2001-Thu May 25 18:06:55 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
Your cat may be young in years, but when you're thinking about her health, it's important to remember that she's aging faster than you are. A good rule of thumb is to consider the first two years of a cat's life to be equivalent to 24 human years, and after that, each additional feline year is equal to four human years. For this reason, the American Animal Hospital Association recommends that healthy adult cats should have a complete veterinary examination once a year, and healthy senior cats have one every six months. A lot can happen in a year, especially when your cat can't — or won't — tell you about little aches and pains.
Before you go to your appointment, write down any concerns or changes you want to mention, such as coughing, diarrhea, lethargy, limping, vomiting, eating more or less than usual, weight gain or loss, drinking and urinating more than usual, itching, irritability, hiding or other behavioral changes, running into things, head shaking, or lack of coordination. Your veterinarian will ask you about your cat's health history, if you have any concerns about her health and if you've noticed any changes in her.
It's common for your cat's exam to start with a veterinary technician obtaining a history from you and performing the preliminary examination, which typically includes weight, temperature, pulse and respiration rate. Any changes or abnormalities found during this preliminary exam will be reported to the veterinarian, when she comes in to complete your cat's exam.
At some point during your visit, the veterinary technician may also collect a blood sample. The blood may be used to test for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses or for other conditions. A complete blood count (CBC) and chemistry panel are especially imperative for older or unhealthy cats. Among other things, the CBC can detect anemia and the presence of many infections, while the chemistry panel can detect problems with many internal organs, including the liver and kidneys. Unless there's a rush, the veterinarian may suggest sending the blood out to a laboratory for this test; it can take a few days for the results to return.
If you did not bring a stool sample, the technician may use a special instrument to collect one from the cat. This specimen will be checked for evidence of intestinal parasites. If kidney disease, diabetes or other conditions are suspected, the veterinarian may also want to examine a urine sample.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.