Cat Health Awareness Month:
Cats’s reputation of being a low-maintenance alternative to dogs has exploded in recent years. Part of the reasoning is due to the domestic cat’s indoor only lifestyle. National Cat Health Awareness month is a perfect time to educate our clients about the needs of their cats and how best to care for them. Spoiler alert: it requires regular trips to the vet. Read on to learn some basics about how best to maintain your cat’s health!
1. Annual and Bi-Annual Exams
For cats between one and seven years of age an annual physical exam at a veterinarian’s office is highly recommended. These exams help manage their overall health. Regardless if you have an indoor only cat a rabies vaccine is also standard and typically required by state law. Once a cat enters senior age, seven years old, My Vet recommends scheduling bi-annual examinations. This will help you stay ahead of any potential chronic illnesses common in cats such as kidney disease.
2. Diagnostic Tests
A physical exam is a great tool for identifying any potential concerns. From there, our doctors may recommend further diagnostic testing. Annual laboratory work is as standard in veterinary care as in human medicine. Annual blood work will track your cat’s liver and kidney values along with other blood chemistries. These baseline blood works are ideal for comparison later in life if values every seem amiss. Senior cats are recommended to have bi-annual diagnostics to track any variation in kidney or liver values. Cats are susceptible to various bladder-related illnesses and as such we recommend bundling blood work with urine testing.
3. Physical and Mental Fitness
This is one that often needs to be reiterated. While cats do generally sleep for 16-17 hours out of a day that does not mean that they don’t require a base amount of physical fitness. Most cats don’t get a regular walk multiple times a day. In order to keep your cat fit make sure you are playing with your pet once or twice daily. These games can involve chasing a laser pointer or playing with a wand cat toy. Your cat will move around and get some exercise. It also helps to stimulate them mentally. Cats love attention from their owners and enjoy stimulated play time. It helps utilize their natural predator instinct. Allow your cat to chase a toy and engage in a game of ‘cat & mouse’.
There is a wide range of cat food available at your local pet store. It can be daunting to chose one that works for your pet. Ask My Vet veterinarians and staff members for some personal recommendations. Our practice emphasizes feeding cats canned food. Our front desk can provide you with a list of recommended low-phosphorous options. A low-phosphorous canned food is a good way to help prevent any urinary or bladder issues. They are also lower in calories than standard dry food which will aid in maintaining a healthy weight for your feline friend!
If you have any questions about how best to care for your cat’s health and wellbeing feel free to call or email My Vet for further information!