Despite the fact that cats outnumber dogs in United States households, cat care from a veterinarian is much less than dog care. Many people believe that because their cat is indoor only they do not need vaccines. Better cat care should include an annual visit to your veterinarian.
Dr. Anna Coffin agrees that indoor cats are less likely to be exposed to infectious disease. However, there are healthcare issues that affect every age of cat, and many of these health problems cannot be detected without a full comprehensive exam by your veterinarian.
Reasons cat care should include an annual veterinary visit.
- 85% of pets have some form of dental disease by the age of three
- 38% of pets in the United States are overweight. Overweight pets are prone to diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis.
- Senior cats are prone to kidney failure and thyroid dysfunction.
Cats are masters at hiding illnesses and most owners don’t realize that their cat is sick until late in the disease process. Yearly examinations can help detect health issues with your cat and help your cat live a longer, healthier life.
What’s Involved With Better Cat Care?
Annual Wellness Exam: Your veterinarian should perform a thorough head to tail examination on your cat at least once a year. Cats over the age of ten may need twice a year visits. Dr. Anna Coffin says that it is typical to find at least one abnormality while performing a physical exam on a healthy patient.
Dental Care: The most common condition seen by Dr. Anna Coffin in cats is a condition known as feline oral resorptive lesions. This dental disease is very painful and can be difficult to detect. In fact, dental radiographs are often required to detect every lesion.
Diagnostic Testing: Dr. Anna Coffin recommends testing every cat over ten years of age to detect kidney and thyroid diseases. By detecting these diseases early, you and your veterinarian can slow the progression of the disease which means your cat lives a longer life.
Nutrition: It’s important to talk with your veterinarian about proper nutrition for your cat. The pet food industry and booming and it can be difficult to decide what food to feed. Dr. Anna Coffin doesn’t recommend free feeding your cat because this usually leads to them being overweight.
Parasite Control: Outside cats, especially those that hunt, kill and eat their prey, should be dewormed for intestinal parasites at least once a year. External parasites, like fleas and ticks, can be a problem for both indoor and outdoor cats because fleas and ticks can hitch a ride inside and then feed off your cat. Fleas and ticks transmit diseases to cats and dogs.
Vaccinations: Outside cats need to be vaccinated to protect them from infectious disease. Dr. Anna Coffin recommends Rabies vaccinating all cats whether they are indoor only or go outside. Rabies is contagious to humans and is 100% fatal.