Pet Care News

The Importance of Regular Exams For Your Indoor Cat

     The notion that “my indoor cat” never goes outside and does not need to go to the vet for vaccines is a misconception. Even indoor cats that have not been outside exposed to other cats and the diseases/parasites they carry should be seen by your veterinarian annually for exams and vaccinations. The rabies vaccine is a state law and is required for ALL cats that are kept as pets. It is much easier and much less expensive to prevent diseases than it is to treat them.

     Cats as well as dog’s age much faster than we do, and routine exams are a valuable way to pick up on any irregularities that go unseen to owners. This includes detecting dental issues, diabetes, kidney disease, thyroid and heart problems, arthritis, chronic allergies or parasite infestation. A physical exam typically includes a check of your cat’s eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth skin, coat, muscles, heart, lungs, lymph nodes, abdomen, genitals, and rectum, as well as weight and behavior/neurologic assessments. As cats age it is suggested they be seen every 6 months.

     Keep in mind, by the time the owner notices a “problem”, such as loss of appetite, frequent urination, vomiting, coughing, wheezing, lethargy, trouble jumping, etc. the duration of the issue, more than likely has been longer than the owner is aware of. Most animals have the capability to hide or suppress symptoms, sometimes to the point where it’s too late to reverse or effectively treat the condition. Many times resulting in pain, suffering and even death.

As far as parasites are concerned, indoor cats are in no way immune. Many factors can cause a “clean” indoor cat to become infested with internal or external parasites. Insects, as well as rodents, carry many parasites, and owners are just kidding themselves if they believe their cat will never encounter these in “their house”. We, ourselves can be a vector, by bringing parasites in on the bottom of our shoes or ankles. Many indoor cats, that have never stepped a foot outside, have become infested with fleas. Owners bring their pets to the office because they are itchy and losing hair, only to be shocked that their cat has fleas. Numerous cats have severe reactions to flea bites, which can be extremely uncomfortable and even painful at times. Infestation can be avoided with monthly topical parasite preventatives available at our office.

     A microchip is another service we highly recommend for all indoor and outdoor cats. This is a permanent form of identification that is placed just under the skin between the shoulder blades. The insertion itself is no more painful than your cat receiving an injection with a large gauge needle and can be done in the office during an exam. We also offer microchipping during any of our routine surgeries. Keep in mind it is hard to keep a collar and tag on a cat, and in the event of an emergency or unexpected escape this valuable item will help to reunite you with your lost cat.

     Routine annual exams and lab work will keep your cat healthy and may even save his/her life…Call our office today to schedule and appointment.

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Alpha Veterinary Hospital serves Bucks and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania, with veterinarian and pet care services for Perkasie, Quakertown, Sellersville, Hilltown, Dublin, East and West Rockhill, Coopersburg, Pennsburg, Green Lane, Tylersport, Montgomeryville, Telford, Souderton, Hatfield, and all surrounding towns.