What is a wellness examination?
A wellness examination is a routine medical examination of a patient that is apparently healthy, as opposed to an examination of a patient that is ill. A wellness examination may also be called a ‘check-up’ or a ‘physical examination’. The focus of a wellness visit is the maintenance of optimal health.
How often should my cat have a wellness examination?
The answer to this question depends on your pet’s age and current health status. During early kitten hood wellness exams are recommended on a monthly basis, and semi-annual examinations are recommended for average adult, middle aged and geriatric cats.
“It is a popular misconception that one calendar year equates to seven years in a cat’s life.”
Pets age at a faster rate than people. It is a popular misconception that one calendar year equates to seven years in a cat’s life. In actual fact, in one calendar year a cat may age the equivalent of four to sixteen years in a human’s life. The reason for this dramatic difference is that kittens reach maturity very quickly, and are essentially adolescents or young adults by a year of age – thus they are considered to be the equivalent of a 15-16 year old by their first birthday.
During the second year, the rate of aging slows down a little so that your cat will be the equivalent of a 24-25 year old by their second birthday. After that, the rate of aging stabilizes to about 4 cat years per calendar year. This means that cats will be middle-aged by about 6 years of age and a 10 year old cat is considered to be geriatric.
Your veterinarian is in the best position to recommend how often your cat should have a wellness examination, based on its age, lifestyle and health status.