Currently, there are approximately 10.8 million cats in the UK. A recent study has shown 1 in 4 pets have missed a routine appointment during 2020/21. It was also revealed 89% of all cat owners are registered with a veterinary practice however less than half of those attended an annual check-up. That is a lot of cat’s missing out on a vital opportunity to raise concerns with their vet team and have a thorough examination by a professional.
Did you we are not just available when your cat is sick? Routine health appointments are incredibly important too not to mention benefit your cat. So, let's take a more detailed look at why and how often you should be visiting your veterinary practice.
My Cat gets so stressed coming to the vets, can you help?
As an ISFM gold standard feline-friendly cat-only practice we strive to make your visit as stress-free as we can. This is achieved by offering a standard 15-minute consult length with an option of having a 30-minute appointment. The beauty of this enables the Vet to adopt a more relaxed approach to the examination, as we already know cats are reserved in unpredictable situations.
You can find advice on reducing cat carrier stress in our recent blog.
Do I need to be registered before a vet will see me?
As vets, we have a duty of care to your pet. We must alleviate suffering and will always make health and welfare our first consideration. To be able to practice efficiently we need to keep a record of our patients, their owner/carer details and of course their medical history. In the event of an emergency, it is much easier for all if we already have these details and can concentrate on providing care, rather than trying to obtain contact details from an upset and stressed owner.
It is always best to keep your cat’s medical records in one place, so if you move home remember to arrange for your pets medical records to be handed over to your current practice.
My cat sees the vet once a year for vaccinations, is that enough?
Annual vaccinations are an ideal time for your vet to give a thorough examination of your cat. No doubt they will pop them on the scales, have a listen to their chest, look in their mouth and generally check them over for any new lumps or bumps or areas of concern you may have.
As well as giving them up to date protection against infectious diseases such as feline enteritis or feline leukaemia virus, it also allows your vet to note any change in their health from the previous checkup as well as prescribing the correct dose of any worm or flea medication according to their weight.
In general, the first time we meet your new cat is at the time of their first vaccination. In the case of young animals, benefits are abundant in seeing you more frequently than yearly. Imagine how much your kitten changes week by week, let alone over twelve months! With additional adolescent checks, we can monitor growth and changes such as loss of temporary teeth, weight, behaviour and discuss neutering. We also get to make friends with your cat, giving them positive associations with a vet visit and we get to know you, reducing stress levels when/if you do need us in an emergency.
My cat is on medication, do I need to see a vet more frequently?
This can vary from condition to condition and pet to pet. Your vet will be able to advise you on a treatment plan, including the timing of checks and any additional planned blood screens. If your cat is stable on ongoing medication they will likely need to see the veterinary team at least every 6 months. This allows us to monitor the progression of a condition, balance medication dosage and re-prescribe ongoing drugs. For some conditions or controlled drugs, or when stabilising an animal or titrating a dosage this may be more frequently.
I have an older cat, are check-ups still necessary?
With advancing years our cats can start to show signs of many progressive age-related diseases. Unless advised otherwise by your vet, 6-monthly checks may be more appropriate. By visiting your vet they can discuss any changes in eating, drinking, toileting and behaviour as well as monitoring any weight change. These can raise flags and the need for further investigation. We may also routinely advise a blood profile and urine test to look for early disease markers allowing us to slow the progression before symptoms appear.
For example, routine blood samples in a cat over the age of 7 yrs can often pick up signs of renal disease (almost half of cats aged 6-9 show signs of kidney deterioration) before your cat displays any symptoms. A cat can lose 60% of its renal function before showing symptoms.
What other Wellness Programs do SimplyCats offer?
Alongside our feline focussed service, we’ve designed a preventative healthcare package to help keep your furry friend healthy throughout their life, keeping things simple for you – all while saving you over £200 every year!
Our unique plan improves the quality of your cat’s health and allows them to live a fuller,
more active life for as long as possible.
We have two options for indoor and outdoor cats. . . both of which purrfectly complement pet insurance.
You know we are a friendly bunch and like to help, feel free to contact reception and check any outstanding vaccinations or preventative treatments on your cat's record. We can also talk you through any wellness clinics we are currently offering. Most often run by our nursing staff these can include adolescent checks, weight clinics, dental advice, senior wellness checks and many more.
Although visiting SimplyCats may be a little different at present, we have remained open and accessible throughout the pandemic. We also have measures in place to help remotely if needs be, so do not hesitate to contact us.