We are all concerned about our cats’ health. Still, many pet parents skip regular vet checkups. Here’s why that’s a problem: cats, as sometimes-prey animals, hide signs of illness and could be harboring a preventable health condition that might develop dangerously without proper treatment.
Talk to your veterinarians about how to prevent and treat feline health risks, says Arnold Plotnick, DVM. Three risks of particular concern include heartworm, oral disease and diseases such as feline leukemia ( FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
“Cats are said to have nine lives, but owners should know that regular wellness check-ups are the best way to ensure their feline friend is healthy in all nine of them,” Plotnick says. “Wellness check-ups include a full body check, oral exam, vaccinations, parasite screening and blood tests to screen for key health risks.”
These three cat health risks justify annual cat vet visits, according to Plotnick. Take advantage of Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day awareness campaign and get these tests run on your cat.
Cats are at as much risk to develop heartworm as dogs, Plotnick says, with indoor cats being at risk, too. Heartworm season varies by region and is found in all 50 states.
Up to one-third of pet cats may be at risk for FeLV and FIV, and may not show any outward symptoms. “Testing and detection can really help your cat live a long, happy life,” Plotnick says. “There are many success stories to prove it.”
To help prevent oral disease in your cat, Plotnick recommends brushing your cat’s teeth at home. “Ask your vet to show you how to brush your kitty’s teeth,” he said. “When it comes to your pet’s health, your veterinarian is the best information source.”