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National Take Your Cat to Vet Day

August 22 has been declared as National Take Your Cat to Vet Day, so this is a very good reminder to pet parents to do just that! 83% of cats visit the veterinarian before their 1st birthday, but over 50% don’t return until they become sick. While cats are masters at hiding when they don’t feel good, they are just as likely to suffer from illnesses as dogs. The consequences of not keeping up to date with a cat's health can not only be expensive, but also decrease a cats life expectancy if they are not given the proper attention. 

A physical exam for a pet will allow a veterinarian to check the cat for any signs of discomfort or illness, as well as looking for any abnormalities from head to tail. The earlier any medical issues are discovered, the better a vet can diagnose the problem and get symptoms under control. Immunizations are also an important way to keep a cat healthy because they protect them from preventable infectious diseases. Depending on a cats age, lifestyle and risk exposure, a vet will determine which vaccinations are needed. Next, the vet will check a cat for fleas, ticks, ear mites and other external parasites before getting a stool sample to confirm that there are no internal parasites in a cat's body. The vet may want to discuss parasite prevention products that are available to keep pesky parasites away. Lab work may also be required, again depending on a cats age and physical exam. Having blood drawn will show if a cat is in the beginning stages of any common disease that come with age, including diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease. 

Pet parents may avoid taking their cats to the vet because they know how much it stresses out their cat, and how hard it can be to get them in a carrier. But there are ways to get a cat used to their carrier, such as putting a treat inside and leaving the door open for them to explore. Verbal praise and gentle stroking in and around the carrier will reassure a cat that the carrier is not scary, but a safe place for them. For pet parents whose cats get skittish around dogs, there are some vets who offer care specifically for cats. Pet parents can visit to see if there is a vet in their area.

The benefits of taking a cat to the vet and being assured they are in good health far outweigh the negative possibilities. Take advantage of quality vet care in your area and take your feline friend for a visit!