VCA Animal Hospitals
cat health and wellness

Maintaining your Cat's Health

When cats are sick or in pain, they’re notorious for masking their illness and hiding their symptoms, and it’s not because they’re just too proud or independent to show it. One theory is that this behavior has deep biological roots - in the wild cats would be ‘prey’ animals, and showing any sign of weakness would make them more vulnerable. That’s why even an injured cat will likely keep moving as if nothing was wrong.

Knowing this, it’s up to us to keep a watchful eye on our beloved feline friends. Particularly because animals mature faster than we do - biologically they evolved that way, making them better able to survive disease and predators in the wild. Cats are considered senior after about 12 years, so we always have to remind ourselves that with “accelerated” health, they may develop disease earlier so we need to check for red flags.

A wellness examination is a routine medical examination of a cat that is apparently healthy as opposed to an examination performed when a cat is ill. A wellness examination is often called a “check-up” or a “physical examination” and the focus of this exam is the maintenance of your cat’s health. These exams allow your veterinarian to detect and treat health issues earlier which usually means less expense to you and often a better outcome for your cat.

Cats are masters at hiding disease so even if your cat seems healthy, all cats—both indoor and outdoor—should go to the vet at least once each year for this thorough check-up.

Most adult cats should have at least one wellness examination every year. If you have a kitten, wellness examinations may be scheduled every three to four weeks to ensure your new pet gets appropriate care and vaccinations. Middle-aged and geriatric cats benefit from wellness examination twice yearly in order to detect abnormalities early—when treatment will be less expensive and most effective.

During a routine wellness examination, your veterinarian will ask you specific questions about your cat’s diet, exercise, behavior, elimination patterns and general health. Your veterinarian will also perform a thorough physical examination and make any recommendations for preventive treatments such as vaccination, parasite control, nutrition and dental care. Depending on the age of your cat, your veterinarian is likely to recommend wellness screening blood and fecal tests and possibly radiographs (xrays). These screening tests are intended to detect any problems with your cat’s health before they show outward signs of disease.

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General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.

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