Feline Life Stages

Proper care and good health is the cat’s meow!

APPOINTMENT

Cats & Critters Feline Life Stages

Just like humans, cats require different types of care during each stage of life. Whether you have a kitten, an adult cat, or a senior feline in your life, the team at Cats & Critters is here to help you navigate the changing needs of your feline companion.

Choosing the Right Food

Kittens

Young pets usually require multiple trips to a veterinarian to ensure healthy growth and development. Scheduled visits are also good opportunities to get your questions answered and to address your concerns. Remember, raising a new kitten is a big job, and our team is here to provide support and guidance.

Behavior and general recommendations:

  1. Position a litter box or two in easily accessible areas. We recommend a minimum of one box per cat per floor. Scoop daily and clean weekly to ensure appropriate elimination behavior.
  2. Provide an outlet for your kitten’s natural scratching behavior (e.g., a cat tree). Note whether there’s a preference for a specific texture or orientation (horizontal or vertical).
  3. Regular play times are important to develop and strengthen the bond between you and your new kitten. Avoid rough play as this will encourage inappropriate nipping/scratching.

Nutrition:

Purchase a high-quality kitten food (canned and dry). Follow the serving guidelines.

Kitten Schedule

8 Weeks

  • FVRCP #1 (feline viral rhinotracheitis/calicivirus/panleukopenia)
  • Feline leukemia vaccine (FeLV) #1 (non-core vaccine)
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Feline leukemia and feline feline immunodeficiency virus testing
  • Begin parasite prevention protocol
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Litter training guidance

12 weeks

  • FVRCP #2
  • Feline leukemia vaccine #2
  • Stool exam and deworming
  • Rabies vaccine

16 weeks

  • FVRCP#3

5 months

  • Stool exam and deworming, if needed
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchipping
Adult Cats (1-8 years)

Annual exams, vaccinations and boosters, and a preventive mindset are necessary to keep your cat in optimal health. Our experienced veterinarians will work with you on the following topics to develop an individualized care plan for your adult cat:

  • Behavioral counseling
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Vaccines (based on patient needs and risk factors)
  • Oral care and dental disease
  • Ongoing external and internal parasite control
The Golden Years (9+ years)

While every pet is different, most cats are considered senior at the age of 9. Common problems among senior pets include:

  • Arthritis
  • Dental disease
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Kidney disease

To help prevent the onset of common age-related conditions, we focus on the following elements of senior pet care:

  • Early detection of disease
  • Frequency of wellness visits (at least twice yearly exams)
  • Increased diagnostic screenings
  • Ongoing parasite control
  • Lifestyle/environmental changes
  • Maintaining mobility
  • Management of chronic diseases
  • Behavioral health and awareness
  • Changing nutritional needs

In addition, we continue to address the health priorities established as an adult cat. Our team utilizes various diagnostics and lab work to provide a baseline for comparison and for early detection of disease.

Supporting a Senior Lifestyle
Caring for a senior pet is very rewarding, and our team is dedicated to maintaining a high quality of life for your companion. We will help you consider appropriate environmental or lifestyle changes and explore different options that benefit an aging pet. In general, older animals are more sensitive to anxiety and stress, so they may be less tolerant of major changes (e.g., new pets, moving). If possible, continue to include your companion in your normal routine. Always incorporate regular play and exercise, as this is important to your pet’s physical and mental acuity.