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5 Common Cat-health Myths

Posted May 21, 2014 in A Vet's Life

Myth #1: Cats don’t need annual exams
Reality: Annual examinations are the best way to detect medical problems early and to ensure your cat is protected against preventable diseases. We take our kids to the pediatrician for wellness visits, so why should our cats be any different? Cats get sick too. They suffer from many of the same illnesses we do like obesity, diabetes, thyroid disease, and kidney disease.

Cats obviously can’t tell us when they’re sick and to make matters worse, they are masters at hiding illness. You may not notice any signs or symptoms until a disease is very advanced. That’s why routine physical examinations are so important. They allow your veterinarian to check your cat over from head to tail for subtle signs of illness. Your veterinarian can also utilize screening tests to detect diseases early and to start treatment promptly. The fact is, bringing your cat to the vet at least once a year for a check-up is the best way to be ensure your cat lives the healthiest, happiest life possible.

Myth #2: Indoor cats don’t need vaccines
Reality: Cats can be exposed to a number of different infectious diseases, even if they live indoors. Upper respiratory infections can be carried on your clothes or shoes or can spread through an open window or screen door. Not to mention that even indoor cats can sneak out.

While strictly indoor cats may require fewer vaccines than outdoor cats, the fact remains that indoor cats may benefit from vaccines that protect against certain upper respiratory viruses: feline rhinotracheitis, feline calicivirus, and feline panleukopenia. In addition, some states require cats to be vaccinated against rabies. Speak with your veterinarian to find out what vaccines are appropriate for your particular cat based on his age, lifestyle and risks. You can also get information about vaccines from the AAHA-AVMA Feline Preventive Healthcare Guidelines.

Myth #3 Indoor cats don’t getKitten looking through a pair of glasses parasites
Reality: Unfortunately, even indoor cats aren’t immune to parasites. Pesky bugs like fleas can be brought into your home by your dog or by rodents. You can even move into a house with an existing flea problem. (Fleas in the pupa stage can remain dormant for months.) In addition, mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease and we all know how easy it is for them to get inside.

Just because your cat doesn’t go

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The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies.