Cat Vet Checkups Are Third as Much as Dogs
Over the past decade, veterinarians have noticed an alarming trend. Cats see a veterinarian less than a third as often as their canine friends do. Just like dogs, cats can get sick and need annual examinations by their veterinary professionals. Without regular checkups, your cat passes up the chance to receive screening tests to find a condition or disease before it can no longer be treated. Cats also need vaccinations, parasite prevention and dental checkups. Here are three specific trends in cat health care that are especially disturbing.
1. Obesity in cats is increasing.
Although cat obesity is not as common as it is in dogs, excessive weight in cats is on the rise. Depending on the breed and activity level (outdoor versus indoor cats), the average weight of a cat should be 9 to 11 pounds.
Overweight cats carry extra weight around the middle hanging under the body. Give your cat a slight squeeze around the middle. If you can’t feel his ribs when you rub his side, he probably needs a diet adjustment. Consult your veterinarian before addressing any weight issues.
Obesity as a sign of illness
Don’t assume that your cat is fat because he’s lazy and eats too much. Weight gain may be a sign of significant illness, such as hypothyroidism, which in turn affects metabolic rate, or a problem of the pituitary gland, which regulates production of hormones.
2. Cat diabetes is on the rise.
The Banfield State of Pet Health 2010 report documented a 16 % increase of diabetes in cats and a much greater occurrence of diabetes in cats than in dogs. The epidemic of diabetes in cats is likely linked to the increase in pet obesity. Annual wellness examinations should include measuring your cat’s body weight, and if your pussy cat is getting a little porky a weight reduction diet can be developed to help try to keep her from developing diabetes.
3. Dental disease has increased 10 % in felines over the past 5 years.
A study from France reports in the Journal of Veterinary Dentistry that cats have a high rate of fractured teeth with retained roots, periodontal disease and bone loss around teeth. Every cat studied had periodontal inflammatory reaction. Cat owners can help prevent dental and periodontal disease in their cats with regular tooth brushing. Annual wellness examinations by your cat’s veterinarian can identify dental problems early, and teeth cleaning using special equipment is carried out with your cat under general anesthesia.
Don’t put off cat vet checkups, call your veterinarian today. Your cat will thank you.