It seems like there is a “day” for everything now on the calendar, but there is one “holiday” coming up that we can definitely get behind!
August 22 is National ‘Take Your Cat to the Vet Day’
Did you know that cats are typically taken to their veterinarian half as often as dogs, and many cat owners (separate question: does anyone really own a cat?) only take their cat to the vet when he/she is sick. The problem is that cats get sick too! They suffer from a lot of the same illnesses and diseases as dogs, and for that matter humans too.
That’s why ‘Take Your Cat to the Vet Day’ is a great opportunity to remind cat owners of the importance of preventive care for cats. You don’t skip your kids’ pediatric wellness checks, so why should your cat’s check-ups be any different?
Is Your Cat Due for a Vet Visit?
Kittens require frequent vet visits; in their first 16 weeks of life, they should be seen every three to four weeks for head-to-tail exams, stool samples, and immunizations. Your vet will help you determine the best vaccine schedule for your kitten. Most rescues or adoption centers insist on these visits to set the kitten up for a healthy start to life. Frequent visits as a kitten also help your cat get used to going to the vet…which can make life easier for everyone later!
Spaying or neutering your cat (please do this – there are enough kittens looking for homes in this world!) is generally recommended when your cat is between 6 and 12 months old. Again, talk to your vet to determine the best age for this surgical procedure for your fur-baby.
If your adult cat hasn’t been to the vet for a while – let’s say the last 12 months – then it’s probably time to make an appointment. If your cat has severe anxiety before vet visits, remember that we can come to you for an in-home vet visit!
Until they reach middle-age (6-8 yrs old), annual check-ups are recommended for adult cats. Of course, cats at any age with health concerns (especially chronic conditions) may need to see their veterinarian more often for monitoring.
When your cat gets to 8–10 years old, most vets start advising biannual visits (every six months). Your cat is approaching their senior years at this stage, so it’s important to keep a closer eye on their wellness and behaviors.
For example, if your older cat starts drinking more water than he/she used to, that could indicate health problems like kidney disease or diabetes.
What’s Involved with a Feline Wellness Check?
Your vet will ask about your cat’s lifestyle, especially whether he or she is an indoor-only cat or a cat that sometimes ventures outdoors. Outdoor or indoor-outdoor cats face more risks: parasites (like fleas, ticks and ear mites, and check a stool sample for internal parasites, like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and coccidia) and predators (coyotes, owls, birds of prey) are the main concern in Arizona. While your cat is outside, they stand a much better chance of coming into contact with other cats. That raises the possibility of contracting diseases like feline leukemia and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), which spread from cat to cat (although they don’t affect humans or other pets).
Annual visits will allow your vet to give your cat a general head-to-tail exam looking for any changes or abnormalities, offer advice about preventative care, and inspect your cat’s teeth.
They can also keep them up-to-date on immunizations. Which vaccines your cat will need will depend on their age, lifestyle, and risk exposure.
Depending on your cat’s age and physical exam findings, we may recommend some blood tests. Screening blood tests is an important tool in early disease detection, even before they become symptomatic. As cats age, diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease become more common. Screening bloodwork is a great way to detect these diseases early so treatment can be started right away.
Contact Compassionate Animal Care Today
Why not use this “holiday” as your calendar reminder to schedule your annual or biannual vet visit with your cat? As always, if you have any questions or concerns, consult your veterinarian immediately!
If you’re looking for a cat vet in Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Gilbert, or Chandler, we offer mobile vet and vet clinic appointments. Please call 480.774.6995 to schedule a clinic appointment with Compassionate Animal Care in Queen Creek today, or call 602.359.2031 for a mobile vet appointment within the East Valley.