Cats are highly territorial. While we respect this feline characteristic, it can cause them to receive less veterinary care than their canine counterparts. Not only do cats detest leaving their territory, they are equally unhappy about car travel, hanging out in a hospital setting, and being touched by strangers. 

This aversion to veterinary care creates an unfortunate paradigm for overall cat wellness. Without routine care, our feline friends may not enjoy all of their nine lives. 

Never Outside, No Problems

A common misconception is that strictly indoor cats are in less need of veterinary care than cats allowed to roam their neighborhoods. While they certainly have less exposure to dangerous animals, cars, or parasites, all cats regardless of lifestyle benefit from routine wellness checks.

The Basics

Given the opportunity to see your cat every 6-12 months, we can establish a healthy baseline. If things change over time, we can compare values in order to prevent unhealthy developments, or effectively treat them. 

When cats are only seen if they are ill, it can take more time and testing to get to the bottom of why they aren’t feeling well. Instead, through the lense of previous cat wellness exams, and a familiarity with your cat’s behaviors and personality, treatment plans are more successful.

Strong & Stoic

Cats are hard-wired to mask any signs of weakness. That means that when symptoms of illness or injury start to become obvious, it’s possible that they’ve been enduring them for awhile.  When cats are seen regularly, we can stay in front of any health issues or complications. 

Without cat wellness exams, pet cats may experience unnecessary pain. What’s worse, undiagnosed problems can cause more health challenges.

What Happens at a Cat Wellness Exam

Every cat patient is unique, but generally, we examine and address the following at each cat wellness visit:

  • Physical appearance and qualities of their entire body, including the eyes, ears, and mouth
  • Core and non-core vaccinations
  • Parasite prevention
  • Microchip
  • Spay/neuter
  • Behavior
  • Nutrition/diet
  • Exercise

Depending on your cat’s age and lifestyle, we may suggest digital x-rays, blood tests, and more to get the best possible handle on their health. Since a majority of older cats have at least one stage of periodontal disease, we may need to discuss professional cleaning under anesthesia. 

Supporting Feline Health at Home

Keeping your cat healthy and happy doesn’t have to be difficult. They benefit from weight management, daily play time, clean litter, and consistent owner interaction. Even indoor-only cats are driven by a strong prey-instinct, and enjoy play-hunting. Catnip mice, laser pointers, and opportunities to ambush are essential. Also:

  • Building a catio (or cat-patio) can be the answer to any problems with boredom, loneliness, or anxiety. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about what is safest for your cat.
  • Crate training can be the perfect antidote to their refusal to travel. Set up their crate in a quiet, sunny spot, Fill with blankets, treats, and toys. Leave the top and door off at first, only securing the crate when your cat adopts it as their preferred snuggle spot. 

Remember, cat wellness hinges upon close owner involvement. If we can support this endeavor further, please let our staff know. We’re always happy to help at Old Derby Animal Hospital.