Let’s talk about our feline friends! They can be attentive and loving, or at times independent and aloof – they definitely have minds of their own, which is part of what makes them so interesting.
Cats are good at letting you know what they want. They will let you know when they need food, water, or attention. What they typically won’t let you know is when they are in pain or uncomfortable. Many cats that are in need of a dental cleaning will still eat dry food despite a cracked tooth or possible mouth infection. Behavior changes such as starting to urinate slightly more or groom slightly less may seem insignificant but could indicate the onset of kidney disease or skin issues. A great way to keep your kitty healthy and happy is to see your veterinarian for a yearly or semi-annual visit.
At the exam, your cat will get a full physical examination, vaccinations if needed, as well as a fecal screening for possible intestinal parasites and bloodwork. You may be thinking if my cat doesn’t appear unhealthy, why is this important every year? Allow us to cover each of these areas with an explanation as to why an annual exam is the best preventative medicine for your feline friend.
First, the overall body condition exam. The best way to know if we’re providing our cats the proper care is to know how they are physical, by having a thorough evaluation from a veterinarian. Then we, as owners, can be advocates of their health. Is their coat shiny and clean? Do they frequently bring up hairballs? Do they play a lot, or do they seem to always be sleeping? Do they drink a lot of water? Has the answer to any of these questions changed in the last week, month, or year? These are questions we may not ask ourselves about our cat, but ones a veterinarian will consider when examining them. We love our cats and sometimes will demonstrate that love with an extra helping of treats, or perhaps a little human food from the table. Many indoor cats are overweight due to inactivity and diet, which can lead to diabetes. Some indoor cats have undiagnosed health conditions associated with vomiting, with their skin, or with their bathroom habits. Tracking them every 6-12 months with a vet visit helps document their weight, physical appearance, and overall well-being in a way that will help you as the owner to determine if they need medical or environmental intervention.
Next, let’s look at vaccinations. The core vaccines, or vaccines recommended to be updated regularly for cats, are FVRCP and Rabies. FVRCP is a combination vaccine that covers the following viruses: feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR), which can cause severe upper respiratory tract disease; calicivirus (C), which is also associated with respiratory tract disease; and panleukopenia (P), which is associated with feline distemper. These viruses are all airborne and if not treated properly can cause severe illness or even death. A cat can catch these viruses at any age, during any time of the year. Being an indoor-only cat doesn’t protect them from these viruses, but being vaccinated yearly does. The rabies vaccine is legally required for all pets in Franklin County, even if they are always indoors. In addition, if your cat ever escaped your house through an open window, or an unaware maintenance person, having them vaccinated would give them some protection from encounters with unvaccinated cats or wild animals.
Finally, let’s talk about the importance of bloodwork and fecal screenings. Cats most likely won’t indicate to you if something wrong is going on internally. A physical exam is a great start, but can only go so far. Bloodwork will provide some indicators of diseases or conditions within the body. Bloodwork looks at the kidney, thyroid, and liver functions, chemistries for the body, and blood counts. It creates baselines, maps of how your kitty ages, and how their body changes. Fecal screenings let us know if there is a parasite in your kitty’s stool – this can happen in many ways, such as eating something off the carpet or perhaps something brought into the environment from your shoes. These diagnostics allow you to treat your cat with proper medicine if problems arise, and help keep them the healthiest they can be without making them feel like a burden.
We have the power to do the kindest thing for our cats, which is bringing them in for their yearly exams. Whether your cat is always indoors, lives outside, or a combination of both, if they are young or old - one visit a year can make all the difference in keeping them healthy, so they will be with you for many more years of love.
If it’s been more than a year since we saw your furry friend, call us today so we can schedule an appointment time that is convenient for you!
We offer both preventative care services (much like your visits to the dentist), along with dental x-rays and tooth extractions. Good oral hygiene is the best thing that you can do to ensure a longer life, with less health concerns, for your pet. Call us to schedule a dental exam or service.x
Laboratory services are a vital part of the diagnostic process when it comes to veterinarian care. This is because in many cases it is not possible to be able to give a firm diagnosis without undertaking additional tests to confirm the root of the problem. If you have any questions or concerns your vet will be happy to speak to you.x
This is the most effective way to assist in having your companion returned if they go missing. The microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. When scanned, it provides information that assists in reuniting you with your furry friend!x
Congratulations on the newest member of your household - we can’t wait to meet them! Call us today to schedule an initial visit – our team will conduct a thorough physical exam, in addition to discussing nutrition, training, and medical care. We’ll be more than happy to answer any other questions you may have, as wellx