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Cat Preventive Care


Cat Preventive Care St. Petersburg

ON THIS PAGE:

What It Is | How We Help | 

How Effective | How Often | 

Relative Cost | What It Includes | 

Recommendations | How to Prepare | 

Why Important | What You Can Do  

Also visit our Dog Preventive Care page.

Pictured: “Taco Bella”

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!

One size does not fit all when it comes to cat preventive care.

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 can preventive care help my cat?

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.

Facets of cat preventive care encompass more than routine wellness exams. Some other features of prevention include:

If these are things you are already providing for your cat through your veterinarian, well done! That means you already know that prevention is a common-sense approach to healthcare!

How effective is preventive care in cats?

Of course, no pet owner would invest in preventive care for their cat if the effectiveness of proactive exams and screenings was not medically shown. In this regard, the patient data of thousands of animal hospitals was recently analyzed, and the researchers discovered that there was a high frequency of significant medical issues indicated in the results of wellness exams and blood screenings.

The researchers found that 14% of adult, 20% of senior, and 40% of geriatric pets suffered three or more health irregularities—from the results of just one type of test. Those clinical issues could have gone undiagnosed, or they could have progressed to untreatable stages, if preventive care had been neglected. The conclusion of the study highlights the effective nature of regular preventive care that finds and treats diseases at their earliest onset.

Preventive care can save peace of mind, quality of life, and even life itself.

Unfortunately, many cats are not able to take advantage of the professional services that fall under the umbrella of preventive care. Their owners simply do not schedule wellness appointments for their felines often enough. As a result, these cats don't receive the same effective healthcare that other members of their family might receive, and their parents are losing out on valuable guidance that is relevant and individualized for their cats.

How often should my cat have a preventive care exam?

As you know, if you want to prevent your car's engine from burning up or giving out on the road, you must regularly visit an automotive service so someone can perform maintenance on your vehicle. The same principle applies to your cat's health. If you want to prevent serious health problems, you must regularly ensure your cat is not suffering the early symptoms or stages of a medical condition.

Regularity in your cat's health care will help ensure we can restore your pet's good health before any conditions get worse and more expensive to treat. 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.

Is cat preventive care less expensive than treatment?

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

  • Preventive care, or
  • Corrective treatment

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.

The key to successful prevention is regularity.

On the other hand, corrective treatment is always a little harder on your cat—and more expensive—because the damage is already done. One study of veterinary pet insurance records showed that pet parents spent three times more on treatment for the advanced stages than on the early stages of dental diseases, six times more on internal parasite damage, and eight timesmore on infectious diseases.

The study concluded that pet owners who follow the preventive care measures recommended by their veterinarians can save hundreds to thousands of dollars. But these pet owners can save more than money. Preventive care can save peace of mind, quality of life, and even life itself. These are priceless!

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 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 cat fighting. It also helps to prevent 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.

Affirmative answers to your vet's questions can be indications of pain and early disease in 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 during my cat's preventive care exam?

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.

Cats simply refuse to tell us what's wrong! But we can provide a "voice" for your cat.

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.

Is preventive care optional?

My cat seems healthy. Why does he/she need preventive care?

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.

Cats, by themselves, can't make all the decisions necessary to achieve healthy goals.

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 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.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment, and we will discuss with you a cat preventive care regimen tailor-made for your feline companion!

Also visit our Dog Preventive Care page.

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