According to a study done by the American Veterinary Association, less than half of cat owners in the U.S. take their cats to the vet annually. Many cats are indoor only which leads many owners to believe they don't need to see the vet as often. In addition, taking them to the vet can be stressful or difficult. Vet visits for cats are then only reserved for when our feline friends are sick, but it’s important to bring your cat into the vet annually or bi-annually. In recognition of Take Your Cat To The Vet Day on August 22, we've compiled three reasons why you should bring your cat to the vet regularly, not just when they are sick.
Just like dogs, cats have routine shots that they need to provide them immune support. Common shots that cats should get updated regularly are rabies, feline distemper, feline herpesvirus, and calicivirus. These are considered core vaccines, which are essential to not only your cat’s health, but other cats that your cat may encounter. Making sure your cat stays up-to-date on their routine shots means they will have a stronger immune system to help fight off potential viruses.
As your cat gets older, routine vet visits are even more important. Physical check-ups can allow vets to check aging eyes, ears, teeth, or feel for any bumps that might need to be investigated further. Cats are very good at hiding pain, so they are not likely to exhibit any signs of discomfort until they are already ill. Geriatric blood work can also be beneficial in discovering issues with the liver, thyroid, glucose levels, and more. It's important to remember that age plays a large role in the efficiency of your cat's immune system, so having an annual vet visit will ensure they're getting proper medical attention they need to continue to live comfortably.
Cats, especially indoor-only cats, are prone to weight issues such as obesity. Regular visits to the vet can help you monitor their weight. Additionally, your vet will be able to make recommendations on how much food to give your cat or what food is being given altogether. Unexpected or sudden weight gain and even weight loss may be indicators of an active health concern. Bringing your cat in for regular check-ups ensures that you catch any sudden changes in their weight quickly that may be linked to something more serious.
Vet visits can be stressful on both you and your cat, but bringing them into the vet regularly can be the difference in catching a medical issue before it gets worse. To help the journey easier, take some time to learn about more ways to cope with stressful vet visits. Just make sure you have a nice, calm environment for your cat to return to with a quiet place available for them to hide in when you come home if they need to!
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