Have We Seen Your Cat Lately is an effort to encourage veterinary visits for cats...as a result of veterinary visits being on the decline for all pets, our pets are getting sicker. It's true and it's really unfortunate.
While those vet visits are down for all pets - it's cats who really aren't seeing the veterinarian, less than half as likely as dogs, for example. Here are the reasons:
- Getting cats to the veterinarian isn't easy. When the carrier comes out, cats dive under the sofa, or even use their passport to travel to another country.
Any cat of any age can be trained to a carrier. It does take a bit of effort, but it can be doen. When acclimated early in life to the carrier (perhaps via a kitten socialization class), there isn't a problem.
- Being indoors, people think "My cat doesn't need to see the veterinarian."
It's true indoors life is safer, and threats from being chased by coyotes to being hit bay a car or getting an infectious disease from another cat aren't all too likely. However, indoor only cats do get heart disease, kidney disease, hyperthyroid disease, arthritis, cancers....and the list goes on.
- My cat doesn't seem sick. I know my cat is ok.
No you don't know your cat is ok - even if you've had cats your entire life. Cats are masters at masking illness, and unless you can do bloodwork at home or have a stethoscope, how would you know? Often by the time a cat is telling us 'I don't feel well,' that cat has been not feeling well for many months. Caught earlier, disease can t more easily be treated and may be less expensive to treat.
- My cat's already had vaccines; my cat doesn't need "flea stuff." There's no reason to see the veterinarian.
True we may have been over-vaccinating cats at one time, however still some vaccines are needed throughout life (varying upon lifestyle). No matter, cats need to see veterinarians for preventive care. Visiting a veterinarian once a year is like us seeing our doctor once every six to eight years or so because of the way cats age (far faster than we do). This is why I am actually a proponent of twice a year veterinary visits for cats (and dogs too)
When people purchase flea products without veterinary input, sometimes inappropriate products are chosen. And by the way, fleas are as happy to bite indoor cats as well as dogs. And dogs (even dogs protected against fleas) and even people can t bring in fleas, or fleas may just hop inside in some places in the country. In most cases, even door cats should be protected against fleas....and for sure against heartworm. Unless you're on the 90th floor without windows (heartworm is spread by mosquitoes), mosquitoes can get in. Once infected, there's no treatment for heartworm in cats (though there is treatment for symptoms of heartworm associated respiratory disease) . One symptom of herartworm in is sudden death. So, do you really want to take that risk? Heartworm prevention works, and is safe and not available at stores, but only through veterinary clinics. Any heartworm medication purchased online isn't particularly legal, and I would be very skeptical.
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