Prevention is key and it all starts with the veterinary visit. Both the Association of Feline Practioniers (AAFP) and the American Association of Animal Hospitals (AAHA) recommend that all cats should have a veterinary examination at least once a year, more frequently for geriatric cats or cats with medical conditions. Regular check-ups allow your veterinarian to ensure that your cat is protected against preventable diseases. Vaccinations are sometimes taken for granted, but they are one of the easiest and most important ways to protect your cat from common viruses like calicivus and panleukopenia, or deadly diseases such as rabies and feline leukemia. Staying up to date on routine immunizations is important and can help prevent your pet from getting sick unnecessarily. Talk to your veterinarian about what vaccinations your particular pet may need. Your veterinarian will also discuss ways to prevent your cat from getting internal and external parasites.
In addition to making sure your cat is protected against preventable diseases, your veterinarian will also check your cat for early signs of disease. While it’s true that no one knows your pet better than you do. The fact is cats are masters at hiding illness and they can’t tell you when something is wrong. So never assume your cat looks healthy and skip a check-up. Just like us, cats can develop diseases like kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes, dental disease, cardiac disease and cancer. During a routine visit, your veterinarian will examine your cat from head to tail looking for any changes or abnormalities. How many people actually examine their pet regularly? How many people look inside their cat’s mouth or listen to their cat’s heart. Not many I bet! Even if they did would they know what to look or listen for? Veterinarians are trained to detect subtle signs of diseases and they have the tools and staff to make it easy. Remember the goal of annual examinations is to not only prevent disease but also to catch any illnesses early. The earlier diseases are discovered the better the odds are that your cat can be treated successfully. Waiting until your cat becomes ill and shows obvious signs and symptoms of their disease is not ideal. It can make treatment harder and more costly to treat because the condition is more advanced. That's why in my opinion, bringing your cat in to see their veterinarian at least once a year is one of the most important things you can do for them!
Our pets give us so much. They give us unconditional love, laughter, joy and even improve our overall health. The fact is they give us so much and ask for so little in return; we owe it to them to keep them healthy and safe. Prevention and early detection are the best ways we can insure that America’s most popular pet live out their nine lives. If your cat hasn’t been to the vet in the last year make an appointment today!