During a wellness visit, what types of health and vaccine protocols are most common for a young cat?
The real question seems to be whether a yearly check-up is necessary for a young cat under age two who seems outwardly healthy.
These days, especially with the economy being so shaky, it might be tempting to forego the yearly exam. But you should take your young cat in for a wellness exam once a year – ideally twice a year. This strategy can actually save you money by being able to catch conditions early when they are best treatable.
In comparing a cat’s age to us, they age, on average, four to five human years every 12 months. A minor illness can turn into a major health problem in 12 months if the cat is not examined by a veterinarian.
Even though your cat may seem healthy to you, your veterinarian can detect problems such as heart murmurs or abnormal heart rhythms or lung sounds, dental disease, skin problems, internal masses or ear infections. It’s also not that unusual for a young cat to have arthritis, so your veterinarian may find that or some other orthopedic problem.
These problems are a lot easier to treat—and less expensive – before they grow into large problems.
Coming in once or twice a year helps your veterinarian establish a positive relationship with your cat. The more they know each other, the less stress for your cat! Your veterinarian learns about your cat’s behavior, weight, activity level, appetite, normal hydration level, how they groom, etc. This helps your veterinarian be able to detect mild changes in your cat’s behavior and health.
Another thing your veterinarian can do is make nutritional and lifestyle recommendations if your cat is overweight. One or two extra pounds on an adult cat is comparable to 30 or 50 human pounds. An overweight cat is at higher risk for heart problems, diabetes, orthopedic problems –and those are very expensive illnesses. In fact, In fact, according to Healthy Pets at Mercola.Com, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) said Americans paid $25 million in 2010 in veterinary bills for obesity-related problems, such as asthma, disc disease and ligament ruptures.
There’s also the question of vaccinations. More and more, people are opting out of the yearly booster shots and instead, getting titer tests done to test the antibody levels of their cats. However, it’s important to note that many states require a rabies vaccine on a regular basis – every one to three years. Your veterinarian can advise you on the appropriate schedule.