Got a question only a cat can answer? Just ask Frank!

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Q. Besides yearly required vaccinations, how often should I take my pet to see my veterinarian?

A: Meow… that’s a good question. It is very important that your pet has a physical exam prior to vaccinations. This is an opportunity to be sure that your pet is healthy and if abnormal findings are discovered, it is the best time to start a treatment. If your pet does not need a vaccination, then a yearly physical exam is recommended. I have a physical exam every year; and because of my age, I also have a blood test annually. (I have my AARP card.) This year the doctor found problems with my kidneys, and thanks to this early discovery, I am being treated for kidney problems. I am not only more comfortable and enjoying life, but I will live longer.

Q. How do I take care of my pet’s teeth?

A: The doctor recommends that I have a dental cleaning every year. I don’t like the idea very much because I have to be anesthetized. However, I have to admit that I like to have clean teeth. I can eat better if I have no pain, and people like to be around me if I don’t have “cat breath”. Because we have excellent products for anesthesia and I am monitored during the procedure (blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, etc.), the procedure is safe, and I don’t remember anything when I wake up. To keep my teeth clean, I also eat Science Diet t/d (mixed with my daily diet). Some of the technicians attempt to brush my teeth, but that is where I draw the line. (I don’t allow that.)

Q. What is the best method of feeding my pet? Should it be on a regular schedule, or should I leave a bowl of food out at all times?

A: If it is up to me, I would like to have food 24 hours a day. But the doctor is concerned because obese pets can have many problems (diabetes, arthritis, etc.). I am a big-boned cat, but the doctor says I am overweight. I am on a special low-calorie diet, and I am fed twice a day. Because I am on good terms with the technicians, I can “steal” some extras when the doctor is not around…. purr, purr. But the bottom line is we pets should be offered an amount of food daily that is determined by our target weight, and we should be fed once or twice daily.