Cats are often the forgotten pet when it comes to routine annual visits to the veterinary clinic. Cats, however, need to be yearly checked over as well, even those that are indoors.
We look at several things when we see your cat yearly:
- We check its weight – we are looking for any changes, even small ones. Weight loss can often be a sign of diseases – showing up before many other symptoms. Weight gain can show that we need to move around a bit more, or need to change something up. Often, heavier cats are more prone to cleaning issues and diabetes.
- We may update your cat’s vaccines. Rabies is a law in Ontario to be given appropriately routinely. Did you know that the vaccine we use for cats here at Manitou, though yearly is made special for cats (adjunct free), making it unlikely to cause serious cancer in cats?
- We check vitals such as listening to the heart for any changes from year to year. Listening for things like murmurs. We listen to the lungs – checking for asthma and other chest concerns. The doctor will look into the eyes, ears, and mouth making a note of things and then being able to see if there are differences that may develop.
- In many cats, we can ask about taking some blood to check into concerns or as a routine baseline for coming years.
- Most importantly, we can ask you questions about your cat, as you see them every day. We want to know what they eat (and how much), treats, do they go outside at all (even on leash counts)? Does your cat play (did it play more before)? What does it enjoy doing? Can your cat get around the same as it did before? We want to know about your cat’s “toilet” habits – does your cat use the litter box appropriately? Does everything look okay in there?
We want to know all about your cat’s life in the home you have made for it, as it helps us in so many ways to help you keep your pet healthy and with you for as long as it can.
Written by Lisa Clifford, RVT