Your cat may rarely complain, except when their food bowl is missing a few kibbles and looks empty in their eyes. Cats are tremendously skilled at hiding health issues and seldom give voice to their pain or discomfort, so they rely on you and your veterinary team to detect hidden problems, administer treatment, and provide preventive care.
Here are five reasons why your cat needs regular veterinary care—including when they are healthy, and not only when they are ill or injured.
#1: Cats and Infectious and parasitic diseases: Not for dogs only
When you worry about protecting your pet from infectious diseases transmitted by other pets, you likely are more concerned about your adventurous dog than your homebody cat. Although most cats spend virtually all their time safe inside their home, they can still fall victim to diseases and parasites. Dogs and people can track in pathogens on paws, shoes, and clothing, while mosquitoes and other pests can sneak in through the smallest gaps in doors and screens.
With regular veterinary care and vaccinations, you can protect your cat from a multitude of infectious diseases, such as upper respiratory infections, feline panleukopenia, and rabies. In addition, regularly checking fecal samples for parasites and appropriate prevention and deworming medications will keep not only your cat but also your entire family healthy, because many parasites can switch hosts and transmit disease.
But, when you know what diseases and parasites commonly affect cats in the Groves, Texas, area, you can defend your feline friend with regular veterinary care that can help prevent a multitude of potentially life-threatening illnesses.
#2: Cats and weight: Obesity is a growing problem
Although Garfield seems to be living the dream, he, and all overweight cats, are at increased risk for a plethora of health issues. Ideally, Garfield’s veterinarian would instruct Jon to put his hefty feline on an appropriate diet and exercise plan, so he would no longer be among the 61% of cats who are overweight or obese.
With regular veterinary care, our team can guide you on reaching your cat’s ideal body condition. At a healthy weight, your cat’s risk for many issues will decrease. These include:
- Skin issues
- Urinary tract problems
- Cardiac disease
- Respiratory disorders
Regular weigh-ins at our practice will help your cat stay on the path to healthy—and successful—weight loss, and by carefully monitoring their weight, we can respond quickly to problems and make diet changes.
#3: Cats and their teeth: Dental disease is rampant
Almost all pets—up to 90%—develop some form of dental disease during their early years. Ideally, your cat’s at-home daily dental care should include toothbrushing, which we know can be challenging. Oral wipes, rinses, and other pet dental health products can help slow tartar accumulation, but that will still harden into plaque eventually, so your cat also needs a professional veterinary cleaning under anesthesia. Frequency will depend on your cat’s age and health status.
Without proper dental care, your cat is at high risk for not only bad breath and sore, inflamed gums, but also loose teeth, tooth-root abscesses, jawbone loss, cardiac disease, and kidney damage.
Do not forgo at-home oral care, but rely on your veterinary team to conduct regular oral health exams and treatment (i.e., a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) as needed.
#4: Cats and diabetes: More overweight cats means more diabetic cats
Now that so many cats are overweight, diabetes has become a common problem. However, cat owners often miss diabetes signs, because they are happy about their pet’s unexpected weight loss and do not realize the lost pounds herald diabetes. Early screening tests can detect abnormalities in your cat’s blood work and urinalysis that indicate early stage diabetes, and allow prompt treatment that can increase the chance of a good outcome.
#5: Cats and kidneys: Chronic kidney disease is a silent killer of cats
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is considered the leading cause of death in geriatric cats, affecting up to 80% of cats older than 15. However, cats of any age can develop CKD and suffer from nausea, vomiting, and urinary issues because of their damaged kidneys. When your veterinary team monitors your cat’s blood work over their lifetime, they will see the subtle changes that identify CKD and implement an effective management plan much earlier in the disease process, thus giving your cat with CKD a longer, better quality of life.
Don’t miss out on your cat’s regular veterinary care. Although they may not appreciate a trip in their carrier—which you can change with a positive association—annual or more frequent veterinary care is crucial for helping your feline friend live a long, healthy, happy life. Give our Neighborhood Veterinary Centers team in Groves, Texas, a call to schedule your cat’s next appointment.