Be a Good Cat Parent For National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week!Published August 16, 2010
Prepare for "National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week" by learning to keep your fuzzy companions happy and healthy from the inside and out.There are plenty of blatant differences between a dog and a cat - the primary reason why the "dog person vs cat person" argument is waged day after day. But for the "National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week", Dr. Michelle Gaspar, DVM, is helping celebrate the one thing these unique pets all have in common: they can all benefit from an annual visit to the veterinarian.
Dr. Gaspar knows that even the best kitty moms and dads have occasionally (or even regularly) dropped the yarn-ball on vet visits. And she knows firsthand the consequences of this huge mistake.
"Cats tend to hide diseases well," said Dr. Gaspar. "By the time clients say 'oh jeez, it's time to bring Fluffy into the vet' - that cat is usually fairly ill."
So how do you keep your fuzzy companions happy and healthy from the inside out? First, Dr. Gaspar tells cat owners to start treating their fuzzy companions like their arch nemesis - dogs.
"It's misunderstood that cats are low-maintenance animals, which is not the case. A common misconception is that they don't need the level of care that dogs do," said Dr. Gaspar.
So ditch this belief and show your cat how much you truly care by insisting on taking them to an annual checkup. And you'll have to insist pretty strongly - but don't let that deter you from a much-needed vet exam!
According to a survey conducted by Romeo the Cat, 67 percent of cats yowl and complain the whole way to the vet! And if your cat remains tame and wonderful, like the 10.2 percent of surveyed cats, then you really have no excuse for neglecting your kitty parental duties.
And of course, the unpleasant experience is vet-recommended for indoor cats too, who are equally at risk for diseases. Don't worry - they'll thank you later.
Another common mistake is to wait until pets present clear symptoms. This attitude aggravates what could've been a simple, preventable disease and pets end up undergoing a more aggressive treatment. This is not a the most ideal, happiest conclusion for the vet, owner, or the feline involved.
Actually, most symptoms in cats are so insignificant that they're misconstrued as regular "cat behavior" - like vomiting and vomiting hairballs. Although most owners think this is simply what cats do, Dr. Gaspar says that this can signal underlying gastro-intestinal disease.
Other subtle symptoms include irregular eating, problems with going to the box (especially for male cats), diarrhea, drinking more water, and of course, vomiting.
But there's no need for pet lovers to monitor their cats' every move and live in fear, as long as their lovable kitties visit the vet at least once a year, and more if the cat is over 10 years of age. These quick, annual exam routines can help you rest easier by knowing your cat is doing well.
Not only that, but Dr. Gaspar says there are "educational benefits for the owners" since they can learn more about their cats and get health tips from their vets.
And there is a right vet out there for all types of cats and their cat parents - even those who don't have quite enough money to spoil their kitties with all kinds of luxuries. Veterinarians are more than capable of helping any kind of owner.
"Be upfront with whatever the financial situation is," advised Dr. Gaspar. "Veterinarians are all very well equipped with redefining recommendations [according to the budget]."
These tip of the nose to the tip of the tail exams are crucial for all pets.
"Since our patients can't talk, that's our way of finding out what's going on," said Dr. Gaspar.
To find out more about the event and sign up for an annual email reminder from Dr. Gaspar, click here.