The importance of wellness exams for your cat

Just as it is important to get regular medical checkups for yourself, the same holds true for your cat. Cats need routine wellness exams at least once a year, and older cats should be checked every six months.

Millions of people include cats as part of their families but despite that popularity, cats are generally not taken for veterinary exams as often as their canine counterparts. Many people believe that cats’ independent ways get them “off the hook” for regular medical care, but absence of visible problems doesn’t mean there’s not an internal issue in the works. In addition, cats are very adept at hiding pain or illness and you might not even realize your cat is suffering from an injury or other ailment until it becomes unbearable for them.

The importance of wellness exams

A regular wellness exam is a great way to catch a problem early on, before it turns into a major issue. It also spares your cat from enduring consistent pain, boosts his odds of recovery, and saves on potential long-term medical costs.

Another major benefit of wellness exams is preventative care with routine blood work and diagnostic testing. This is an opportunity for your vet to spot lurking problems in their early stages and suggest changes in diet, medication, or lifestyle.

Why avoid wellness exams?

There are many reasons some people are reluctant to or put off taking their cat in for checkups. Cost is one of the most common but a close second is the stress involved, for the cat as well as its owner. The process of coaxing a cat into a carrier can be quite dramatic, and once at the clinic, your cat is usually not pleased and can be difficult to handle. While those are legitimate concerns, they should not be reasons to neglect medical care.

Low-stress vet visits

If your cat is very reactive at the veterinary clinic there are steps to take to assuage that anxiety and make the visit a little easier on him and everyone involved. Your veterinarian and staff can also do their part to make the visit less stressful.

Talk to your veterinarian about options to make the exam a more pleasant and effective experience. In fact, more veterinarians today are aware of the need to have a more cat-friendly practice, with separate waiting room areas, cats-only exam rooms, and staff specifically trained in low-stress cat handling.

Remember, an existing problem or the possibility of one detected during a wellness exam can make a huge difference in your cat’s quality of life.