Ensure your feline has a long, fulfilling life. Cats provide their owners with untold hours of affection and fun, from their amazing ability to inhabit boxes and their comical whiskers to their enjoyment of laser pointers and their insane catnip identities. As cat owners, you want to repay the favor by providing a long and healthy life for your pets. We are grateful for the chance to raise awareness about cat health. While you want your cat to have a long life, you also want that life to be full of good health and plenty of stimulation. There are a number of things you can do to help your cat achieve optimal health, and we’ll go through some of them below while also answering some often asked questions regarding cat wellness.
What does a cat wellness exam entail, and what will my veterinarian be looking for?
When you bring your cat into a veterinary hospital for a check-up and they appear to be healthy, this is referred to as a cat wellness checkup. As part of a strong preventive care routine, your cat may be due for immunizations at these well visits. We usually begin by learning about the cat’s past. We’ll ask you a lot of questions about their appetite, water intake, urine patterns, litter box habits, how they’ve been at home, and if anything odd has happened.
The following section is a test.
Many veterinarians begin by using an ophthalmoscope to examine both of the cat’s eyes to ensure that they are bright and shining, and then proceed to the retina. We want to see eyes that are young, gleaming, and healthy, with no conjunctivitis, blinking, or winking. The ophthalmoscope is then converted into an otoscope, allowing us to peer into the cat’s ears. We want to make sure the ears don’t have any wax accumulation, debris, polyps, bleeding, or anything strange.
The following step is usually an oral inspection to check the cat’s teeth, which, let’s be honest, is perhaps the least fun aspect of the procedure because cats despise it! As vets examine the exterior of their teeth, their tongue, underneath the tongue, and the roof of their mouth, they aim to be as swift as possible. The gums should be bright and moist, and the teeth should be clean. They assign a score to each tooth ranging from one to four, with one being the most healthy teeth. After that, vets usually feel their lymph nodes all the way down their bodies. They don’t want to feel their lymph nodes because they should be small and inconspicuous.
More of the Wellness Exam Includes….
With a stethoscope, they listen to the right and left sides of the cat’s heart and lungs, taking the heart rate. A cat’s heart rate can range from 150 to 200 beats per minute and yet be considered normal. Listening to the beat is very important since it tells them if the cat has a heart murmur or not. Another thing that they do is take their temperature. Cats are notoriously averse to having their temperature taken rectally. The ear thermometers are more comfortable, but they’re also more difficult to operate and properly fit.
Finally, they will squeeze the cat’s stomach and feel the bladder, kidneys, and intestines for any discomfort. In other words, they make certain that just the organs that are meant to be there are present. They also look at how they carry themselves in general. We also give them a body score, from one to nine, with one being too thin and nine being too overweight. The number five is smack dab in the center.
Although it isn’t required by law, most veterinarians will utilize the wellness exam to encourage you to microchip your cat if you haven’t already done. Losing your animal is a painful experience. Although a microchip does not ensure a safe return, it can assist if another person or family discovers your cat and has them scanned at a veterinarian clinic or shelter. What’s more, the most recent models can detect a cat’s body temperature.
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) has some useful guidelines on what should be included in a cat wellness exam.
Does my cat’s health and longevity depend on his or her level of wellness?
Absolutely! The longer you can keep your cat disease-free, the better off he or she will be.
Here are some other ways that wellness might help your cat’s health and longevity:
- Keeping them parasite-free on the inside and out
- Getting the best nutrition
- Maintaining their ideal body weight
- Taking proper care of your teeth
- Providing them with regular opportunities for physical and mental stimulation
- When you observe a change in your cat’s behavior, seek veterinary help.
- Regular wellness checkups also aid in the detection of heart irregularities, and the earlier we detect and treat issues, the better the prognosis. Cat wellness and preventive care go hand in hand.
Will my cat’s wellness exam necessitate laboratory testing?
Most vets will offer you the option of getting a CBC chemistry and thyroid test as part of an early detection profile. Obviously, we hope it’s the same every year. Still, if we discover something unusual, it provides us the opportunity to begin investigating it before it becomes a potentially life-threatening and costly sickness.
When should I take my cat to the doctor for a wellness exam?
At 8 weeks, 12 weeks, and 16 weeks, kittens must see a veterinarian for a series of appointments. Then they’ll probably come in for spaying or neutering. Aside from that, an annual examination is usually sufficient. When cats reach senior status, we’ll likely recommend two annual visits for blood tests and maybe blood pressure because cats can develop hypertension. We may ask you to bring a fecal sample to the clinic on occasion.
What are some of the indications and symptoms that my cat is ill?
Cats are stoic creatures, and when they’re not feeling well, they hide a lot. They don’t greet you or engage in other customary behaviors. Maybe they’re limping, vomiting, or having diarrhea; maybe they’re not eating; maybe they’re sleeping a lot more than they used to; maybe they’re not playing. Any change in your cat’s routine should raise your suspicions of a problem and, at the absolute least, prompt you to contact your veterinarian.
What can I do to make in-person wellness appointments more bearable for my cat?
Cats, unlike dogs, are notoriously difficult to get to the vet because they despise car rides. You should also use a cat carrier to keep your cat secure. We recommend that you utilize the cat carrier for purposes other than transporting your cat to the veterinarian. Consider utilizing their favorite treat or toy to help them get used to the carrier and link it with happiness rather than merely transportation to a place where they’ll be examined and prodded!
Please contact Charlette Kennels if you have need any advice or references on how to enhance your cat’s health.