In a recent study, we have learned that 52% of the 74 million cats in the United states do not receive annual exams/check-ups. For me and many veterinarians, this is very worrisome for a number of reasons…
|” How do I tell you I don’t feel good today?”|
CONCERN: Unlike humans, cats do not tell you when they have a problem such as a painful tooth, parasites, ear infections, etc.. They are masters of hiding their illness and when they finally do show signs of illness (hiding more, decreased appetite) these signs can be subtle and easily missed by owners.
CONCERN: They say that every 1 human year is roughly equivalent to 7 pet years. True to form, we see a quicker onset of disease and life threatening conditions in our feline friends. If pet owners wait until they see a problem to bring their pet to the vet, a treatable problem may become more difficult and more expensive to treat. Not much breaks my heart more than having to put a pet to sleep because of a problem that could have been treated if caught earlier.
SOLUTION: your veterinarian can find abnormalities on a physical exam and wellness screen that you may not be aware exist. Many of these problems can be treatable. By treating, you can drastically improve your cats quality of life. Did you know that veterinarians can also pick up on thyroid, kidney, liver, bladder, heart abnormalities, nutrition problems, cancer just by examining your pet?
SOLUTION: If there are any changes in your cat’s behavior, even if it is only that they are acting more anti-social, call your veterinarian. Sooner is always better than later… always.
Why are cats not coming to the vet? Pet Owner Responses I’ve Heard:
“Its too difficult getting my cat to the vet. I can’t even get my cat into the cat carrier”
“My cat hates or vomits or poops or pees in the car”
” My cat gets scared at the vet or is mad a me when we get home from the vet so I don’t like going”
” My cat transforms into an evil cat and tries to scratch, bite and kill our vet so I go as little as possible”
|You’re taking me to the vet!??|
I know as well as any that it can be a chore to bring our feline friends to the vet. Even my own cat Riley was once a terror at the vet’s office and I am his vet! My other cat Finley could always sense when I was getting ready to round him up for his annual vet visit and would disappear into thin air.
Fortunately I have been able to take measures to decrease their stress (and mine) and improve their disposition at the vet. My staff at North Lake Vet can attest they were scratch-free last month when I brought the kitties in!
My friend, Dr Andy Roarke, will demonstrate some of these easy measures for you below.
Get your cat to the vet (with less stress):
Why are cats not coming to the vet? Other Pet Owner Responses:
“I got my cat as a stray and I took her into my home and I feed her. I didn’t realize I need to do anything else”
“My cat lives indoors so it can’t get diseases or illnesses, right? ”
“I don’t think my cat needs vaccines so why would I bring her/him to the vet?”
Dr Whisher’s Response…
-Many illnesses such as kidney disease, thyroid disease, urinary problems, diabetes, etc occur in indoor as well as outdoor cats.
– An annual exam is a lot more than just vaccines. Its a way to make sure your pet is as healthy and happy as possible. Besides discussing your pet’s physical health, your vet can even give you suggestions on behavioral problems.
-Inside the house is not a closed environment. Things can be tracked in by shoes, other pets, new potted plants, etc. Have you ever had a bat, insect or mouse get into your house? They can carry diseases and parasites with them to expose to your cats.
-Outdoor cats are exposed to risks on a daily basis but unfortunately, I also see indoor cats with fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites all the time. Although less likely than dogs and outdoor cats, indoors cats can get even get heart worm disease from an infected mosquito that gets into the house.
Indoor cats are exposed to things every day! The reality… what they aren’t telling you… depicted by our cat and dog actors…
|“Psst.. outdoor cat, come over and see us! The window is closed now, but it will be open soon and we can sniff each other (and pass diseases) through the screen”|
Have you ever had a bat in the house? In Wisconsin bats are the most common carrier of Rabies… Indoor cats that are not vaccinated, are not protected against getting Rabies. Indoor cats can get Rabies, a real and deadly disease risk to both your cat and your family members.
Don’t believe me, read these chilling news articles:
Spread the word to your friends and family who may own cats and may not realize how important annual exam and vaccines are…
**If you are an indoor cat owner and have more questions about why vaccines should be given to your indoor cat, discuss it with your veterinarian during your cat’s annual exam. Not every vaccine should be given to every cat but feline vaccines are saving lives every day.
**If you want to prepare for that discussion, check out this article that explains each vaccine, what it does, and why it may be important for your cat. http://catexpert.blogspot.com/2010/12/why-we-vaccinate-even-indoor-cats.html
Importance Of The Veterinary Exam For Your Cat – watch this video to see a veterinary exam
Live near the Hartland,Wisconsin area? North Lake Vet Clinic is a certified cat friendly practice (for info see- http://www.catvets.com/cfp/cat-owners) and is taking new patients. If your pet needs an annual exam, call us: (262) 966-7577. Christine Ln, Hartland, WI 53029.