Have any of our kitty parents (or their friends) ever said to themselves "My cat doesn't need a semi-annual wellness exam because he never goes outside or interacts with other animals"?
Well... Dental disease, arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, or even diabetes do not care if your pet lives only inside or has no interaction with other animals, it can strike any pet at any time.
Little creepy crawlies, such as parasite and flea eggs can come inside too. Mosquito, flies, fleas, and the eggs of other parasites have the capacity to come inside either on their own or attached to our clothing, shoes, etc. Potting soil has also been known to carry the eggs of certain types of parasites that your feline friend can become infected with. Regular semi-annual examinations can help with early detection of these abnormalities in your feline friends. Cats are known for being stoic and showing no signs of sickness until the very end when their bodies can literally not hide it anymore. In addition, feline's are notorious for obesity and that can bring on a whole host of its own problems to include arthritis, joint disease, heart disease, or even diabetes. If any of these are left untreated for your feline friend they can be fatal. Please be aware that just because your feline friend lives alone indoors that it is not impermeable to things that may cause illness.
How about "My cat doesn't need a semi-annual wellness exam because he doesn't act sick"?
As mentioned above: our feline friends are known for concealing their illness or pain until the very end. Felines were once wild animals and showing signs of illness could mean death for them. This trait has stayed with them in our modern day friends.
A semi-annual exam can be the key to finding what your feline friend has been hiding from you. Veterinarians have years of schooling and hands on experience to find even the smallest abnormalities in our feline friends. In addition, as our pets age it is recommended that yearly blood work is performed too in order to get a visual of the inside of our feline friends since we cannot see it ourselves. semi-annual exams can help catch developing dental disease, which is common in felines, before there are many issues or illness that can arise. Having them checked regularly by your veterinarian can help catch some of these early or even in some cases prevent it altogether.
Or maybe "My older cat doesn't need a semi-annual exam. Our other cat that lived to be 20 years old, it never went to the vet, and was fine"
While yes, it is possible for some felines to live to a very old age and not appear to have any health concerns, that is rare. In addition, your feline passed away from something. That something may have been prevented or treated with regular veterinary examinations. Think about it like this: When your feline is 20 years old, that is the equivalency of a human being almost 120 years old!! Imagine how many health concerns a person has in their lifetime to reach that age. Minimum that person could have arthritis ad decaying teeth, both of which are painful. Most people atribute slowing down and being lazy with old age, however, this is not true. Those are not due to old age, those are due to the pain required for mobility. Pets are the same way and a regular veterinary examination can help catch your feline friend's pain early and manage it. In fact, when felines are not in pain, especially seniors, they are much more active and playful. Make sure just because your pet is not crying in pain that you make sure it is not in pain.
Lastly, maybe the time old "Going to the veterinarian is a very stressful ordeal for my cat. I don't want to put them through that to be told they are fine."
The first that should be addressed is what has occurred in past visits that caused them to be so stressful, and try to eliminate some key stress factors. Felines are notoriously anxious which causes them to view the veterinary office as a scary place. There are the smells of dogs, other cats, urine, and many other things that our cats notice that we do not. There is also an elevation in noise, a carrier, and the car ride. While some of these stressors are unavoidable there are some things you, as a pet owner, can do to help calm your feline friend. Using the right kind of carrier, the right kind of handling, the right attitude, and even the right pheromones, we can enjoy more pleasant visits with our cats. Ultimately, talk with your veterinarian about previous experiences so you can come up with a better plan for you and your feline friend.
We hope this helps with any questions you may have in regard to the importance of regular exams for your feline companion.
Call or come in today to schedule your appointment!