. Therefore, we recommend semiannual examinations for cats (one every 6 months) compared to biannual examinations for humans (one every 2 years).

As a species, cats have evolved to hide pain and illness so masterfully that they are known in the veterinary world as 'silent sufferers." By examining cats on a regular basis, even in their early and middle-adult years when they seem healthy, we are better able to recognize preventable conditions before they advance or progress to more serious illnesses (e.g., dental disease, obesity, parasites, diabetes, allergies). Routine care lengthens and enhances the quality of many of our patients' lives.

As feline veterinarians, we think of ourselves as cats' doctors from kittenhood through their geriatric years. We are their primary care physicians, dentists, internists, psychologists, nutrition counselors, optometrists, and -most important- their health advocates.

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