A story in the Detroit Free Press claims that cats are the Rodney Dangerfield of pets: they get no respect. And the reporter follows that statement up with the fact that dogs see a veterinarian more often than cats do. One reason is that cats hide pain and illness better. Not a good thing for the well-being of a cat. Cats are more readily abandoned than dogs—because cats are thought to be able to fend for themselves. Hogwash. Well, okay, they are good hunters, they know how to manipulate a situation—perhaps worm their way into a new home or at least coerce someone into sharing their tuna sandwich. But is this any way for a cat to live? NO! They need protection from the weather and predators. They should feel the love of a heart, warmth of a hearth, and not have to stress over finding something to warm their tummy.
February is National Cat Health Month and National Pet Dental Health Month as well as
National Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. So gear up to celebrate. How? Let me count the ways. A good place to start, if you haven’t done so, is to take your cat to the vet for his or her little operation. There are programs in every community to help with the cost of the surgery.
If your cat has been taken care of in this area, and if she hasn’t seen her veterinarian in a while, now is a good time to let the two of them become acquainted.
Many cat owners take their cats to the vet only when there’s a problem. National Cat Health Month was designated to remind us to also get well checkups—make sure the cat is healthy (it’s easy to miss a problem especially with an outdoor kitty), have his teeth checked (evidently periodontal disease is common in cats), treat her for fleas and worms (these pests can interfere dramatically with the health of a cat), and get any inoculations that are due to prevent some of the more serious feline illnesses.
What will you learn at a well check-up? You may find out that your cat is healthy and you should continue caring for her as you have been. Or the vet might discover that she has anemia, a flea problem, ingrown claws, the beginnings of kidney disease or something else you didn’t expect or notice. Certainly, you don’t want to learn that your cat has a disease, but you also don’t want her to suffer without treatment that could be helping her—a change in diet, for example.
How long as it been since your cat has seen her veterinarian? If it’s been more than a year or if she’s showing signs of weakness, lethargy, or isn’t as interested in her food, isn’t using the litter box, or isn’t playing like she used to, make an appointment today. It’s for the love of your cat!