Annual wellness exams allow us to get to know your feline family member so we can work together to help ensure a lifetime of good health. National Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day is August 22nd— and it’s the perfect opportunity to schedule your cat’s routine check-up! Here are five great reasons why:
1. By the time your cat reaches the age of two, his or her “human” age is 24. Cats continue to age four years for every calendar year afterwards. This means illness and disease progress faster as well, so annual veterinary care is crucial because a lot can happen during those four cat years.
2. Many cats don’t show any signs of illness or pain until significant damage has been done to vital organs. Annual exams include checking your cat’s eyes, nose, and ears, listening to the heart and lungs, palpating the abdomen, and assessing bone structure and muscle tone. We’ll also ask you about appetite or activity level changes, and diagnostic bloodwork may be recommended to help identify medical conditions that require treatment.
3. Healthy teeth and gums play an important role in the ongoing good health of your cat. Periodontal disease is considered the most prevalent medical condition in cats three years of age or older. If left untreated, gingivitis (gum inflammation) or periodontitis (bone loss or gum recession around the teeth) can result in infection, appetite loss or pain and may damage the heart, liver, lungs or kidneys. Our doctors will examine your cat’s mouth and teeth and may recommend a dental procedure to remove plaque from healthy teeth or to extract diseased teeth.
4. More than 60% of cats are clinically obese. Annual visits can help you keep a check on your cat’s weight. To put it into perspective, four extra pounds on a cat is equal to 45 extra pounds on the average woman. Just three additional pounds can increase your cat’s risk of diabetes, or kidney, respiratory and heart disease. Our doctors will review your cat’s weight at each visit and provide nutritional and exercise recommendations to achieve and maintain an ideal weight.
5. Year-round protection from heartworm infection and tick-borne diseases is important for all cats, including those that live indoors. Disease-carrying insects and parasites can make their way indoors, and cats that only occasionally go outside are also susceptible. Year-round preventatives reduce the chance of diseases, some of which are transmittable to humans.
Annual or semi-annual (recommended for senior cats) visits allow our veterinarians to gather a complete and accurate snapshot of your pet’s health so that any changes can be addressed in a timely manner and monitored. Early detection of illness can improve the chances of a good outcome for your pet, and in the long run is more cost effective for you.