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Your Cat's Health

We all know that cats are a little sneaky - getting that treat, sneaking up on their prey, covering their feces.  Cats are especially deceptive in the way they hide their illnesses.  Cats are derived from solitary hunting felines.  If they show signs of illness or pain, another solitary hunter may take over their territory - by force.  Our domestic felines have good historical reasons for hiding their illnesses, but it makes it very difficult for owners (and even veterinarians) to evaluate feline health.  Compounding this problem is that it’s hard for owners to recognize gradual changes that can indicate serious underlying disease.  Going to the litter box a little more often, drinking a little more, grooming less frequently, or losing a small amount of weight can all indicate underlying disease.  

The conundrum this creates makes it vital for cats to receive regular office visits.  With the help of your veterinarian, you can not only help establish what normal is for your feline friend, but you can recognize when something abnormal is happening.  Our basic evaluation is designed to recognize these gradual feline changes - has the weight changed since the last visit, how do the teeth and gums look, have litter box habits changed?  Any indication of compromise can lead your veterinarian to proceed with blood work (chemistry, complete blood count, and T4), blood pressure monitoring, or even a urinalysis.  These tests can help us identify underlying problems like hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, liver failure, or diabetes.  All of these issues are treatable with appropriate monitoring and treatment can vastly improve your cat’s quality of life.  

As your pet ages, your veterinarian will want to see your cat every six months.  Cats age extremely quickly in the later years of their life and aging changes can develop with alarming speed.  Osteoarthritis is a progressive disease of the joints and we’re just learning how common it is in cats as they live longer and receive more veterinary care than ever before.  It can be identified on a physical examination with or without radiographs (X-rays), depending on the severity of the changes.  This progressive condition can also be treated and lead to a happier, more energetic feline with minimal discomfort as they age.  


The importance of feline visits only increases as your cat ages.  Partner with your veterinarian to  ensure that your feline friend lives the healthiest life possible through all of his or her life!