Senior Cat Care
At seven years of age we consider our feline patients senior citizens. Older cats tend to be susceptible to many diseases. Thanks to our advancing veterinary technology, many of these diseases are easily and successfully treated if they are found early. Our hospital philosophy is to provide you with the best veterinary care available for your senior cat. We feel strongly that the preventive care plan outlined below will help us understand the status of your cat’s body as well
as help him or her stay healthy for as long as possible.
Preventive Care Examination
Routine healthy pet exams are essential for proper pet care. There are a great number of diseases and illnesses that can be detected during a healthy pet exam. Most of these diseases can be treated when signs are first noticed, hopefully extending the pet’s life and decreasing the cost of managing these health changes. Based on exam findings, your veterinarian may recommend additional screening for high blood pressure or glaucoma.
(for more info see our “Vaccine Guide”)
- All cats need a distemper (abbreviated as FDRC or FVRCP) vaccine every 3 years.
- All cats are required by law to receive a Rabies vaccine from a licensed veterinarian every 1-3 years, depending on vaccine.
- It is recommended that all cats that go outdoors or live with cats that go outdoors receive a yearly dose of the Feline Leukemia Vaccine (FeLV). As cats get older they become less susceptible to Feline Leukemia. Depending on the lifestyle of the individual cat, this vaccine is sometimes given less frequently or not at all for senior felines.
Fecal Parasite Testing
By bringing a fresh stool sample (not more than 24 hours old), we can look for intestinal parasites that cats can obtain from other cats or by walking where wildlife has been. Indoor cats are sometimes exposed to parasites via rodents that get inside or even potting soil in house plants. Some of these parasites are contagious to people, especially children, and immunocompromised individuals.
Feline Leukemia and Feline AIDS Test
The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that cats allowed outdoors unsupervised or that have contact with other cats that go outdoors are regularly tested for Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline AIDS (FIV). These diseases are contagious and considered to be fatal. This test is also recommended for new cats entering the home.
Annual Senior Health Screen Blood Work and Urinalysis
We will collect both a blood and often a urine sample from your cat. The test is no more painful than a needle stick. A Complete Blood Count, Biochemical Profile, two-part Thyroid panel, and Urinalysis will be submitted to the laboratory for testing. This gives us lots of information about your cat’s organ function, immune system, metabolic function, and screens for many diseases before symptoms appear.
Regular Parasite Prevention & Control
We recommend that all cats receive year-round prevention for a variety of parasites that can be detrimental to their health and can be zoonotic (contagious to humans). The parasites that are essential to protect our feline companions against include: fleas, heartworms and intestinal parasites. There are many safe and effective products that can be used to prevent these parasites. Your veterinarian can guide you to choose an individual preventative plan that fits your kitty’s lifestyle.
Regular Oral Care
Your cat will live longer and may not have to have costly dental procedures if you can maintain excellent oral health in his or her mouth by daily tooth brushing. We also recommend the regular use of dental treats or several kibbles of dental diet given as treats for your cat to prevent dental disease. Hill’s Science Diet and Royal Canin make some great options.
If your cat is starting to show signs of tartar accumulation or gingivitis, we will recommend a professional dental cleaning under anesthesia. This allows us to clean, chart, and X-ray all of the teeth – just like our dentist does for us. Prompt attention to dental disease is the best strategy for saving teeth, preventing oral pain, and restoring oral health. Once periodontal disease has started, it is progressive and can lead to severe pain and tooth loss. As periodontal disease progresses, it becomes more costly to address.
*Due to the increasing costs of veterinary products and technology, our prices are subject to change.