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C2010-08

Dear Christopher Cat

Now that our cat Tippy is seven, our veterinarian recommends twice-yearly checkups. Tippy is a healthy, indoor cat, so this seems excessive. What do you recommend?

Christopher Responds

Veterinarians classify us cats as middle-aged at seven, senior at 11, and geriatric at 15. I am a healthy senior fellow, in part, I believe, because Mom has been examining me every six months since I was seven.

Tippy deserves the same care.

In cats and even in you humans, health problems occur more frequently with increasing age. Twice-yearly wellness exams help veterinarians identify problems early, when treatment can be most successful.

Besides, given how fast we cats age, our semi-annual visit is about the same as an exam every two or three years for a human.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners compiled a free booklet that will help you during this stage of Tippy’s life. “Friends for Life: Caring for Your Older Cat” is available online at www.catvets.com/uploads/Friends for Life Brochure - Purina.pdf.

The booklet offers advice on dental care, nutrition, weight, common diseases of older cats and end-of-life decisions.

 

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