Routine check-ups insure that our lives are running smoothly and safely. A regular oil change keeps our car engine up to speed. Yearly appointments with our doctors keep tabs on our health and may even catch an illness before it becomes symptomatic. Logic dictates that we should give our cats the same routine attention, but the American Humane Society claims that cats go to the vet half as often as their canine counterparts, and often it is only if the cat is showing signs of illness. American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) surveys show that nearly 1 in 10 cat owners NEVER take their cat to the vet, and 27 percent only do so when the owner believes their cat is sick.
August 22nd is National Take Your Cat To The Veterinarian Day, and we here at CatTime cannot stress the importance of routine check-ups. Here are five reasons why you should set up a regular check-up for your cat, stat.
1. Not All Diseases Are Symptomatic…Until It’s Too Late
The best way to take care of serious illness is to prevent it before symptoms start. Many types of cancer in felines may not show any symptoms until the disease has progressed. Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) may not show signs until YEARS after the initial infection has occurred. Routine, yearly check-ups may not always prevent these types of illnesses, but it can catch them at an early enough stage to treat them and eliminate pain and discomfort for your cat.
2. Cats Are Masters Of Disguise And Mask Illness
Cats may not be able to hide a runny stool or vomit from you, but they aren’t exactly known for their outward and direct communication if something is hurting them. Due to both their actual and perceived independent personas, many owners may not be able to tell their cat is suffering just by looking or interacting with them. Regular visits to your veterinarian will eliminate a ton of guess work when it comes to deciphering whether or not your cat is telling you she is in pain.
3. Regular Visits Will Make The Vet Less Stressful For Your Cat
If you are only bringing your cat to the veterinarian when he is sick, chances are he associates the vet office with sickness, pain, and loads of anxiety. To prevent vet visits from becoming a huge stressor for your cat, schedule your regular annual (or semi-annual, if your cat is older and your vet deems it necessary) exam for your cat. Cats love routine and going to the vet when they are not ill will help them not associate it with fear and pain.
4. Cats Age Faster Than Humans
If a younger human skips their annual exam once in a blue moon, chances are it won’t be a matter of life or death. Cats age much more rapidly than humans. In their first year, cats age up to 15 “human years,”; by 2, it is 24 human years. After that, veterinarians believe a cat ages four years for every 365 days around the sun. A lot can change in your cat’s body in “four years,” so it is vital to make sure everything is healthy on a yearly basis.
5. Preventative Care Is Better Than Reactive Care
As previously stated, prevention is the best route of care when it comes to your cat’s health. Having regular visits with your cat’s veterinarian allows the two of you to come up with a plan to keep your cat healthy. Although it may seem costly at the time, or even silly if your cat seems perfectly healthy, routine check-ups can also prevent massive emergency medical bills. Veterinarians can also detect diseases or conditions long before they turn into a chronic or life-threatening state for your cat.