According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, 83% of cats visit the vet at least once in their first year with their owners. However, over half of them never return to the vet in subsequent years.
While it’s true that cats are often low-maintenance pets compared to dogs, cats still need regular wellness care including exams, vaccines and preventative medications to stay healthy. Plus, when we see cats regularly, we establish a baseline for their health and can often identify changes and diagnose diseases before they get too serious. But 58% of cat owners say their cats hate going to the vet, so they take their cats less often if they can help it. Plus, many owners of indoor cats think they only need to see a vet when vaccinations are due. However, annual wellness exams are vital for your cat’s health.
Here are four reasons why:
- Cats are masters at hiding pain and illness. Kidney disease, diabetes, and arthritis are just a few of the conditions you might never see until it’s a more expensive or potentially fatal problem.
- Obesity and dental disease. Indoor cats are especially susceptible to weight gain that an owner may not notice right away. The same is true with painful dental disease, which the American Association of Feline Practitioners reports is the most prevalent health problem in cats under 10.
- Yes – your indoor cat can get fleas! And other parasites, too – especially if you have additional animals in the house. Cockroaches, mice, and flies can carry in parasites as well.
- Behavior changes. Eliminating outside the litterbox, lack of grooming, or more frequent vocalization could be a sign that your feline friend has a more serious health problem.
Even though your cat may despise the vet, it’s better for them (and potentially better for your wallet in the long term) to be checked annually, especially since felines are adept at hiding illness. They can be silently suffering for a long time, unbeknownst to you, and may only display pain when the problem is dire.
Don’t wait for this moment—get your feline friend checked today and take the next step to giving them a clean bill of health!
To schedule your cat’s next exam at DVH, give us a call today at 425-336-4861.