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Feline Life Stages
Cats can live a surprisingly long time, with the all-time record holder living to the age of 39. But no matter how gracefully cats age, they still age -- and in the journey from kittenhood to their "golden years" their health needs and challenges can change. Each Las Vegas veterinarian at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital recognizes these changes and accommodates them with different types of wellness evaluations and recommendations aimed at your cat's specific stage of life.
Cats are generally considered to pass through six life stages as follows:
Kitten - Kittens include cats from birth to 6 months of age. These babies require a great amount of close attention and veterinary care, including some critical initial wellness procedures such as core vaccinations, spaying or neutering, de-worming, fecal testing for parasites, and microchipping. Your cat veterinarian will also advise you on your kitten's special nutritional requirements.
Junior - A junior cat is 7 months to 2 years old. At this point your cat is receiving his first annual vaccine updates. If he's an outdoor cat, your Las Vegas veterinarian will want to run lab tests to make sure he's clear of contagious viruses and parasites. Nutritional requirements need to be reconsidered as weight gain can start to become an issue worth watching at this stage.
Prime - Prime cats aged 2 to 6 are full adults, and they can fall into a comfortable routine of annual wellness evaluations and vaccination boosters as needed. This is the stage where your cat vet will recommend a thorough dental checkup and, if needed, a dental cleaning to get rid of harmful tartar that can cause gum disease.
Mature - Cats aged 7 to 10 are "middle-aged" in human years, and age-related illnesses can start to make their earliest appearances at this stage of life. Wellness screenings will now include blood and urine testing to check for such ailments, while weight control becomes even more important to prevent obesity-related diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.
Senior - Senior wellness for cats aged 11 to 14 includes many of the same evaluations as the mature cat screening, plus careful testing for thyroid disease and kidney disease, two threats to an older cat's health. Joint problems such as arthritis may also require treatment.
Geriatric - A geriatric cat aged 15 or older may begin to accumulate chronic pain and internal organ disorders, whether he seems unwell or not. (Cats are notoriously good at hiding their discomfort.) This is why your cat vet recommends twice-yearly geriatric wellness screenings.
If your cat is ready to "graduate" from one stage in his life to the next, maybe it's time for his veterinary care to follow suit. Call 702-257-3222 today to schedule a cat vet evaluation that takes your feline friend's age into account. We can help you make sure that every stage in your cat's life is spent in optimal health and comfort!
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