Long Live the Cats – A healthy life guide for fine felines

By December 4th, 2014One Comment

A cat can live for 17 years or more. Even 19-21 years of longevity is not uncommon. But to achieve such ripe old ages, cats need regular veterinary care, exercise and good nutrition.

Starting them on a Pet Wellness Plan when they’re young can help ensure a long, healthy, and happy life for your precious one. All cats should have a comprehensive examination at least annually. our veterinarian can help you determine an individual Wellness Plan, including vaccinations and preventive care, that best suits your cat.

Schedule the first vet visit soon after you bring your new cat home, or after a kitten is weaned, usually around 6 to 9 weeks of age. Make time to ask questions and talk about any individual concerns you may have.


• Heartworm – as needed
• Retrovirus
• Internal parasite
• Early disease screening – such as diabetes, liver disease,
kidney disease, thyroid disorders, UTIs, etc.
The earlier they are found, the better they can be managed.

• Rabies virus
• Feline panleukopenia virus
• Feline herpesvirus-1
• Calicivirus
• Feline leukemia virus

• Year-round parasite control if
indoor/outdoor lifestyle
• Appropriate ID tags/microchipping
• Spay or neuter unless intended for breeding
• Keep kitty’s claws clipped

Just like us mere mortals, many health conditions start to manifest as cats reach their golden years,from 8–11 years old. As cats age, they need less fat and protein, so consider a good adult maintenance food. A 10-pound cat needs about 300-350 calories per day, depending on its metabolism and activity level. Diabetes is another reason to use a diet designed for seniors. Senior cats may develop diseases of the kidneys and liver, or hyperthyroidism, which is usually caused by a tumor in the thyroid. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include a ravenous diet, accompanied by weight loss, anxiety, pacing and irritability. They may also develop spinal or joint arthritis, cataracts, and diminished hearing. A change in the cat box smell—more sour or pungent–may signal a problem. If you see any blood in their stool, take a sample to your vet for testing. Brush senior cats more often; as their energy level drops, grooming may become more of a chore.

It’s comforting to know that even a completely normal Pet Wellness Exam has tremendous value. It gives you peace of mind, and provides a baseline for later comparison. Then, if conditions change, you’ll be aware of any trends early, which helps make diseases more manageable and easier to treat. And that paves the way for a healthy life for your fine feline.

One Comment

  • Deanna R. Jones says:

    These seem like really good tips to help keep your cat healthy. It’s a good idea to have your cat regularly screened for any type of internal parasites and other diseases. I have an indoor cat, but that doesn’t mean that she has to go outside to get sick. Now that she’s a few years older than when I got her, I’ll need to take extra care that she’s in healthy condition so that she can live a longer life.

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