March 13, 2018
Many people think if their cat resides indoors exclusively, it does not need to visit the doctor. Cats are masters at hiding illnesses and pain. All too often, veterinarians see cats with health problems that are advanced by the time kitty shows symptoms. We see kidney failure, severe oral pain/infection (imagine if you never brushed your teeth...), diabetes, overactive thyroid, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and the list goes on. These happen to cats even if they never set foot outside. They can also be happening in a cat that "seems" completely normal. Some parts on an exam that pet owners are generally not doing at home include listening to the heart with a stethoscope, thoroughly inspecting the teeth & gums, looking at the ear drums, and feeling the size and shape of the abdominal organs. Veterinarians are trained to pick up on clues or problems when they are early if possible so disease and pain can be managed (or better yet, prevented). Also, female cats should be spayed (or "fixed") even if they never go outside to prevent uterine infection and breast cancer, which are both common in intact (unspayed) cats. Even if you choose not to vaccinate or use parasite preventatives for your indoor-only cat, please do him/her a service and schedule an annual examination so your treasured friend can live as long, healthy, and comfortable of a life as possible!
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