Hi there, Maverick the BVC Clinic Kitty here for another very important service announcement from yours truly. I have heard a bit of information recently that I find very upsetting and I just have to talk about it. I heard that only HALF of kitties with loving families go to see their friendly neighborhood veterinarian each year! I also heard that there's an estimated 74 million cats living with families in this country! What?! That's a whole buncha kitty friends not coming in to see me!
There are so many reasons why bringing your cat to the vet on an annual basis is a good idea, aside from just me having more friends to greet. Let me tell you!
We cats age much quicker than you humans do (which is clearly why I'm more mature than most of my staff). Lots of stuff can happen to us in the matter of one human year, especially as we get older, and it's important for us to have regular check ups. We're prone to a lot of the same illnesses that humans get as they age too, like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, kidney issues, and heart disease!
All kitties should be regularly vaccinated too, even if they're indoor only like me. It is especially important for my outdoor kitty friends to have vaccines since they're coming in contact with all kinds of things, but indoor friends need vaccines too. I like getting poked by needles as much as most kitties (which is NOT AT ALL), but once I'm done screaming like I'm being tortured, I know that my staff is just trying to protect me and keep me healthy. (OK, maybe it's only 30 seconds of torture, but it FEELS like forever.)
I, like many kitties, love treats. A lot. In fact, I schmooze one person into giving me treats, wait until they walk away, and then schmooze another unsuspecting victim into giving me MORE treats. It's quite an ingenious system I've got going on. But since I've outsmarted everyone here, I have noticed I'm getting a little jiggly in my belly area. Being a little jiggly is a common problem with kitties, I hear. Over half of kitties are overweight or obese and this can lead to health problems. My staff has put me on a diet per doctor's orders, and even though I act like I'm starving all the time (while I eat my food plus everyone else's), I should really cut back so I continue to grow wiser and stop growing rounder!
Another reason to bring your kitty friends into the vet is that we are masters at the poker face. I may not know what poker is, but we're good at hiding things like pain or when we're not feeling well. When we're showing symptoms of being sick, we've most likely been using our poker faces for a while. I've heard a lot of people say they only take their cats to the vet when they know they're sick, but preventative care is better (and less expensive!) than reactive care. Some kitty friends visit me when they're really feeling crummy, but their sickness could have been managed a lot earlier and before they were feeling so bad with regular doctor exams.
I've heard from some of my kitty friends how scary cars and carriers can be, and from their humans about how difficult it can be to see them so scared. I don't remember riding in a car, but carriers aren't so bad. I love getting in them, especially to sleep! I associate carriers with something nice and warm. One trick I've heard that may make things easier on your and your kitty if they run when the carrier comes out is to take it out a few days before you plan on visiting, or just leaving it out all the time! That way, your kitty can use the carrier as a safe space when the car gets scary.
There's lots of GREAT reasons to take your kitty to the vet aside from just coming to see me (that's the best reason, though). I hope that my PSA makes you think twice about waiting to bring your kitty to the vet until they're sick. If you have any questions or concerns about your kitty's overall health, call us or make an appointment to come see me. There are way too many of those pesky dogs coming in through my door and not enough kitties to make friends with!