By Nicole Abrego

A house is not a home without a cat and when your cat is part of your family, you want to make sure that your precious feline is healthy and living their best life. Taking your cat to your local veterinarian for annual wellness exams, where your cat is examined by a veterinarian for a routine checkup, is a key part in keeping your cat in peak health. However, according to a 2013 study conducted by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), less than 50% of cat owners take their cats in for regular wellness exams

We understand that getting your cat to the vet can be stressful for the both of you. However, regular wellness exams not only help your veterinarian determine that your cat is in good physical health, they can also catch potential health issues before they become major problems later in life. In honor of Take Your Cat to the Vet Day on August 22, here are the top reasons to take your cat to their regular wellness exams.

Cats Age Much Faster Than Humans

Cats have shorter lifespans than humans, with an average lifespan of around 16 years. This means that a cat’s body will experience aging in a much shorter period of time compared to us humans. While there’s no exact way to determine the relationship between cat years to human years, it’s estimated that the first 2 years of your cat’s life is equivalent to the first 25 years in a human's life. Each additional year after this is around 4 “cat years”. If your cat hasn’t been to a veterinarian for a check-up in 2 human years, that’s almost like not going to the doctor for around 8 cat years! A lot can happen to your cat’s body and health in a year, or even a couple of months. It’s best to stay on top of your cat’s routine wellness exams to ensure that your cat is healthy through all years of their life.

Masters of Hiding Pain and Illness

As helpful as it would be to have our cats tell us directly when they are sick or in pain, most cats are masters of disguise. This means that your cat is most likely to hide their pain or illness until it’s at an advanced stage and they can’t hide it anymore. At this point, there’s a chance that your pet’s illness could be very severe. An advanced illness would be much more difficult to treat as opposed to an illness that is caught early and treatment is started promptly. 

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Catch Health Issues That Could Otherwise Go Unnoticed

As previously mentioned, cats are masters at hiding pain and illness. With an annual wellness exam (or bi-annual exam for senior cats over age 8), your veterinarian will be able to fully examine your cat from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. Your veterinarian is highly trained to spot any health issues that may arise and the more often your vet sees your pet, the higher the chance that your veterinarian can spot any abnormalities early and address them. Your veterinarian will also be able to perform bloodwork panels to gain insight into the inner workings of your cat’s body and organ functioning. Annual wellness exams are key to catching any health issues that may otherwise go unnoticed and could progressively get worse if not addressed early.

The Key to a Happy and Healthy Life!

Here at The Drake Center, we love your pets like our own. We want your pets to live long, happy, and healthy lives as we know that your pets play a large role in your family. We cannot stress enough the importance of annual wellness exams for all pets, especially for your darling felines, and so we do what we can to make your cat’s vet visit as comfortable as possible. 

The Drake Center is a designated Cat-Friendly Practice, which means that we are dedicated to making veterinary care visits for cats and their owners as stress-free as possible. We have a cat-only exam room with Feliway calming diffusers to create an environment that is relaxing for your feline and we have doctors and staff who have multiple years of experience in providing medical care specifically tailored for cats. 

We want to help you set your cat up for a long and healthy life and annual wellness exams are the key to making this happen. If you have any further questions about cat wellness exams or need to schedule your cat’s next appointment, you can contact us here.

The Drake Center for Veterinary Care, a staple in Encinitas, CA, is a trusted AAHA-accredited animal hospital. The Drake Center loves being a source of information for all pet owners across the country however if you have any questions regarding pet care and do not live in Encinitas, CA or surrounding cities, we encourage you to contact your local veterinarian.