Regular professional veterinary care is essential for our senior cat’s health needs. Not since your cat was a kitten have regular checkups and vaccinations been so important. Preventive vet care for senior cats can add years and quality to the life of your feline friend.

Preventative vet care for senior cats

Preventative vet care for senior cats includes 6 monthly check-ups. Photo: Octavio Fossatti/Unsplash

As your cat ages, it is likely he will develop various changes in the function of his body systems. Some of these will be normal changes due to the ageing process, others may be indicative of disease.

You will need to monitor your older cat more closely. Do not disregard a change in your cat’s activity or behaviour as ‘just being old age.’ Many of the changes can also be signs of a more serious disease. If you are in doubt, consult your veterinarian and be sure to discuss with him/her any concerns you have about your older cat during the regular physical exam.

Consider yourself, your cat, and your veterinarian and staff a team whose main goal is to keep your cat happy, healthy, and in a loving relationship with you for as long as possible

Preventative vet care for senior cats program

Many cat veterinarians have a geriatric wellness program.  A preventative vet care for senior cats program should include:

  • 6 monthly veterinary check-ups including a check-up in winter to make sure your senior cat is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather
  • Assessment of general health (teeth, eyes, ears, heart and lungs);
  • Assessment of quality of life by a combination of clinical examination and history about what your pet is doing and still able to do; and
  • Conducting blood and urine tests to detect early stages of diseases that may not be obvious from a physical examination and to assess whether it’s safe to start the pet on certain medications if necessary.

Please consult with your veterinarian for regular exams and in situations where your pet may be exhibiting signs of illness.

Dr Cathie Savage ‘11 Tips for senior pets’