In veterinary medicine, we always comment on how rarely we will see a cat through their lifetime compared to a dog. Even living in the same household, “Fido” will come every year for vaccinations, deworming, a couple more times for ear infections and when he gets into the garbage etc. In contrast, “Kitty” will come in for her spay at six months of age and then not again until she is 15-years-old and quite sick.
Cats are masters at hiding pain and illness, and it can be hard to pick up on the subtle signs that your cat may not be feeling their best; i.e. hiding, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive vocalization, lack of (or increase) in appetite, urinating more, drinking more water, unwilling to jump up on beds or furniture.
Some pet owners feel that because their cat doesn’t go outside, vaccinations are not necessary. Therefore, they don’t need to visit their vet. It is important to keep all cats up to date on vaccinations, and one of our veterinarians will want to assess Kitty’s overall health by doing a thorough exam. This includes looking at: teeth, hair coat, body condition (weight loss/gain, muscle loss), mobility, organ function (this can be done by analyzing a blood and urine sample) and listening to heart and lung sounds.
We often hear, “my cat doesn’t like the veterinary clinic.” This is so true! When we see a cat at the Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital that is happy and comfortable being poked and prodded by a stranger after being shoved into a plastic cage and drove to a place that is not their home, that is a rare thing! But we do our very best to make your cat as stress-free as possible while getting the most thorough examination they will allow. Sometimes minor sedatives can help with this (either given at home or by one of our veterinarians). Other times it is as simple as going slow, giving treats and toys and keeping the exam room as quiet and calm as possible. Minor stress from a visit to their veterinarian will reside, but it is important to catch illness and disease as early as we can.
September is happy cat month at Lomsnes Veterinary Hospital! We would love to see your feline family member!
Written by Amanda, RVT