Caring for Your Cat for a Lifetime

(Family Characteristics) Just like humans need to see a doctor, cats need to see a veterinarian at least annually, but some need to be seen more often. Even so, according to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, more than 50% of cats do not receive regular veterinary care.

Cats are stoic animals, so it can be difficult to tell when they’re not doing well. This is why Royal Canin launched the Take Your Cat to the Vet campaign to raise awareness of the importance of preventive veterinary care in cats.

Although each annual appointment may look similar, your vet will monitor a variety of health issues, such as: B. Kidney Disease. During a typical physical exam, your vet will assess vital signs, including temperature, heart rate, and breathing rate, as well as your cat’s teeth and mouth, as tartar builds up and periodontal disease is common with age. Other areas your veterinarian will check include the ears and eyes, lymph nodes, skin and fur, weight, muscles, bones, and joints.

As your cat gets older, your veterinarian will focus on specific developmental and health issues.

Kittens (3 months-1 year): This is a very active phase of life and you can expect curiosity and playfulness. It is time to socialize and bond with your cat and get them used to regular health practices like clipping their nails and getting into the pet carrier. Your vet will monitor growth and development, provide advice to ensure your kitten is receiving adequate nutrition, and educate you about breed-specific conditions or genetic concerns, as well as disease prevention and neutering and neutering options.

Young adults (1-6 years): At this stage you should be familiar with your cat’s normal behavior and be able to recognize changes. Let your veterinarian know of any unusual signs, such as vomiting, excessive hairballs, or other behavior or grooming changes. Diet and weight management become increasingly important at this stage, as preventing or treating obesity can help keep your cat healthier for years to come. Your veterinarian will pay special attention to vital organs such as the heart and lungs, as well as the skin and teeth.

Mature Adults (7-10 Years): At 7 years of age and older, many cats still look youthful and remain playful. However, there is an increased risk of age-related problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and cancer. In older cats, look out for common signs of illness such as poor fur, lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, changes in appetite, or decreased activity. During your annual checkup, your veterinarian will likely be paying extra attention to your cat’s abdomen, thyroid, and kidneys, as well as assessing your cat’s muscle tone, bone structure, and signs of arthritis or other pain.

Seniors (10 years and older): Cats need careful treatment as they age as many health problems can arise at the same time. If you notice any signs or changes, avoid chalking them up to age and consult your veterinarian.

A common concern of older cats is chronic kidney disease, which affects 30-40% of cats over 10 years of age, according to a study published in the Compendium on Training for Practicing Veterinarians. The kidneys regulate the normal fluid and mineral balance in your pet’s body and remove waste materials from the blood. Look out for warning signs of kidney disease such as increased thirst and urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and poor hair or coat quality.

For more advice on keeping your cat’s health on the right track, visit and join the social media entertainment with # Cat2Vet.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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