Has fluffy been tossing her cookies a bit more than usual? Could be time for a check-up. It's easy to overlook routine preventative care – we're all guilty of forgetting to book our own doctors' appointments, let alone Fluffy's. But cat vomiting, changes in behavior, and loss of appetite are signs that it's time to schedule a vet visit.
While your cat may seem healthy enough, cats are notorious for hiding their pain, which makes routine checkups critical to catch any health issues before they become worse. Even young cats should take an annual trip to the veterinary clinic, but as they get older, those annual checkups should pop up more frequently on Fluffy's calendar.
During your cat's check-up, don't be afraid to be the overly concerned parent. A visit to the vet is the best opportunity for you to share the good, the bad, and the ugly with professionals who want your kitty to live her best life.
Let's break down cat wellness visits, what they are, and when to take your cat in for hers.
What to Expect During a Feline Wellness Exam
A cat checkup is pretty straightforward. During Fluffy's appointment, the vet or veterinary assistant will ask you a few preliminary questions about her health and habits.
During or after the Q&A, the doctor will weigh your kitty and track any weight changes. Weight gain in kittens is normal as they grow into adulthood, but when middle-aged and older cats gain or lose weight, it may indicate obesity or an underlying problem.
The vet will also measure your cat's temperature and examine her from nose-to-tail to look for any abnormalities in your cat's eyes, mouth, and ears.
You never know what combination of signs and symptoms are going to indicate to the doctor that there's an underlying problem, so sharing details about your cat's diet, behavior, and any concerns during the consultation is highly encouraged. The more you share with your vet, the more he or she can help you and your fur-baby.
Cat Vomiting & Other Mentionables
You're encouraged to share the nitty-gritty details about your cat's health with the vet, even when it sounds like TMI. If you notice any changes in your cat's behavior, like aggression or excessive thirst, you'll want to share it with her doctor.
Here are a few commonly overlooked red flags to look out for and report to the vet:
Changes in appetite
Changes in behavior
Weight gain or loss
While these irregularities may not be anything major on their own, combined with other signs and symptoms they could indicate to your vet that something more sinister is going on. it's always safest to alert your vet if you've noticed something in order to stop any hidden illnesses in their tracks.
Cats of All Ages Need a Routine Checkup
No matter the age, all cats should visit the vet regularly to make sure they've got a healthy heart, lungs, and show no signs of illness.
From Fluffy's first steps to when she's old and gray (if she's not already gray, that is), she'll need to attend her vet clinic for vaccinations, regular weigh-ins, and standard preventative measures.
If you want Fluffy to grow up strong and healthy, create your vet-visiting routine early. The vet's office can be a scary place for older cats who've never had a checkup. Getting your kitten to the vet in her wee years can prevent future anxiety when sitting on the doctor's table.
When a kitten visits the vet and as she grows up, the vet will make sure she's developing correctly, eating the right type of food, and staying current on her vaccinations, including ones for harmful illnesses like feline leukemia.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, "Experts agree that widespread use of vaccinations within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals."If you have a chance to prevent your cute kitty from catching a fatal disease, why wouldn't you take it?
Middle-aged cats should visit the vet annually. At this phase in Fluffy's life, a once-a-year trip to the vet will do her just fine.
Of course, if you notice any irregularities in her diet or a difference in her potty-patterns, it's always safe to visit the vet for a quick check up to make sure the changes aren't caused by an underlying health condition.
Like people, cats are only as young as they feel. A healthy lifestyle can prevent achy bones, weight issues, and diseases commonly found in older cats.
According to Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, recognizing and reducing factors that may "be health risks, detect disease as early as possible, correct or delay the progression of disease, and improve or maintain the health of the body's systems" is the secret to many more happy, healthy days with your kitty.
Whether your visit is to find the cause of cat vomiting, a vaccination, or for an annual checkup, preventative care is extremely important for your cat to ensure she's living her best and healthiest life.
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