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Does My Indoor Cat Need a Yearly Veterinary Exam?

Preventative medicine goes a long way in keeping your pet healthy. Unfortunately, too many cat owners only head to the vet after their cat is sick, putting their pet at risk.

Cat owners often skip routine veterinary visits. This fact, combined with a cat’s natural instinct to “hide” their illness, is bad news. By the time your cat acts sick enough for you to tell, they are already very ill. For your cat, this means feeling awful and potentially not able to recover. For you, this means dealing with the heartache of seeing your loved one in distress in addition to a very expensive veterinary bill.

Health problems like dental disease, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism and inflammatory bowel disease just to name a few are all conditions indoor cats are susceptible to. Keeping your cat indoors helps them avoid cars, predatory animals and other hazards. Keeping your cat inside however does not prevent illness.

According to the doctors at the Northern Illinois Cat Clinic – Dr. Rebecca Schmidt and Dr. Michelle Miller – there are many reasons why yearly exams are so important.

  • Every year a cat ages 4-5 human years. Many things can change in your cat over this period of time. Your loved one can have a minor illness that can turn into a major health problem in 6-12 months. This minor illness can often times be caught early with simple visits to your veterinarian.
  • During routine vet visits, early signs of illness can be discovered. The following examples can be found on a physical examination: an abnormal heart rate or rhythm, abnormal lung sounds, inner ear problems, retinal (eye) problems, constipation, hidden skin growths and dehydration to name a few.
  • Let’s face it; most people do not have stethoscopes at home. When was the last time you pried open your cat’s mouth to inspect their teeth and gums or looked under their tail and between their toes? Ever pull out an otoscope or ophthalmoscope to look at their eardrums and retinas? Probably not, even if most cat owners had these tools it takes a veterinarian’s interpretation to discover illness.
  • Coming in once a year helps your vet establish a relationship with your cat. The veterinarian learns about your cat’s behavior, weight, activity level, appetite, normal hydration level, how they groom, etc. This helps the vet keep an eye out for mild changes in your cat’s behavior and health, catching problems before they become severe.
  • Simply put, annual to bi-annual visits to the veterinarian will save you money and help your cat live a happy, healthy life.

Northern Illinois Cat Clinic is a full service cat-only veterinary clinic that has been providing exceptional cat care with state-of-the-art technology since 1982. Their goal is to make your cat feel at home in their comfortable, safe and loving environment. Learn more at www.northernilcatclinic.com, visit them at 295 Peterson in Libertyville, or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Northern-Illinois-Cat-Clinic/284402286569?ref=ts.



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