May 22, 2024

Caring for our feline friends involves understanding their unique health needs. This article delves into the vital role of internal medicine in feline health care, explaining the part of veterinary internists, various approaches towards kitten to senior care, diagnosis and treatments for illnesses, and the necessity for a custom medical plan for ensuring the overall well-being of cats.

The Essence of Feline Internal Medicine

Feline Internal Medicine refers to a subset of veterinary medicine focusing on preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases in cats. It integrates various branches of medicine, providing comprehensive health care for felines of all ages. Through internal medicine, veterinarians can address various health issues tailored to each cat’s needs.

Important Roles of a Veterinary Internist for Cats

An integral part of any cat’s medical team is the internal medicine for cats and dogs, i.e., the veterinary internist. These professionals specialize in preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases in cats. Veterinary internists undergo additional training beyond veterinary school, leading to certification by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine or a similar accredited body, thereby becoming Board-Certified Veterinary Internists.

Feline Health Care From Kitten to Geriatric Age

Kitten Health Care

Caring for a kitten includes:

  • Providing a series of vaccinations to protect against common diseases
  • Monitoring the kitten’s growth and development regularly
  • Implementing a balanced diet to support healthy growth and development
  • Regular health checks to identify any early signs of Fading Kitten Syndrome
  • Early training and socialization to encourage good behavior

Feline Geriatric Care

Senior cats require a bit of extra attention, and their care may involve:

  • Regular health screenings to catch any potential age-related diseases early, including heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and dental disease amongst others
  • Adjustments to their diet to account for changes in metabolism
  • Keeping a close eye on weight, as obesity can be a serious problem in older cats, increasing the risk of health issues
  • Increased attention to dental care, as older cats are more susceptible to dental disease
  • Proactive management of any chronic conditions

Diagnosis and Treatments in Feline Illnesses

Detecting Illnesses in Cats

Diagnosis methods for feline illnesses include:

  • Blood tests: These can reveal problems such as anemia, infections, and organ diseases.
  • Ultrasounds: This imaging technique can help detect internal problems, including heart disease, tumors, and kidney disease.
  • X-rays: Useful in diagnosing bone fractures and lung problems and detecting foreign bodies.
  • Biopsies in cats: This involves collecting small samples from tissues or organs for testing, which is particularly useful in diagnosing cancer.

Treating Illnesses in Cats

Treatment methods for feline illnesses include:

  • Medication: This could be antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, or specific drugs for the identified disease.
  • Specialized diets: Nutrition plays a significant role in managing kidney disease or obesity.
  • Surgery: In some cases of cancers, tumors, or severe injuries, surgical intervention is required, i.e., tumor removal in cats.
  • Chemotherapy for cats: Chemotherapy could be part of the treatment plan for certain feline cancers.

Looking at Surgery for Cats

Surgical intervention becomes necessary when medicine and non-invasive methods fail to resolve cat health issues. A dogs and cats surgeon is experienced in performing various surgical procedures, including spaying/neutering, tumor removal, and complex orthopedic surgeries. Their expertise ensures that cats receive the highest standard of care during their surgical procedures.

Feline Dental Health Care

One integral component of overall cat health that is often overlooked is dental health. Tooth and gum problems in cats are common and can lead to significant discomfort and systemic health issues if left untreated. A dentist for dogs and cats specializing in veterinary dentistry can provide comprehensive oral health care, from routine cleaning to advanced dental surgeries.

Preventing Illness

Preventing illness in cats is a proactive approach to feline health care. Regular wellness exams are critical in detecting any potential health problems early. Routine vaccinations protect cats from common, often serious, diseases. Prevention also entails providing a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients and maintaining an appropriate exercise routine to prevent obesity—a significant risk factor for various diseases. 

Regular flea, tick, and worming treatments also help prevent associated diseases. Furthermore, dental hygiene should not be overlooked since poor dental health can lead to significant illnesses. By monitoring your feline friend carefully for any changes in behavior, eating habits, or litter use, potential health issues can be identified and tackled early.

Common Feline Illnesses and Their Management

  • Feline Skin and Coat Diseases
  • Feline Musculoskeletal Issues
  • Respiratory Issues in Cats
  • Renal and Urinary Problems in Cats

These are just some examples of the broad range of cat health issues a veterinary internist can help manage. With their specialized training and deep understanding of the unique needs of cats, internists are invaluable members of any cat’s healthcare team.


Comprehensive feline internal medicine underpins a cat’s health and longevity by managing kitten to senior health care issues. The expertise of a veterinary internist, in combination with regular wellness exams and age-appropriate medical plans, helps prevent illnesses, ensure prompt diagnosis, and provide effective treatment, thus enhancing the quality of the feline’s lives.