An orange cat laying down and having her eye exam

Preventative/Wellness Care for Cats

What Is Involved In A Cat Preventive Care Program?

At Vida Veterinary Care, we understand that prevention is truly the best medicine where the health and wellness of your cat are concerned. This is why we offer our feline patients and their human counterparts a comprehensive array of cat preventive care services that promote the health, wellness, and longevity of your cat.

A cat preventive care program consists of:

  • Annual or semi-annual physical examinations
  • Blood and urine analysis
  • Ongoing health and wellness education
  • Periodic at-home monitoring

The focus of a preventive care program is to ensure that your cat is receiving everything he or she needs to live a healthy life, including proper nutrition, good hygiene, and adequate stimulation, as well as early detection of any illness or disease that may be developing. In the fight against various feline diseases, early detection makes a significant difference in the scope and effectiveness of treatment.

Most feline diseases are much easier to treat in the early stages, and some diseases can actually reach a point where treatment is no longer an option. Unfortunately, cats are so good at hiding the signs and symptoms of a disease that, by the time symptoms become obvious, it may be too late. This is why regular exams are critically important.

Semi-Annual Wellness Exams For Your Cat

semi-annual wellness exam should be performed by your veterinarian every 6 months. The physical exam is a comprehensive assessment of your cat’s health. Your veterinarian will review various aspects of your cat’s health, including:

  • Vaccination status
  • Parasite control – to include both internal and external parasites
  • Dental health
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise and environmental enrichment
  • Ears and eyes
  • Internal organs
  • Behavior
  • Coat and skin
  • Bloodwork to help assess metabolic function

Based on the findings, your veterinarian will discuss any concerns, make recommendations, and work with you to keep your cat as healthy as possible.

Bathing, Grooming, and Hygiene Regimen For Cats

A sizeable portion of a cat’s health involves self-bathing and grooming. A cat can manage his or her own skin, fur, and digestive health through self-grooming. However, there are things you can and should do as a cat owner to help ensure optimal hygiene by following a simple preventive care regimen. This includes:

  • Brushing your cat’s hair regularly to limit knots and furballs
  • Trimming your cat’s claws
  • Physical interactions, including petting and playing to maintain a healthy comfort level with interaction and engage the cat’s senses

Of course, the temperament and disposition of your cat can affect your ability to maintain this regimen. If you are unable to do so, or if you have any concerns, our veterinary staff would be happy to discuss options and alternatives with you at your next appointment.

Feline Cancer Detection

Cancer is among the most frightening and painful diagnoses a cat owner can hear. It is also a disease that stands a better chance of being defeated if it is detected early on. As a cat owner, if you notice the development of lumps or conditions that look worrisome, please schedule a veterinary appointment immediately. However, it is important to understand that most of the cancer symptoms that a veterinarian will be able to spot early on, will not be noticeable to you.

Again, because most signs of illness in cats remain subtle until they are in a more serious condition, it is very important to have a veterinarian give your cat a thorough physical on a regular basis. During the exam, our veterinarians will review with you what signs to look for in a cat that may be developing a serious illness.

Integrative Medicine For Cats

Preventive care for cats also includes various fields of integrative medicine. Integrative medicine consists of alternative practices that enhance or enrich standard or classical, preventive, and treatment-based protocols. Some of the many forms of integrative medicine that promote cat health include:

  • Acupuncture
  • Homeopathy
  • Chinese medicine
  • Laser therapy

Integrative medicine can be very effective in promoting cat health when used in conjunction with other veterinarian recommended therapies or treatments. Ask your veterinarian what types of integrative medicine can help keep your cat happy and healthy for many years to come.

Cat Dentistry

One of the most overlooked facets of preventive care for cats is dentistry. Cats do not tell you when they have oral pain or discomfort. In general, by 4 years of age, most cats have developed some dental or gingival disease that will require veterinary intervention. A thorough exam requires anesthesia and dental x-rays.

The majority of dental disease in cats lies underneath the gum line. For this reason, x-rays are required to identify any disease that may be present in the tooth and the root of the tooth which may be a source of chronic pain. Some of the causes of dental disease and discomfort include:

  • Gum disease
  • Malocclusion
  • Tooth loss
  • Mouth sores and ulcers
  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontal disease

A thorough cat teeth cleaning is something you should trust to your veterinarian every 6-12 months, but regular brushing can be performed in the comfort of your home. We would love to assist you in learning how to approach and brush your cat’s teeth. Many cats will tolerate daily teeth brushing if done in a gentle and respectful manner. You can also help facilitate excellent cat health by providing toys and treats formulated to help strengthen and/or clean your cat’s teeth and gums.

For more information on feline dentistry, visit our cat dental care page.

Flea & Tick Prevention For Cats

No insects are as troublesome to you and your cat as fleas and ticks. Fleas can cause severe skin irritation and can infest your home if you do not have a good preventive plan. While less common than fleas, ticks can transmit dangerous and even deadly diseases. Both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk for fleas and ticks, as these parasites can thrive in almost all geographic locations.

This is why flea and tick prevention is a cornerstone of comprehensive preventive care for cats. It is important to be aware that there are numerous products on the market that our veterinarians would strongly suggest you avoid. Every year, our veterinarians review all available flea and tick products to ensure that our recommendations are as up-to-date as possible. Our considerations include safety, effectiveness, and cost. Based on these factors we will work with you to customize a parasite prevention plan for your pets and family. As part of the preventive care for your cat, we will help you choose the safest, most effective parasite products.

For more information on flea and tick prevention for cats, visit our cat flea and tick page.

Cat Nutrition

Raising a healthy cat depends heavily on the type and amount of food he or she consumes on a daily basis. Low-quality cat food and treats high in fat or carbohydrates can negatively affect many aspects of your feline friend’s health. Feline obesity is the most common health problem we see in our otherwise healthy cat patients. Developing a nutritional plan from an early age that includes a diet selection, a feeding plan, and an exercise plan is the best way to avoid feline obesity. Cats will have different nutritional requirements during each stage of their lives, which include:

  • Kittens
  • Adult cats
  • Senior cats

In addition, there are health conditions that will require special diets.

Your veterinarian can help determine if your cat is following a healthy diet, and also help formulate one tailored to your cat’s nutritional needs, lifestyle, and current condition, including prescribed feeding frequency and serving size. In general, we recommend high-quality canned food as the primary source of nutrition. However, some kibble in the diet may be ok in small amounts.

Most cats will overeat if allowed to free feed. Remember, your cat will not tell you if he or she is full, nor can your cat make positive nutritional changes on his or her own. Therefore, you must take control of your cat’s dietary program, to ensure his or her health and wellness throughout every stage of life.

Cat Vaccinations

Vaccinations are a fundamentally essential component of cat care. They consist of a series of immunizations given to your cat as a kitten, followed by boosters given periodically throughout your cat’s lifetime. Vaccinations help prevent and fight various serious, even potentially fatal diseases that cats are at risk of contracting. They also help prevent the spread of diseases between felines, as well as to human beings.

Although the rabies vaccine is the only vaccination currently required by law in most states, we strongly recommend fostering good cat health by making sure your feline friend completes his or her recommended vaccination protocol on time. This program is determined by your veterinarian and is based on the lifestyle, geographic location, and pre-existing medical conditions of your cat.

Learn More

We are a dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate group of veterinarians who absolutely love both our feline patients, and their human counterparts. We are here to provide comprehensive and compassionate preventive cat care services, and to help you learn how to provide the best care in every way. Contact us to discuss a preventive cat care regimen for your feline friend, and to schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians today.

Just like you, we want your cat to live the longest, healthiest life possible. That starts with the basics: quality food, enough exercise, good grooming, and yes, regular check-ups.

Annual exams are your pet’s first line of defense. VIDA Veterinary Care’s comprehensive annual exams include checking their overall health by taking their temperature, examining skin and coat, lung and cardiac function, internal health, oral hygiene, eyes, ears, and demeanor.

Vaccinations: Keeping your cat up to date on immunizations and booster shots is a highly effective way to prevent many common diseases and infections like distemper and rabies. Beyond those core vaccines, your pet’s age, lifestyle, and likely exposure to certain diseases will be evaluated before we recommend additional inoculations.

 Dental Care: Imagine what your teeth would be like if you never cleaned them. Well, the same thing is happening to your cat’s teeth without good oral care. We recommend annual dental cleanings and can show you tips for brushing your pet’s teeth, which can reduce the need for expensive extractions and more serious dental work down the line.

Parasite Control: Fleas, ticks, worms – preventing them in the first place is much easier and ultimately less expensive than getting rid of them after they’ve infested your cat. We recommend monitoring your pet and having them screened for internal parasites regularly, and we offer a variety of alternatives for flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.

Proper Nutrition: There’s a lot of choices when it comes to what to feed your feline friend. Cats are true carnivores and making sure they get proper nutrition is very important to their health. Our veterinarians can help you figure out what is best for your cat and your lifestyle.

Behavioral Evaluation: Changes in mood or behavior, lack of grooming, or litterbox problems can often be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Swiftly addressing these shifts can help to identify and treat the root cause.

Skin and Coat Care: Cats are fastidious by nature, but felines with long, thick coats, and those who live indoors still may need regular brushing, grooming, and nail trims. Proper skin and hair care can prevent things like mange, matting, bacterial infections, and more.

Exercise: Cats are athletic creatures and getting enough exercise–especially if they live indoors–is extremely important in maintaining cardiovascular health and a healthy weight.

Senior Animals: At VIDA Veterinary Care, we love elder pets! We also know that preventative care is even more significant for them. Cats are living longer than ever, making them more susceptible to disease and illness as they age. We recommend twice-yearly exams and screenings for senior cats to help prolong and improve the quality of their life.

Schedule An Appointment To Start a Preventive Care Regimen For Your Cat

Call our Denver office at 303-757-5638 or our Centennial office at 303-843-7222, or fill out our online scheduling form, to schedule an appointment for your pet.