It’s true that indoor cats live longer than outdoor cats, but that doesn’t mean they can skip their annual wellness visit to the vet. Indoor cats are just as prone to developing illness as outdoor cats, and catching diseases early makes treatment easier on you, your cat…and your wallet! Let’s talk about indoor cat health and what veterinary care they need.
Many owners of indoor cats ask, “Why should I vaccinate my pet for a disease that she’ll never be exposed to?” It’s true that vaccinations help protect cats from many bacterial and viral conditions they’ll only catch from other cats, but if your unprotected cat slips outdoors, she’s got no help fighting communicable illness. In my opinion, it’s a judgment call. But if you’re not willing to get all the “usual” shots for your indoor cat, please at least get the rabies vaccine. In some states this is required. There are several documented cases of infected animals making their way into residences and, for an indoor cat, a bat can make a tempting squeaky toy! If your indoor cat catches a mouse, or if a bird gets into the house, and that animal is infected with rabies – the result could be fatal for your cat. It’s just not worth risking – get them their rabies shot! For more information about the need for a rabies shot for indoor cats, click HERE.
It’s important that your indoor cat visit the vet once a year. The physical exam covers several important things like monitoring your cat’s weight, checking her blood pressure, heart rate, temperature. The vet will look at your cat’s mouth and teeth, look inside her ears. These are all ways that any developing illness or condition may be detected early – which may prevent serious illness in the future.
Early Detection Can Save Your Kitty’s Life
As cats get older, they can start to show signs of typical diseases associated with age. A simple blood test can check for chronic kidney disease, overactive thyroid and diabetes, which commonly affect older cats. Establishing a baseline and keeping an eye on these markers can allow for early detection and easier treatment. My vet discovered kidney disease early on in my then-10-year-old cat, changed her food to one specifically formulated for that particular condition – and literally saved my cat’s life.