The 2010 AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines task force members consisted of:
Distinct life stages (age groups) in cats are not well defined, in part because individual animals and body systems age at different rates, a process that is influenced by many factors.
The following recommendations provide guidance on what to discuss or act upon depending on the life stage of the feline patient.
To achieve optimum feline health care, veterinarians must help owners to understand and appreciate the importance of regular preventive care for their cats at all ages.
Energy and nutrient needs vary with life stage, sterilization status and activity, and so general feeding recommendations provide only a starting point.
Behavior and environmental items to be discussed at each life stage include:
Parasite control is important in cats of all ages. Prevention includes both animal and environmental control.
Vaccination priorities to consider when designing a comprehensive, life stage-targeted wellness plan for a cat.
Diseases of the oral cavity are extremely common, yet most owners are unaware that dental disease can threaten the health and welfare of their cat.
Although specific data documenting benefits are not available, the panel concluded that regular wellness examinations and collection of the minimum database can be valuable.