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Preventive Care for Cats

Help your cat live a longer, happier life.

We offer both routine wellness care as well as advanced diagnostic and surgical services for cats. Because the medical needs of cats are unique, our cat hospital utilizes specialized equipment, the training of employees, and facilities specific to felines. We aim to be “fear-free” for your cat by offering a separate cat entrance, two primarily cat examination rooms, and soft, cozy surfaces to help your cat feel safe and secure.

Related Cat Health Services and Treatments

  • Intestinal Parasites: Reconize the different kinds of parasites that can infect your cat, and how can help get rid of them.
  • Flea and Tick Prevention: We employ safe and effective flea & tick treatments for your cat's health and happiness.
  • Heartworm PreventionYou have options when it comes to preventing heartworms in your cat.
  • Heartworm Disease: We specialize in heartworm education, diagnosis, and treatment for your cat.

What is cat preventive care?

Standards of quality care are highly regarded among veterinary professionals, including your veterinarians here at our sister practices. We are firmly entrenched in our reliance on science-based guidelines aimed at helping us, and you, keep your cat thriving in health and happiness. The life and breath of these healthcare standards is prevention—"the best medicine."

A typical cat preventive care program will address your pet's internal and dental health, activity level, dietary needs, and so much more. We make these services as affordable and convenient as possible, creating a wellness schedule that best fits you and your pet and promotes your cat's health and long life ... er, nine lives!

The key to successful prevention is regularity. Among other preventive strategies, skilled veterinarians can perform regular cat wellness exams for the early detection of any onset of illness, and to treat it before it becomes more serious. Our veterinarians want to ensure that your cat will live the best life ever, by offering a complete set of preventive services.

How often should your cat visit the vet? Our veterinarians recommend twice-yearly cat preventive care exams (or cat wellness exams) to help maintain your companion feline's quality of life. At the very least, you should schedule a preventive care exam once per year.

How can preventive care help my cat?

There are two ways to address health issues in your cat:

  • Preventive care
  • Corrective treatment

Which is better? Preventive medicine is the most effective and least expensive way to keep your companion healthy and happy. Preventive care is easier to achieve because it addresses health problems in your cat before they become more complicated or malignant. On the other hand, corrective treatment is always a little harder on your cat—and more expensive—because damage has already occured.

Cats have a survival instinct that often prompts them to hide their health problems. Owners may not realize their cat is sick or impaired until the damage has irreversibly lowered their pet's quality of life. That's where we can help. The focus of cat preventive care is to address health issues before they become serious problems.

Early detection of feline diseases can greatly diminish the scope and aggressiveness of treatment. Some feline diseases can progress so far that veterinarians can no longer remedy them, but can only manage the pain they cause. However, it is not only possible but also much easier to prevent diseases by treating them while they are in still in the very early stages.

What does cat preventive care include?

Cat preventive care includes, but is not limited to, the following recommended health care services:

  • Routine wellness examinations should be performed, ideally, every six months for optimal preventive care, especially for young and senior cats. Cat wellness exams help us keep track of your pet's ever-changing health needs, and identify any potential hazards so we can treat them early.
  • Dental care does not often come to mind as an aspect of cat preventive care, but most cats develop some form of dental disease by their third year without routine cat dentistry. Regular dental exams and cleanings can help us prevent or treat periodontal and gum disease, resorptive lesions, malocclusions, broken or loose teeth, and more.
  • Vaccinations defend your cat from many common feline diseases that can lead to infirmity and/or death. These include rabies, feline leukemia, feline distemper, and upper respiratory diseases. Individualized vaccination protocols will be based on your cat's needs.
  • Parasite control is especially essential for kittens, many of which are born with intestinal worms. Both internal parasites (intestinal worms and heartworms) and external parasites (fleas and ticks) compete with your cat for his blood and vital nutrients. Routine parasite preventatives will keep her, and your family, free from pest-borne illnesses.
  • Lab tests and/or diagnostic imaging. Blood chemistry screenings and urinalysis tests can detect changes in your cat's health before clinical signs appear. Dental x-rays can reveal the causes of pain and infection in the teeth and under the gum line. And fecal exams can expose the presence of intestinal parasites.
  • Nutrition is more than just pet food. It is a specially-formulated combination of calories, proteins, amino acids, minerals, and other nutrients that are specifically tailored to your cat's life stage and health condition. Your cat's dietary needs will be considered to help prevent obesity and keep them active and happy.
  • Spaying or Neutering a cat is a common and safe method of helping prevent a number of issues related to felines, including urinary infections, urine-marking (or spraying), roaming behaviors, and fighting. It also helps to prevent the overpopulation of cats within our communities.

How are preventive care recommendations made for my cat?

One size does not fit all when it comes to cat preventive care. We will tailor a program specifically to accommodate your cat's needs and lifestyle. When we detect diseases or problems early, we can recommend the most effective, timely, and affordable preventive care program for your cat.

Each time your cat visits the veterinarian, you can expect recommendations that come in line with our ever-growing knowledge and expertise in identifying and treating feline diseases-both old and new. Advanced information regarding how and where diseases work and spread is constantly directed to medical professionals. Your cat's visits will reflect this advancing knowledge.

Also, as your kitty grows, our recommendations will take into account your cat's unique requirements at each stage of life—from kitten to senior—because their needs change over time. Cats can develop early or age-related susceptibilities to such problems as:

  • Heartworm disease
  • Periodontal disease
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary disorders
  • Cancer

However, even though your cat's vet visits will be different each time, they will remain focused on preventing what is bad and nurturing what is good—their quality of life.

What should I be prepared to discuss with my vet?

Cat owners know their pets very well. Your first-hand experience with your cat can be the source of valuable information, especially if you help groom her and make observations about his behavior and physical appearance on a weekly basis at home.

Areas of interest that you can be prepared to discuss with your veterinarian include:

  • How much food and water they consume
  • Whether or not they venture outdoors, and how often
  • Whether they interact with other pets or wildlife
  • How much activity and exercise they get
  • What their temperament and demeanor are like

Your veterinarian will be keenly interested in your observations on these and other matters. For example, the doctor may ask you questions such as:

  • Does your cat have irregular bowel movements?
  • Does she strain when she urinates?
  • Does he experience shortness of breath?
  • Does she struggle to get up?
  • Does he walk with a limp?

Affirmative answers to these and other questions can be indications of pain and early disease. So your responses to your veterinarian's questions will facilitate discussion and help him or her determine the best way to preserve your cat's health and well-being.

My cat seems healthy. Is preventive care optional?

The purpose of cat preventive care is to help your pet live longer and be happier. Cats, by themselves, can't make all the decisions necessary to achieve these goals. In fact, cats are more inclined to make preventive care more difficult by instinctively hiding their pains and illnesses. They simply refuse to tell us what's wrong!

So, while cats may seem to be healthy, there may be early indications of disease or infirmity lurking under the surface. We want to find and eliminate those threats before the silent suffering begins. Our guidelines for preventive care provide your cat with a "voice" that can help us determine what they need in order to stay healthy and to achieve their life purpose.

The cat preventive care guidelines covered on this page are in harmony with those developed by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). "Developed in response to startling statistics that indicate visits to veterinarians are declining while preventable diseases in pets are increasing, these guidelines are designed to provide the foundation for the veterinary practice team to promote preventive veterinary medicine."—AAHA; italics ours.

What can I do at home to help keep my cat healthy?

We educate cat owners on preventive care because we know great veterinary care actually begins in the home. We want you to enjoy as much time with your feline friend as possible, which means knowing how to help address your cat's everyday health needs.

Cats already do certain "self-treatments" to manage their own health. For example, they maintain bathing and grooming habits to keep their fur, skin, and digestion in good condition. As a cat owner, you can help your feline companion's efforts to maintain optimal health at home by:

  • Brushing her fur to prevent knots and hairballs
  • Trimming his claws to prevent them from breaking
  • Providing stimulating play and exercise
  • Petting them for calm and comforting companionship
  • Noting any changes in behavior, routine, or appearance

These activities should be performed on a regular basis to keep your cat healthy. If you notice any persistent or prominent irregularities, please call us to explain your observations, and we will provide helpful guidance.

Call us or request an appointment online to schedule your cat's annual preventive care exam.
Northeast (727) 822-8501  |  Downtown (727) 755-7387

Cat Veterinarian

Northeast Animal Hospital