cat laying down outside

Nose-To-Tail Exam For Cats

by Dr. Jennifer Davis

One year in a cat’s life is similar to five years in ours, so a lot can change in a year. That’s why cats should generally come in at least once a year for a complete exam.

Older cats, older than nine years old, should come twice a year. But we all know how much cats hate to come to get in the car and come to the hospital, so once a year at least.

When we do an annual exam, we’re examining from nose to tail. We’re looking at nose, eyes, ears, skin, teeth – teeth are very important. We’re listening to their heart and lungs. We’re checking their abdomen. We’re checking their joints.

All of those things can tell us a lot about your cat’s overall health. It’s very difficult at home every day to notice some of those things, especially things like weight loss and things like changes in their body condition. It’s hard to tell when you see them every day.

It’s very important, at least once a year, to convince that cat to get into the kitty carrier and come to see us. 


Hawthorne Animal Hospital, a small animal hospital and veterinary clinic, serves St. Louis Metro East area, including the communities of Edwardsville, Glen Carbon, Maryville, Troy, Alton, Granite City, Collinsville, Highland, Wood River, Roxana, Bethalto, Godfrey, Worden, and Hamel.

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