Cats are less likely to be brought to the vet for an annual wellness exam. Cats and kittens should receive the same standard of health care that we advocate for dogs. What does your veterinarian assess and discuss during a wellness visit? She will:
Assess your pet for signs of fear, anxiety and stress and make recommendations to help future visits be less frightening.
Check for signs of pain. Animals often hide pain, and veterinarians are trained to see what you have have overlooked at home.
Observe your kitten or cat’s demeanor - is s/he bright, alert and active or is there reason to investigate for signs that s/he could be unwell?
Check to see if your pet is overweight or underweight and discuss appropriate amounts to feed and types of foods if a change is recommended.
Examine the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, torso, limbs and genitalia and palpates the abdomen to see if everything inside feels appropriately placed and normal.
Check the lymph nodes.
Take the heart rate and respiratory rate.
Assess the teeth and gums for signs of dental disease, which can occur as early as 2-3 years of age. Dental disease is a common concern, even in younger cats, that can cause them a great deal of pain. Poor dental care can result in other serious conditions as well, and bacteria from the mouth can cause organ damage if the teeth and gums are not cleaned. Dental problems, if caught early, can extend the life of your kitty.
Check a stool sample for the presence of bacteria and parasites.
Observe the condition of the skin and how your cat “ambulates” (walks).
Looks for signs of neurological abnormalities (brain injury, seizure, etc.).
The vet may recommend blood work or dentistry to keep your pet in the best health. She may recommend parasite prevention or other medications based on her examination, and she will answer any questions and address any concerns you may have.