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Preventive Care for Cats

Help your cat live a longer, happier life.

Preventive care is an essential part of keeping your cat happy and healthy. It will give you peace of mind and increase the odds of detecting underlying health conditions before they become advanced and expensive.

How often should my cat see a veterinarian?

At Gaithersburg Animal Hospital, we make our preventive care recommendations using the guidelines established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). From there, our veterinarians further customize their suggestions based on hereditary factors including your cat’s age, lifestyle, and medical history.

Typically, we suggest scheduling at least one annual exam during which one of our veterinarians will review your cat’s medical history, assess their behavior, make dietary recommendations, and evaluate any known health conditions they may have.

What should I expect from a preventive cat care exam?

Think of your cat’s annual exam like your own yearly physical. At the appointment, we’ll read their temperature, examine their eyes, ears, teeth, and skin, listen to their heart and lungs, and evaluate their joint health.

You can also expect your veterinarian to make recommendations for:

  • Vaccines based on your cat’s lifestyle or breed. Core vaccines include rabies and feline distemper, although your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccines like feline leukemia (FeLV)
  • Parasite prevention products to keep your cat safe from fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, and heartworms
  • Diagnostic testing to identify any health conditions that cannot be detected during a physical exam and to confirm your cat is free from internal parasites

Suggested Care

Adults (1-10 years):

  • Annual physical/dental exam – Dental cleaning when tartar/gingivitis develop
  • FVRCP and Rabies vaccination at 1 year of age and every three years thereafter
  • (in alternating years). Some boarding and grooming facilites require FVRCP every 12 months.
  • Annual Leukemia and FIV vaccines for cats going outdoors
  • Annual fecal parasite exam – giardia test if outdoors – Deworm as needed
  • Administer monthly heartworm preventative and flea/tick control measures
  • Feed premium quality maintenance diet (e.g.. Science Diet, Iams, Royal Canin)

Senior Adults (8-10 years and older):

  • Semi-annual Senior Wellness Examination
  • Annual senior wellness laboratory testing (bloodwork and urinalysis) – Additional blood tests, X-ray, EKG, ultrasound etc. as indicated
  • Vaccinations and parasite control as for mature adults
  • Feed senior diet or prescription/therapeutic diet as indicated by exam and tests
  • Additional supplements (vitamins, nutroceuticals, chondroprotectants) as needed

At your cat's annual exam, your veterinarian will answer any questions you may have and discuss other services that could improve their overall health such as spaying/neutering, microchipping, and dental care.

Call us at (301) 948-2828 to schedule your cat's annual preventive care exam.

Cat veterinary