We consider any cat 10 years or older to be a Senior Cat. At the age of 10, your cat is essentially equivalent to a 56 year old human. For that reason, we recommend starting routine diagnostic testing in addition to updating any vaccinations. The earlier we detect disease, the better chance we have at successfully treating it. Once per year, we recommend performing full blood work (including a complete blood count, organ function tests, and thyroid level), a urinalysis, and a blood pressure measurement. These tests give us a very good picture of your cat’s overall health and screen for the most common diseases that older cats get such as Chronic Kidney Disease, Hyperthyroidism, and Diabetes. We have designed a Senior Wellness Package that includes all of these tests to make it more cost effective and easier to perform. Ask us about this at your next appointment!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: How do you collect blood from a cat?
A: We routinely draw blood from a vein located on the inside of a back leg or from the jugular vein located in the neck. We will shave a small amount of fur in one of these areas and use a very small needle to draw blood. The blood is then sent to the lab for analysis and we usually receive results back within 24 hours.
Q: How do you collect urine from a cat?
A: If urine is collected in the clinic, we can collect it one of two ways: either by cystocentesis (inserting a small needle into the bladder) or by “free catch” which means the cat gives us a voided sample in a clean, empty litter box. If your cat does not have a large bladder at the time or your appointment, we may have you leave your cat with us for several hours until the bladder fills up or have you drop off another day for urine collection. You also have the option to collect urine at home and bring the sample to us: Put your cat in a bathroom or other room without carpet or rugs and give him or her a clean, empty litter box. Most of the time you will need to leave your cat in there overnight until he or she gives you a sample. You can place the urine in a clean container or suck it up in a clean syringe to bring to us. A sample should not be more than 24 hours old for analysis.
Q: How do you obtain a blood pressure measurement in a cat?
A: We place a small blood pressure cuff around a front leg and use a doppler machine to hear the cat’s heart beat. We like to do this in the exam room with you and near the beginning of the appointment before any other diagnostic tests are performed to try to measure it when the cat is the least stressed.