According to the most recent statistics available, cat owners take their cat to the vet less than half as often as dog owners take their dogs. Does this mean cats are just naturally healthier animals?
Not at all. It means too many well-meaning cat owners are putting off, forgetting about, and even avoiding the vet every year because their cats are “not sick or injured” or “didn’t need vaccines” or are “too hard to transport.”
Here are five (really good) reasons your cat is overdue for her well check. Make that appointment!
1. Your cat hasn’t been to the vet in over a year.
There’s a reason corporations make employees get physicals each year to stay on company health insurance. Cats need to be evaluated by a veterinarian annually, too! Not all medical issues come on suddenly. Having your cat examined by a vet on a yearly basis is the absolute best way to keep her healthy and happy, and has actually been shown to extend her life expectancy by several years.
2. Your might be hiding something.
Look, cats are masters of the straight face. They’re great at hiding when something’s amiss and they’re not likely to whine and lick and carry on like dogs do when they’re feeling unwell. Without regular well-checks from the vet, your cat could be silently suffering and you might not even know it. Some of the subtle but noticeable signs your cat’s health isn’t 100% include sudden hiding behaviors, change in socialization, and unusual bathroom usage.
3. Your cat is probably fat.
It’s a blunt statement, but an accurate one. With over 60% of ALL American cats overweight or obese, odds are yours is among them. Most cat owners don’t knowingly let their cats become overweight…it happens gradually and it’s often really hard to tell the difference between a too-fat cat and one that’s just pleasantly squishy. Your vet can tell. Not only that, but she can talk to you specifically about how to get your cat’s weight in check without turning her life upside down so she can lower her risk of a litany of weight-related diseases.
4. Your cat might be a senior now.
Did you know that cats over 7 years of age are technically considered “seniors?” Senior cats are particularly vulnerable to a host of late-in-life diseases and afflictions like arthritis become more common at this age. Your vet might want to talk to you about simple changes you can make to keep your cat healthy as she ages including new food, a modified play/exercise routine, and even supplements.
5. Your options for veterinary care have expanded.
Seeing the vet doesn’t have to be a nightmare for you and your cat. A lot of cat owners report avoiding the vet because the trip itself makes their cat incredibly uncomfortable…the car, the smells, that cold metal table. There are more options now than ever before, so there’s really no excuse for lapsed well-checks for your cat. Schedule an in-home veterinary appointment, ask about your vet’s options for video chats, or even explore a relationship with a new vet altogether. Your cat won’t tell you it’s time for her well-check so it’s up to you to make it happen.
If you’re having trouble remembering the last time your cat went to the vet, you’re probably overdue. It’s okay! Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just make an appointment as soon as you can to ensure your cat is healthy and you’ve got peace of mind.