But what about cat health? Cats can outlive dogs easily. With a life of longevity, why do pet parents take their cats to the vet less than dogs? Vaccines such as rabies vaccines are a state law in all 50 states so that has to mean that a cat goes once a year or every three years, right?
We here at Carma Poodale are part of the Bayer Pet Influencer panel. We share information that we feel is valuable to our audience.
While researching cat health, we read what Bayer Veterinian studies to had found.
Most cat owners don't understand the importance and value of routine care.According to a recent survey:
- 75% don't believe cats hide symptoms
- 51% mistakenly believe cats are "low maintenance"
- 63% think indoor cats have a low risk of problems
Our humane society easily spent $100-$150 on each cat. That cat would be able to be adopted for $75. Most humane societies lose money with each pet adoption. When we would have our low-cost spay/neuter clinics, we would have anywhere from 25-40 sign-ups for cats. I was always happy to see that people were taking advantage of the low-cost surgeries because those 25-40 cats would not be contributing to the population. I also knew that would be the only time some of those cats would ever visit a vet. Many of those cats were feral or from feral colonies but at the same time, there were many who had homes.
It made me sad that some people didn't feel their cats needed to see a vet. This was disheartening. When I started volunteering one day a week at my vet's office I saw many cats coming in for check-ups but many of those cats were older cats. Some of the owners didn't bring the cat in for yearly check-ups or vaccines. They only brought them in when problems started showing itself. Many of these issues could have been caught way earlier if they only brought their cats in for normal exams.
I have many awesome friends who have cats. They take their cats to the vet every year for check-ups and routine bloodwork. I still had faith that cats are still seeing the vets yearly or at least every couple of years. My mother and other family members take their cats to the vet yearly.
Some of you may not know that I got Daedae from the vet's office. His foster was there getting him checked out to make sure he was healthy. All I saw was a tiny kitten, with baby blue eyes staring at me from the cage. Every time I walked past the cage he would start "talking" to me.
When I asked about him all I heard is he was needing a home. THAT is all I needed to hear. I told them that he didn't need a home because he was going home with ME. I was thrilled to death when I found out he didn't have a tail. Since they had only weighed him and administered flea treatments, the foster said he was actually a she. Well.....SHE dropped testicles a few months later.
A few months after the testicles fell, he became a she again.....sorta :)
I switched the day that I volunteered to another day and I discovered something...People really DO take their cats to the vet! The longer I volunteered, the more wonderful cats that I met. Pet parents were bringing them in to get weighed so they could get a exact dose of flea treatment, general check-ups, yearly rabies vaccines, to be tested for FIV/FeLV, and for problems too. I was happy to see how many bring their cats to the vets for check-ups.
One of the things that stop people from bringing their cats to the vet is they feel it would be too stressful for the cat or they feel their vet isn't cat friendly.
I am really happy with our vet. The entire staff makes sure the animal feels comfortable with them. You would be surprised in how much animals love to hear "aren't you a handsome boy" or "what a pretty girl!" They know you are talking about them.
When a cat comes in to our vet's office, they are taken to the room when it is available. We give them a little time to walk around the room and explore or investigate. These few minutes of allowing them to explore the room with their owner but without a vet or staff in the room gives them time to decompress. We know they are already stressed from a ride in the car and being in a carrier.
If we know the cat is stressed, we spray a calming spray on us. It doesn't help 100% but it does really help. Before examining the cat, we let it get used to us and some even love for us to pet them. We try to have the appointment to be fear free. Most cats that come in are very friendly but there are those occasional ones that we have to go the extra mile for.
Going to the vet should be in your cat's schedule. Going to the vet doesn't always mean vaccines.
Why Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet?
- For general exams. Let your cat meet their vet.- It helps that your cat knows your vet and vet techs are nice people. If you need to take your cat for an emergency, your cat will be familiar with the people touching them and the staff will be acquainted with your cat.
- To be weighed- Weight loss or gain without increasing or decreasing their food could be the first signs of an illness
- Get flea treatments-Since you can weigh your cat, you know you are getting the correct dose. Your vet or vet tech can talk to you about different types of flea/tick preventatives. They are not all the same!
- To have a record of health.- Setting up an appointment for a general exam lets you set up a starting point for your cat's health. This way you know if your pet is safely gaining or losing weight, your cat meets your vet, and if something does start going wrong, you have a record to look back on.
- To have bloodwork done-Bloodwork can show things that you can't see with your eyes. Are their platelets low? Do they have any signs of an illness such as diabetes or liver disease starting?
- Get their yearly vaccines. A rabies vaccine is required by law. After your cat has had their first rabies, as long as you take them in the following year, your vet may offer a 3-year vaccine.
- Get a wormer for your cat-We don't like to think about it but cats do get worms. They also can get Heartworms.
- Have your cat spayed or neutered.-Stop the chance of an unplanned litter. Cats in heat can test your sanity! Not to mention that your cat will have a slimmer chance of developing mammary cancers, testicular cancers, prostate problems, and be healthier.
- Discuss any behavioral problems-Cat starting to go outside of the box? Fighting with other animals in the home? Talk to your vet. There may be a health problem causing it and your vet can possibly offer advice or test for problems it could be linked to.
- You want your cat to live a long, healthy life-This should be enough reason to visit your vet.
Be a responsible pet parent. We all know that vet visits are not cheap but if you take your dog once a year or you go to the doctor once a year for a check-up, then you owe it to your cat to do the same.
Call your vet's office and ask questions. How to they handle cat visits? Are they a fear free vets office? Do they have emergency hours?
Ask about the vet also if you are looking for a new vet. Where did they go to school? How long have they been a vet.
Ask your local friends for recommendations. Find a vet that meets your needs and the needs of your animals. You never know if you will need them in an emergency.
I sure hope this has helped you to understand why it is just as important to take your cat to the vet as it is for your dog. Thinking about it, I believe Molly Mew is needing her rabies vaccine. It has been almost 3 years since her last one.
Oh boy, won't she be happy to know that. ;) (wink wink)
Now I am curious.
Do you take your cat/s in for yearly checkups???