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?
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.