I’ll give you this, indoor cats live longer. Odds are with them when they aren’t faced with predators, traffic or the thousand other means to inflict injury upon them selves in flight.
Additionally, cats are notorious fakers, never letting on to life threatening health problems until it is often too late for current medical therapies to help. It’s called compensation and cats do it as well as any species on the planet. As an example, if a cat has a heart condition that affects its cardiac output, other systems in the feline body make adjustments to the reduction in oxygenated blood. This is an evolutionary trait that keeps them from appearing sick and vulnerable to predators.
The longer life expectancy and the appearance of exemplary health contribute to the misconception that cats harbored safely indoors have no reason to see a Veterinarian. Though the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends at least one annual visit, cat owners are a tough crowd to convince that Felix needs an annual visit. Here are four answers to why?
Nothing could be more proactive in animal medicine than vaccinating cats against preventable diseases starting at six weeks of age. Remember Rabies vaccines are required by law. Even if your cat doesn’t board if you leave town (most kennels require that current vaccine protocols must be up to date) all other vaccines should be carefully evaluated year- to-year on an as needed basis by your Vet. Did you know that if your cat accesses a screened in porch he/she is at some risk for Feline Leukemia? The disease is transmitted through air droplets that could be shared by a passing stray!! Just sayin’.
2. The Examination:
I don’t care what kind of medical technology is plugged in at the clinic, nothing beats the capable senses of your veterinarian as the first line in discovering an ailment early. Abdominal masses can be palpated, murmurs can he heard and the things we see in the feline oral cavities and ears would amaze. There are many diseases of the cat mouth that your cat could have right now…and you won’t have a clue it’s there. Seems obvious but, we have NO CHANCE of detecting a future problem or a life threat to your cat early… if we don’t see ‘em. Duh!
3. Blood Work:
Outside of the Vet exam, a Complete Blood Count & Blood Chemistry is the best bang for your buck in a cat’s world. It goes back to your cats pretending they are healthy when they are not. Case in point: a cat can be in kidney failure with only 25% of the kidneys working! Also, it would be nice to detect diabetes in your fat cats before he’s filling the litter box with a daily supply of mud cakes. And that old cat that is still flying around the house like a kitty on crack might be hyperthyroid. Any of these and more could be found in routine blood work. If all is normal; we have a nice baseline that can be used as comparison if we need to perform blood work when you present them to us sick.
4. Heartworm Preventative:
Mosquito’s spread heartworm disease in cats too. The difference…if a cat has heartworms, there is no treatment. The heartworm death sentence can be avoided, not by keeping the cat inside (we know these pest fly into our homes), but with a simple monthly medication.
Look at your cat; purring, peaceful, the picture of health?
They might be lying. Come see us.