National "Take Your Cat to the Vet Week" Begins
Monday, August 16 kicks off a week dedicated to raising awareness about annual vet exams for felines.
From San Diego, California to Portland, Maine, local veterinarians are participating in National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week. The event, now in its second year, has expanded from a one-day event to a full week, and will run from August 16 through August 22.
Created by Feline Pine, an all-natural cat litter, Take Your Cat to the Vet Week hopes to raise awareness of the fact that cats need an annual veterinarian exam.
Recent studies show that one-third of cat owners only take their felines to the vet when their cats are noticeably sick. And while cats have a reputation for being very self-sufficient, regular checkups prevent small problems from growing into major ones.
Dr. Michele Gaspar, the veterinary advisor for Feline Pine, also points out that cats are more likely than dogs to mask the signs of a critical condition.
“There is a misconception that cats are independent and they don't need the level of care that dogs do,” says Dr. Gaspar. “Cats also don't show disease well. We can have cats who look normal but when they are covering up a serious illness."
Between vet visits, here are some simple tips for keeping your cats healthy and happy.
Establish regular feeding times. Scheduling meals of equal proportion can help prevent obesity in cats. Studies have shown that between 25 and 40 percent of cats are overweight, a condition that can lead to more serious health problems. When you help your cats become accustomed to a regular eating routine, you help them maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Better grooming, better health. Brushing your cat’s fur and trimming his claws are more than just beauty rituals. Keeping your cat’s coat free of excess hair can help to prevent hairballs — a benefit for both pet and owner! And to prevent ingrown nails, make sure your cat’s claws are not too long. When trimming, be sure to clip only the sharp tip, never the pink section — and if you’re not sure how to trim, ask your veterinarian to show you.
Know your cat’s patterns. Living with your pet daily means that you are in the best position to notice any problems that might arise with his health. Be aware of signs that indicate your cat may be experiencing a medical issue. Emergency symptoms such as vomiting or bleeding are obvious indicators that something’s wrong, but subtler signals can also be important tip-offs.
Owners should watch for significant changes in cats’ behavior — a social kitty spends the day under the bed, a pet with a previously healthy appetite turns away from food, or an active cat no longer seems interested in playing with favorite toys. All of these could be signs of more serious problems.
Be prepared. Many organizations, such as the Red Cross, offer DVDs and books with valuable first aid information for cat owners. Also, don’t be hesitant to ask your veterinarian to show you how to administer any prescribed medication or recommended care.
To find out participating veterinarians in your area, visit www.felinepine.com/national-vet-week/.
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3 years ago
I wish this could be a year-round event! As a veterinarian, it's so frustrating when I'm presented with a cat that is beyond help but could have been cured had I just seen the pet earlier on in the disease process. Bring your kitties in for exams +/- lab work-up TWICE a year if they're over 5 years old. They are way too subtle about illness to not do so.
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